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Alleged sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein had a 'trophy room,' accuser says in court papers

In this courtroom artist's sketch, defendant Jeffrey Epstein,

In this courtroom artist's sketch, defendant Jeffrey Epstein, center, sits with attorneys Martin Weinberg, left, and Marc Fernich during his arraignment in federal court in Manhattan on Monday. Credit: Elizabeth Williams via AP

The New York mansion where alleged sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein is accused of abusing underage girls has a “trophy room” with taxidermied exotic animals, high ceilings decorated like the Sistine Chapel, and a massage room painted with angels “to look like heaven,” according to a suit filed Wednesday in Manhattan by a new accuser. 

Jennifer Araoz, 32, of Glendale, who also appeared on NBC, asked in the new case to learn the identity of a woman who recruited her into Epstein’s sex circle for use in a lawsuit she plans to file against him when a new law extending the statute of limitations in New York takes effect in August.

Her claims match a pattern cited Monday when Manhattan federal prosecutors charged the multimillionaire financier — whose famous friends have included Bill Clinton, President Donald Trump and Prince Andrew — with sex trafficking for allegedly molesting “dozens” of teenage girls from 2002 to 2005 at his $77 million Manhattan mansion and his Palm Beach home.

Araoz, whose State Supreme Court case included a draft of her planned lawsuit, said she was a 14-year-old attending high school near Epstein’s home on East 71st Street when she was approached outside the school by a woman in her 20s who befriended her and persuaded her that Epstein might be able to help with her family problems.

On her first visit to the home, in 2001, the lawsuit said, Araoz met Epstein and was shown his first-floor “trophy room” that had “mahogany floors with extremely high ceilings,” stuffed exotic animals including a giraffe, and other “rare specimens,” and animal skins covering the floors.

The house was vast, the lawsuit said, including a “spiral staircase with a self-portrait of Epstein on the wall with a young girl, who Epstein said he considered like a daughter.” He allegedly gave Araoz $300 on the first visit “just to help her out.”

After several visits with the recruiter, Araoz said in the draft suit, she visited alone and got a tour of the whole house including “upper floors,” where “the ceilings of most of the rooms were painted with ornate murals to look like ancient Rome, Greece, and even the Sistine Chapel.”

He also took her to his massage room, where prosecutors say he targeted victims for sexual encounters, describing it as his “favorite room in the house,” Araoz said in the draft suit.

“The ceiling was painted to look like a blue sky with clouds and angels to give the appearance that you were in heaven,” the suit said. “…Epstein had a lot of paintings of nude women on the walls.

“He even commented on one painting of a nude woman with small breasts and brunette hair, but you couldn’t see her face clearly because she was partially turned,” the suit added. “That painting was right behind the massage table, and he said how much the woman in the picture looked like Ms. Araoz, then 14.”

Epstein then allegedly had Araoz  partly strip, complimenting her body, had her give him a back massage, and masturbated. The suit said he made her feel like she owed him because of the money he gave her, telling her, “I take care of you, you take care of me.”

The lawsuit said Araoz continued making weekly visits for more than a year that became increasingly sexually aggressive, and eventually during her sophomore year Epstein raped her forcibly, causing her to cut off the visits.

Epstein pleaded guilty to state prostitution charges in Florida and served just over a year in jail as part of a controversial 2008 deal to avoid federal charges. His agreement with federal authorities in Florida says he seeks to resolve “globally” his criminal liability, and will not be prosecuted “in this District for these offenses.”

Federal prosecutors in Manhattan say they are not bound by the nonprosecution deal agreed to in Florida by Alex Acosta, the U.S. attorney at the time and now Trump’s labor secretary, and it does not cover crimes in New York against then-unknown victims.

Epstein’s lawyers say he is protected.

Dan Kaiser, a lawyer for Araoz, would not comment on whether she has been approached by federal investigators.

Lawyers for Epstein did not respond to a request for comment on her suit.

Epstein also faces civil suits in federal court in Manhattan.

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