Crime

2 New Names Emerge in Epstein Drama



(Newser)

Four women regularly helped Jeffrey Epstein orchestrate his sexual assaults, according to newly updated court documents. Jennifer Araoz, who first pointed a finger at Epstein in July and filed suit in August, named the accused: Ghislaine Maxwell, publishing heiress and Epstein companion; Lesley Groff, Epstein’s secretary; Rosalyn Fontanilla, his late housekeeper; and Cimberly Espinosa, his old executive assistant, NBC News reports. Maxwell and Groff have been named in court papers before, but not Fontanilla and Espinosa. The four of them “participated with and assisted Epstein in maintaining and protecting his sex trafficking ring, ensuring that approximately three girls a day were made available to him,” per the lawsuit.


The suit claims they identified and hired recruiters of underage girls, scheduled the appointments, intimidated potential witnesses, and kept the enterprise secret. Araoz says she was recruited by a woman outside her high school at age 14, visited Epstein once or twice a week for about a year, and was forcibly raped by him in 2002. “These sexual encounters with Epstein, which of course were horribly abusive sexual assaults of a child, became more aggressive and escalated,” per the lawsuit. Groff’s lawyer denies any misconduct and says her job “included making appointments for Mr. Epstein as directed by him.” As for Maxwell, she hasn’t been served the suit because no one can find her, per the New York Daily News. (Another Epstein accuser also blames a billionaire fashion mogul.)

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