Harrowing new details of how Jeffrey Epstein raped and molested dozens of women emerged on Tuesday as thirty of his victims flocked to a New York courtroom to tell their stories.
The women, many of whom were not named, had been invited to speak at court by Judge Richard Berman who had been handling Epstein’s criminal human trafficking case which, in light of his suicide earlier this month, will now draw to a close.
The victims have asked that the investigation into his crimes carry on so that anyone who facilitated them who is still alive may be brought to justice. Many of the victims still plan to sue the late pedophile’s $577million estate. Tuesday’s hearing was the first time many had told their stories. In their statements, they slammed Epstein as a ‘coward’ and said he ‘robbed’ them of their innocence.
Some were speaking out for the first time, including Chauntae Davies, who worked as an air hostess on his private plane, luridly dubbed ‘the Lolita express’. Davies, who agreed to be named, said she, like dozens of others, was also paid by Epstein to perform erotic massages when he raped he the third or fourth time they met on his private Caribbean island.
Another woman, who remained anonymous, said she was 15 when Epstein flew her to a ranch where she was sexually molested for many hours while he kept insisting he was helping her to grow. Another woman said she was 17 when she was victimized. She said she thought Epstein was the most powerful person in the world.
Others described how he became ‘excited’ when they begged him to stop touching them when they were underage. Another sobbed as she told how he tried to intimidate her to stop her reporting him to police.
Some of the women were being represented by attorney Gloria Allred who said they planned to file lawsuits against Epstein’s estate seeking damages.
Among the 30 women who gave statements was Virginia Giuffre Roberts, who sued Epstein in 2015 and claims she had sex with Prince Andrew when she was 17 in London. She smiled as she arrived at the courthouse, flanked by lawyers.
Epstein’s lawyers were also given a chance to speak. They suggested, shockingly, that he had been murdered and said his neck injuries were more consistent with a homicide than suicide.
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Virginia Roberts (center in blue) arrives at court with David Boies who is also representing sisters Annie and Maria Farmer. She sued Epstein in 2015 claiming she was held as his sex slave. She also claims she had sex with Prince Andrew – a claim Buckingham Palace denies. Thirty women are expected to speak at the hearing on Tuesday
Roberts, now 35, said Epstein kept her as his ‘sex slave’ when she was a teenager. She is shown, right, in an infamous photograph with Prince Andrew and Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein’s friend and alleged madam, in 2001
Gloria Allred arrives in court on Tuesday with four unidentified women. She previously said she was representing four previously unnamed Epstein victims
The women were among the first to arrive for Tuesday’s highly anticipated hearing
Gloria Allred places an arm around one of the four women she arrived at court with on Tuesday
They told the judge they had hired their own experts to look into whether or not the disgraced pedophile might have been killed.
Tuesday’s hearing was the first time Chauntae Davies spoke about being raped.
She said she had been hired to give massages at Epstein’s island, Little St. James, when he raped her the third or fourth time they met.
Epstein killed himself in his jail cell earlier this month and escaped prosecution and poverty in doing so
‘I will not let him win in death,’ she said.
In 2015, Davies gave an interview about the lurid behavior she witnessed on his jet and claimed she had gone shopping with Bill Clinton in Africa for a bracelet for his daughter, Chelsea, on an Epstein-funded trip.
Tuesday’s statement was her first about the alleged rape.
Sarah Ransome, another accuser, told the court of Epstein’s suicide: ‘He showed the world what a depraved and cowardly human being he was by taking his own life.’
She previously claimed to have been held hostage on Epstein’s Caribbean island.
Ransome sued Epstein over claims he trafficked her for sex between 2006 and 2007 and ‘gave her’ to Alan Dershowtiz, his lawyer. (Dershowitz has always denied ever meeting her).
In 2018, Epstein settled her lawsuit privately.
In it, she claimed she once tried to swim off of ‘pedophile island’ and that a search party consisting of Epstein and Maxwell was sent out to find her. She said Maxwell confiscated her passport so she could not leave the shady Caribbean bolthole. She was 20 at the time.
Among those to speak out was Courtney Wild, who says she was in middle school and wore braces when Epstein groomed her.
WHAT THE WOMEN SAID
‘My hopes were quickly dashed and my dreams were stolen‘
– Virginia Giuffre Roberts, who says she was preyed on by Epstein when she was a 15-year-old working at President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club
‘He showed the world what a depraved and cowardly human being he was by taking his own life’
– Sarah Ransome, speaking for the first time. She did not give details of what happened to her
‘I will not let him win’
– Chauntae Davies, another woman who spoke out for the first time. She says he raped her the third or fourth time they met on his private Caribbean island where she had been hired to give him massages.
She previously denied having been exploited or abused by him when giving interviews about working on his private jet, the Lolita express.
‘The fact that I will never have a chance to face my predator in court eats away at my soul’
– Jennifer Araoz, who says Epstein’s recruiter targeted her outside her school when she was a teenager
‘Jeffrey Epstein sexually abused me for years. He robbed me of my day in court. I feel very angry and sad and justice has never been served in this case’
– Courtney Wild, who says she was 14 and in middle school when Epstein forced her to perform sex acts
‘Jeffrey Epstein stole my innocence. He gave me a life sentence of guilt and shame. I do not consider myself a victim – I see myself a survivor. The abuse that I endured cannot continue. Let’s stop this before it happens to other young women.’
– Jane Doe 1
‘I cannot say that I am pleased he committed suicide, but I am at peace knowing that he will not be able to hurt anyone else’
– Jane Doe 2
‘I used to be relatively carefree, inquisitive, hopeful, and excited about life. But, my life changed because of Jeffrey Epstein… Jeffrey Epstein ruined me. His recruiter ruined me.’
– Jane Doe 3
‘Dear Jeffrey. You had investigators come to my house and even to my friend’s house. I needed therapy several times a week. You wanted to try and blame that we were a lower class and that was the problem with girls.’
– Jane Doe 4
‘I tried to pull away but he was already unbuttoning my shorts … I was searching for words but all I could say was, ‘No, please stop,’ … that seemed to excite him.’
– Jane Doe 5
‘Jeffrey Epstein sexually abused me for years,’ she said, adding that he ‘robbed’ her and the other victims of their day in court.
‘I feel very angry and sad and justice has never been served in this case,’ she said.
Another, who did not wish to be named, said: ‘It didn’t feel good to wake up that morning and hear he allegedly committed suicide.
‘I still feel like I’m learning the ways he’s impacted me. As destructive as that relationship was and as much of a villain as we’ve created him to be, based on facts, we’ve created him to be a villain, but he’s a complex villain.’
Others were represented by Allred’s daughter, Lisa Bloom.
She released a statement from three victims. One read: ‘Jeffrey Epstein stole my innocence.
‘He gave me a life sentence of guilt and shame. I do not consider myself a victim — I see myself a survivor.
‘The abuse that I endured cannot continue. Let’s stop this before it happens to other young women.’
Another statement read: ‘In the past few weeks, I have had to reflect on my interaction with Jeffrey Epstein and realize that, though I have tried to put it all behind me, I am still a victim.
‘I say this because I have to come to terms with it in an effort to truly get past the abuse I suffered at the hands of Epstein.
‘Pursuing criminal penalties against him and having an opportunity to address the egregious crimes he committed against me and other young women would have helped my recovery process.
‘This all came to an abrupt halt when he took his own life. The point of closure is lost.
‘I cannot say that I am pleased he committed suicide, but I am at peace knowing that he will not be able to hurt anyone else.
‘However, a sad truth remains: I, along with other women, will never have an answer as to why; I will never have an apology for the wrong doing and, most importantly, Epstein will not be justly sentenced for his crimes.
‘Now, I sit in my home questioning the well-being of those girls like myself. In choosing death, Epstein denied everyone justice.
‘Any efforts made to protect Epstein’s name and legacy send a message to the victims that he wins and that he is untouchable.
‘I understand his case may be dismissed or closed but this makes me feel as though I, and anyone else who fell prey to his hands, simply do not matter.
‘I ask that you very seriously consider the final decision because it will undoubtedly affect all other facets of this case, including any future charges brought against the recruiters or other third parties to his crimes. I do not want the narrative to be ‘those poor girls’.
‘I want to send a message to anyone who would consider engaging in similar acts to think twice beforehand.
Attorney Sigrud Macawley (in cream dress) arrived with Virginia Roberts (in blue skirt suit) and Annie Farmer (far right)
Annie Farmer (pictured) and her sister Maria told their story in a New York Times article on Monday. They said they reported Epstein to the FBI and to media in the 1990s and 2000s but that nothing was done
‘I want some sort of closure for those of us who will relive those horrible moments where we were assaulted, abuse and taken advantage of by Epstein.
‘You have an opportunity to help us seek that closure,’ she said.
Another read: ‘I used to be relatively carefree, inquisitive, hopeful, and excited about life. But, my life changed because of Jeffrey Epstein. My perspective on life became very dark when I was unknowingly recruited by one of his agents. Jeffrey Epstein ruined me. His recruiter ruined me.
‘The far-reaching consequences of that day ruined my family’s lives. I’ve chosen to remain anonymous in order to protect my family from unwanted media attention.
‘I was just trying to figure out my path in life when I encountered Jeffrey Epstein in his NYC mansion. I cannot even begin to summarize the many detriments this experience of sexual assault has had on my life. Immediately following the incident, I was unable to function and be around other people. My parents had to rescue me and bring me home, where I became a recluse for years.
‘I was changed forever and buried my assault deep down where the darkness couldn’t hurt me anymore. But, of course, it has always been here, lingering and affecting me unconsciously.
HOW RECENT LAW CHANGE CAN HELP EPSTEIN VICTIMS SUE
Until recently, New York’s statute of limitations protected Epstein’s estate from lawsuits and indeed him from criminal prosecution because some of the alleged crimes happened decades ago.
But earlier this year, New York governor Andrew Cuomo signed the Child Victims Act.
It allows child sex abuse survivors to file criminal complaints until they are 28 and civil complaints until they are 55.
Crucially, it also allowed one-year window starting August 14 for anyone, any age, to file a civil lawsuit if they had been shut out from doing so before.
Jennifer Araoz, the first to file a lawsuit against Epstein, filed hers the day after the August 14 one-year window began.
The old law was cited by authorities and alleged victims in the case of Harvey Weinstein.
‘At the time, I was mired in shame, guilt, and humiliation. I have somehow tricked myself into thinking that I had allowed the assault to happen, that I did this to myself, that I don’t deserve to be alive or to be loved. I believed that I was a disgusting, shameful person, who does not deserve to ever be happy.
‘These are the thoughts I’ve lived with on a daily basis. Furthermore, because I couldn’t tell anyone for fear of judgment, blame or retaliation, keeping this secret completely hindered my ability to uncover why these issues existed for me, which could have led to a path of healing over the years.
‘It is time for those with power to do the right thing. It is time for compassion toward our fellow human to reign over money, power and greed.
‘We need to protect our most vulnerable to allow them a chance at a normal life and nothing should come in the way of that. I believe that for future generations, including my own children, this case will set a precedent that victims must no longer suffer in silence on our own or be shamed for coming forward to seek protection. This case should demonstrate to those who want to harm others, that there will be a reckoning and they will pay dearly for the harm they inflict on innocent people.
‘Judge Berman, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for this forum and opportunity. To all of the survivors who came before me, I commend your bravery. There is no way I could have done this without you doing so first.
‘Thank you to the public following this story for your outrage and desire for answers, which will hopefully move this case forward, so the victims can stop having to relive their experiences every day and move on to begin to heal. God bless the victims, their families, the investigators, and public servants working so diligently to find those answers and to right all of these wrongs. ‘
Jennifer Araoz, the first to speak out against him, said: ‘The fact that I will never have a chance to face my predator in court eats away at my soul.’
Prosecutors vowed not to stop fighting for justice for the victims despite dismissing the charges against him himself.
‘To be very clear today’s dismissal in no way inhibits or prohibits the government’s ongoing investigation. It in no way does it prohibit the government from seeking civil forfeiture.
‘The investigation into those matters has been ongoing, is ongoing, and will continue. This dismissal in no way deters the government’s resolve in seeking justice for the victims in this case,’ prosecutor, Maureen Comen said.
Five lawsuits have already been filed against him.
The first was by Jennifer Araoz, who says his team of female recruiters preyed on her outside her Upper East Side high school when she was a vulnerable teenager and lured her to his mansion where she was forced to perform erotic massages on him.
She is the only one of the plaintiffs to name herself publicly and she has also appeared on national television to tell her story.
Two others, who described themselves as Jane Does 1 and 2, filed a lawsuit earlier this month. They were followed by three others, Katlyn Doe, Priscilla Doe and Lisa Doe.
Because many of the women’s identities are being protected, it is impossible to know if they were among those who spoke in court on Tuesday.
As the criminal case against Epstein drew to a close and the civil lawsuits against his estate mounted, a third investigation – into how he was able to take his own life in jail – remains underway.
The latest development in that investigation is that camera footage taken outside his cell on the night he killed himself is unusable in court.
THE EPSTEIN VICTIMS WHO HAVE COME FORWARD
Jennifer Araoz – Groomed outside school when she was 14
Araoz was just 14 when she says Epstein’s recruiters lured her to his mansion in Manhattan.
She wanted to be an actress and says he groomed her by promising to help her career.
She was a vulnerable child from a troubled home and her father had just died of AIDS at the time.
She was the first to file a lawsuit.
Sarah Ransome – Swam off ‘pedophile island’ in desperate attempt to escape Epstein but was ‘brought back to land by search party which included Ghislaine Maxwell’
Ransome said she was among the young girls ferried to Epstein’s pedophile island. She told a shocking story previously of trying to swim off the island after having her passport stolen by Ghislaine Maxwell.
In 2018, Epstein settled a lawsuit against her for an undisclosed amount.
She had sued him for sexually trafficking her between 2006 and 2007 and claimed that he arranged for her to have sex with his friend and lawyer Alan Dershowtiz. Dershowitz denies it.
Chauntae Davies – ‘Lolita express’ air hostess who says she took Bill Clinton shopping and was raped by Epstein
Davies spoke out in 2015 after the first allegations against Epstein were aired. She said at the time that she was not a victim but that she had witnessed lurid behavior on his private jet and that she had been tasked with ferrying young girls to the Caribbean island.
Now, she says that Epstein raped her the third or fourth time they met. She had been hired to give him massages, she said, as well as work on the airplane.
Michelle Licata – Lured by recruiter aged 16 and told ‘you’re just so beautiful and sexy’
Michelle Licata was just 16 when she claims a young woman brought her to Epstein’s Palm Beach estate and she was paid to give him a massage.
‘He said, god, you’re just so beautiful and sexy and gorgeous and it was making me feel really uncomfortable,’ said Licata in an interview with ABC News.
Courtney Wild – Forced to perform sex acts aged 14, when she still had braces
Wild was still in middle school when Epstein allegedly forced her into performing sex acts.
‘I was 14, I had braces on,’ recalled Wild in a recent interview.
Maria Farmer & Annie Farmer – Sisters who tried to report Epstein but were ignored
The sisters say they were both abused by Epstein in the 1990s. Their claims are among the earliest.
They say they took their allegations to the FBI and to local media but were ignored.
Sisters Maria (left) and Annie Farmer (right)
Jane Doe 1 & Jane Doe 2 – Models targeted when working in a coffee shop by one of Epatein’s recruiters
Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 2 said they were aspiring models working at a restaurant off of Manhattan’s Union Square when they were approached in June 2004 by an unnamed female ‘recruiter,’ identified as Sue Roe, who worked for Epstein.
The restaurant was The Coffee Shop and it was known for employing models.
They say they were 18 and 20 years old at the time.
Virgina Guiffre, aka Virginia Roberts, with Prince Andrew and Ghislaine Maxwell in 2001
Katlyn Doe – Forced into sham lesbian marriage
Katlyn said she was forced to marry another victim, who was foreign, so that she could stay in the country.
She also said that Epstein ‘coerced’ her into losing her virginity to him when she was 18.
Priscilla Doe – Had to have surgery and was paid to ‘wear certain color panties’
Priscilla Doe, who lost her virginity when Epstein allegedly raped her, said in a court filing that Epstein dictated what she wore and how she looked during the six years she was under his rule – and to a startling degree.
‘Jeffrey Epstein forced [Priscilla] to wear certain color panties, remove certain body piercings, and undergo surgery by Jeffrey Epstein’s doctors to remove body moles,’ states a complaint filed in United States District Court in the Southern District of New York.
‘[Priscilla] complied with these demands with the understanding, conveyed to her by Epstein, that she had no other choice.’
She also alleged Ghislaine Maxwell gave her a ‘step-by-step’ tutorial on ‘the proper way’ to sexually pleasure Epstein on his island, Little St. James, in 2006.
Lisa Doe – Had sex toys used on her aged 17 and was told to teach exercise classes
In her lawsuit, Lisa Doe detailed how Epstein ‘used a sex toy on her, forcibly’ after hiring the then 17-year-old ‘to teach a dance-based exercise class’ at his townhouse.
He is said to have demanded she ‘go to her dance studio and find other dancers’ after one of his associates hired Lisa.
Virginia Guiffre – Epstein’s teenage ‘sex slave’ who claims she had sex with Prince Andrew
Guiffre filed a lawsuit against Epstein in 2015 claiming he held her as his sex-slave and told her to have sex with Prince Andrew – something Buckingham Palace has vehemently denied for years.