Jeffrey Epstein used Manhattan dance studios to recruit young women to give him “erotic massages,” according to a report in the New York Times.
The Times says several lawsuits have been filed against Epstein’s estate alleging the convicted sex offender included young dancers among the many, many young women and underage girls he exploited, abused, trafficked, and otherwise victimized. According to the suits, Epstein put his infamous network of recruiters to work in dance studios, having women approach these young dancers with job opportunities that then turned into abuse.
One dancer, a woman named Lisa, was told by a fellow dancer at her studio that Epstein wanted private exercise lessons. Per the Times:
But when she arrived days later at Mr. Epstein’s palatial townhouse on East 71st Street, she found her patron was not interested in a dance workout, according to a lawsuit. Instead, Mr. Epstein quizzed her on her dance aspirations, promised to buy her new pointe shoes and asked her to take part in several sexually charged stretching activities.
On her third visit, Mr. Epstein asked for a massage, during which he assaulted her with a sex toy and masturbated, the complaint said. He implied Lisa’s dance career would be over if she did not go along.
Afterward, he gave her $300 and the book “Massage for Dummies.” It was the start of an eight-year cycle of abuse.
Marlo Fisken, a dance instructor, says a woman she met in a bar in 2006 similarly set her up to give Epstein “private lessons,” though when she showed up for them, he “did not want to exercise but seemed interested in bizarre stretching maneuvers” and asked her to massage his testicles “because it helps my flexibility.” Another woman, former dancer Nadia Vostrikov, says a woman at a dance studio recruited her to be a personal trainer for Epstein in 2013, though she didn’t end up taking the job:
Ms. Vostrikov agreed to speak to the potential student through Skype and was surprised when the person on the screen was an older man who wanted to fly her to Florida for lessons. The man told her that he was a registered sex offender and asked her to do an internet search for his name, Jeffrey Epstein, before she committed to the job.
“I never talked to him again,” Ms. Vostrikov said.
The suits all reflect the same predatory pattern victims have attributed to Epstein, one in which he would use women recruiters to gain young women and teenagers’ trust, lure them to his home with promises of cash or other help, then abuse them, often repeatedly. Unfortunately, these victims will have a difficult time obtaining compensation from his estate, thanks to a trust fund he set up to shield his assets just two days before he died.