A JEFFREY Epstein accuser who said Ghislaine Maxwell was at the "center of his sex trafficking ring" has praised the British socialite's arrest.
Maxwell was taken into custody on Thursday by the FBI on charges that she helped find young girls for Epstein.
One accuser, Jennifer Araoz, said in a statement that "my fellow Epstein survivors and I are able to take a breath of relief, as Maxwell’s arrest means some justice for survivors can exist."
"For years, I feared Epstein and his ring. Maxwell was the center of that sex trafficking ring," Araoz said. "Now that the ring has been taken down, I know that I can’t be hurt anymore."
"Day after day, I have waited for the news that Maxwell would be arrested and held accountable for her actions. Her arrest is a step in that direction, and it truly means that the justice system didn’t forget about us.”
Araoz has alleged that Epstein raped her in his New York City mansion in 2002 when she was 15 years old after she said she as approached by a female “recruiter” for the financier while standing outside her school in the city in 2001.
The 33-year-old said in 2019 that she was persuaded to visit Epstein’s Manhattan mansion where she was allegedly paid to give him massages dressed only in her underwear.
The visits continued once or twice a week until she turned 15, when she claims Epstein told her to take off her knickers and climb on top of him.
“He raped me, forcefully raped me,” Araoz told NBC News in July 2019. "I don't want to say I was screaming, or anything of that nature. But I was terrified. And I was telling him to stop," she said.
Brad Edwards, an attorney who represents victim Virginia Robert Giuffre — who has claimed that Maxwell arranged for her to have sex with Prince Andrew at her London townhouse — said his clients were relieved by the charges.
Charges against Ghislaine Maxwell:
- Count one: Conspiracy to entice minors to travel to engage in illegal sex acts
- Count two: Enticement of a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts
- Count three: Conspiracy to transport minors with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity
- Count four: Transportation of a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity
- Count five and six: Perjury — the offense of willfully telling an untruth or making a misrepresentation under oath.
“Today is a very good day,” the attorney for Giuffre and other victims said.
Epstein, 66, killed himself at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York last summer while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.
For years, Maxwell has been accused by many women of recruiting them to give Epstein massages, during which they were pressured into sex.
Until now, the accusations never resulted in criminal charges.
The indictment made public on Thursday shows Maxwell has been charged with conspiracy to entice minors to travel to engage in illegal sex acts, enticement of a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts, and conspiracy to transport minors with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity.
She's also been charged with transportation of a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity and two counts of perjury.
Maxwell, who was said to be arrested close to the home of her alleged boyfriend Scott Borgerson in Bedford, New Hampshire, is set to appear in federal court on Thursday.
The indictment was returned by a jury and dates back to 1994 and is connected to three unnamed victims.
The document claims the three female victims were as young as 14 when they were allegedly recruited, groomed and abused by Maxwell and Epstein.
It adds that the pair "knew for certain" the victims' ages, and Maxwell is said to have repeatedly lied when questioned about her conduct in order to conceal her alleged crimes.
The indictment states that Maxwell was in an "intimate" relationship with Epstein in the mid-90s and was paid to manage his properties.
By 1994, she allegedly worked to entice and groom multiple minor girls to engage in sex acts with Epstein.
Her methods are said to include attempting to befriend victims by asking about their lives, their schools, and their families, building up "friendships" by taking them to the movies or shopping.
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