In the afternoon following news of Jeffrey Epstein’s apparent suicide, his accusers expressed frustration and continued their calls for justice for his alleged child sex abuse crimes.
Jennifer Araoz, who last month publicly accused Epstein of raping her in 2002 when she was 15 years old, told CNN that she was “angry” over his death and urged prosecutors to continue their case against him to honor his alleged victims.
“I am angry Jeffrey Epstein won’t have to face his survivors of his abuse in court. We have to live with the scars of his actions for the rest of our lives,” Araoz said in a statement.
“Epstein is gone but justice must still be served,” she continued. “I hope authorities will pursue and prosecute his accomplices and enablers, and ensure redress for his victims.”
Early Saturday morning, officials found Epstein, 66, unresponsive in his prison cell in the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan, New York, where he was awaiting trial on charges of sex trafficking underage girls.
He faced similar charges in 2008 for sexually assaulting dozens of underage girls in his property in Palm Beach, Florida, but a controversial deal allowed him to plead guilty to lesser charges of soliciting prostitution.
For those crimes, he was sentenced to 13 months in county jail.
The FBI is investigating his death as an “apparent suicide.”
Another of Epstein’s accusers was upset that Epstein wouldn’t face any consequences.
“I’m angry as hell that the prison could have allowed this to happen and that I and his other victims will never see him face the consequences for his horrendous actions,” the woman, who remains unnamed, said in a statement shared by her attorney Lisa Bloom.
“I hope that whoever allowed this to happen, also faces some kind of consequence. You stole this from us, the huge piece of healing that we needed to move on with our lives.”
After news of his death broke, the Miami Herald interviewed several women who said they were victimized by Epstein.
Jena-Lisa Jones, who says Epstein molested her when she was 14, told the paper that she and other victims were close to seeing justice.
“I just can’t believe it,” Jones told the paper. “We were finally feeling that we might have some justice after all these years.”
Michelle Licata was 16 when she says she was recruited to give Epstein massages.
She told the Herald that she wanted Epstein “to be held accountable for his actions.”
“I would never wish that somebody would die but he took the easy way out,’’ Licata added.
The mother of Courtney Wild, who came forward in July with allegations against Epstein, whom she said she met when she was 14, criticized the jail where Epstein was being held.
“How does someone who is this high profile commit suicide? They had to have cameras on him! Someone must have been paid to look the other way,’’ Wild’s mother Eva Ford told the Herald.
Epstein stood accused of bringing girls as young as 14 to his properties in New York and Florida, where he would abuse and exploit them.
According to court documents, Epstein’s former Palm Beach house manager estimated that he had seen 100 teenage girls come to the house throughout the years.
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