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A woman who says she is “Victim-1” in the New York indictment against deceased sex offender Jeffrey Epstein filed suit against the executors of his estate Wednesday, saying he abused her for three years beginning when she was a 14-year-old struggling to find a way to help her family pay rent.
The suit, filed in federal court in Manhattan, offers new details about Epstein’s interactions with Victim-1, including specifics of the alleged crimes, and how her personal situation made her an easier target. The lawsuit was filed by the woman’s lawyer, Roberta A. Kaplan.
In court papers identifying her as “Jane Doe,” she alleges that Epstein recruited her to engage in sex acts in 2002, at a time when she was “in serious financial straits.”
Her sister was sick and the family had so little money that the girl was forced to move out, according to the suit, which says she stayed with “a rotating cast of friends and took odd jobs after school to try to help her family pay rent.”
Around that time, an older girl took her to Epstein’s mansion on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, where he would pay her hundreds of dollars for massages that gradually escalated into sex acts with Epstein and others, according to the suit.
The abuse continued until she was 17, and she was sexually assaulted “countless times” in those three years, the lawsuit alleges.
She also alleges that she was sexually assaulted by an Epstein employee. The lawsuit says she was taken into a bedroom with an adult woman she did not know and that, together, they engaged in sex acts with Epstein. The lawsuit also asserts that Victim-1 was frequently paid for her time with Epstein by two of his assistants.
Prosecutors have said they continue to investigate whether anyone connected with Epstein should face co-conspirator charges. His accusers have focused, in particular, on Ghislaine Maxwell, a longtime associate of Epstein’s, and other members of his staff.
The woman identified as Victim-1 still suffers “severe mental anguish because of Epstein’s abuse,” the lawsuit says, noting that she never finished high school and asserting that her “physical and emotional injuries impact her daily functioning, making it difficult to go to work and take care of her young daughter and her ailing mother.”
The suit was filed against Darren K. Indyke and Richard D. Kahn, Epstein’s longtime lawyers who were named in his will as executors of his estate. A number of other alleged victims of Epstein’s abuse are suing or plan to sue Epstein’s estate, which is valued at more than $577 million.
The lawsuit filed Wednesday does not specify how much money Victim-1 is seeking in damages. Attempts to contact Indyke and Kahn were not successful.
Epstein, 66, was arrested in July when he arrived in New Jersey on a private jet. The sex trafficking charges filed against him were similar to ones in Florida that had been settled with a plea deal in 2008 that has since been criticized as alarmingly lenient. Prosecutors say Epstein recruited dozens of teenage girls to visit his homes and give him massages that frequently escalated to sex acts. He paid the girls hundreds of dollars for each visit, his victims have said.
About a month after his arrest, Epstein was found dead in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Lower Manhattan. The charges he was facing carried a potential prison sentence of up to 45 years, and the city’s medical examiner ruled the death a suicide, saying Epstein hanged himself. Epstein’s lawyers have not accepted that finding, saying they are conducting their own investigation. Epstein had pleaded not guilty to the sex trafficking charges.
The FBI and the Justice Department are investigating the circumstances of his death to determine whether any crimes were committed in the course of the failure of the Federal Bureau of Prisons to keep Epstein alive while he was awaiting trial.
Devlin Barrett writes about national security and law enforcement for The Washington Post. He has previously worked at the Wall Street Journal, the Associated Press and the New York Post, where he started as a copy boy. Follow