‘Coward’: Epstein accusers pour out their anger in court

Legal Compliance

One by one, 16 women who say they were sexually abused by Jeffrey Epstein poured out their anger Tuesday, lashing out at him as a coward and a manipulator, after a judge gave them the day in court they were denied when he killed himself behind bars.

“The fact I will never have a chance to face my predator in court eats away at my soul,” said Jennifer Araoz, who has accused Epstein of raping her in his New York mansion when she was a 15-year-old aspiring actress.

“Even in death, Epstein is trying to hurt me. I had hoped to at last get an apology, but this evil man had no remorse or caring for what he did to anyone,” she said.

The hearing was convened by U.S. District Judge Richard M. Berman, who presided over the case after federal prosecutors had Epstein arrested last month.

The question before the judge was whether to throw out the indictment because of the defendant’s death, a usually pro forma step undertaken without a hearing. But the judge offered Epstein’s accusers an extraordinary opportunity to speak in court.

In addition to the women who spoke — some publicly for the first time — statements from several others were read in court by their lawyers.

They vented their fury over Epstein’s alleged crimes and his suicide in his jail cell Aug. 10 while awaiting trial on sex-trafficking charges involving dozens of teenage girls. Repeatedly, the women described themselves as survivors and said they hoped coming forward would help others.

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