A woman who says she was raped by Jeffrey Epstein when she was only 15 years old has asked a judge in the Virgin Islands to help free up the deceased pedophile’s $500 million fortune so she and other victims could recoup damages.
Two days before Epstein died by suicide in a Manhattan jail, he included in his will a trust fund with $577 million in assets, a last-minute setup that looked a whole lot like an effort to keep any of his sexual assault victims from seeking damages in postmortem civil cases against his estate. But the New York Post reports that Jennifer Araoz, 32, filed court papers last week seeking to undo that trust, or, at the very least, get the St. Thomas, Virgin Islands judge in charge of it to free up assets for her and other victims.
Araoz asserts in the court papers that Epstein and his legal team “conspired … to fraudulently convey and hide assets from his victims, including claimant [Araoz], by transferring assets into a recently created Trust,” and says he essentially committed fraud, since he was likely contemplating suicide at the time he set up the trust. She has asked the judge to “secure sufficient assets from the estate to pay her damages and losses” and to “prevent the sale, transfer or waste of any assets in the decedent’s estate.”
In July, about a month before Epstein’s death, NBC News reported that Araoz came forward to accuse the convicted sex offender of raping her when she was a teen. Araoz says she was recruited outside her high school when she was 14 and coerced into coming to Epstein’s Manhattan townhouse and giving him massages; later, Araoz says, when she was 15, he forcefully raped her, and she never returned. After Epstein’s suicide, Araoz sued alleged co-conspirator Ghislaine Maxwell and three other Epstein staffers.
“Jeffrey Epstein and his network of enablers stole from me,” Araoz told reporters after filing the suit, according to NBC News. “They robbed me of my youth, my identity, my innocence, my self-worth.
She added, “For too long, they escaped accountability. I am here today because I intend to change that.”