Jeffrey Epstein was hit with a lawsuit from a woman who claims he raped her when she was just 15 years old the day before the accused pedophile was found injured in his cell from an apparent suicide attempt.
The billionaire was given documents filed in Jennifer Araoz’s lawsuit against him on July 23 at the Metropolitan Correctional Center where he is being held on charges of sex trafficking and conspiracy, according to NBC News.
The following day, Epstein was found semi-conscious in his cell with marks on his neck.
The specifics of Araoz’s suit have not been disclosed, but the now-32-year-old previously accused Epstein of raping her in 2002.
Jennifer Araoz (left) served court papers to Jeffrey Epstein (right) the day before the billionaire was found injured in an apparent suicide attempt in his jail cell on July 24. Araoz, 32, accused Epstein of raping her when she was just 15 years old in 2002
Epstein, who is being held in custody ahead of his trial for sex trafficking, was found injured in his cell at the Manhattan’s Metropolitan Correctional Center (pictured) last Wednesday
Araoz said she was an aspiring actress when she met the billionaire after a ‘recruiter’ targeted her at her Manhattan high school and lured her to his house.
For the next year, Epstein allegedly manipulated Araoz into giving him massages that ended with him masturbating while he showered her with gifts and cash.
The illicit contact ended after Epstein ‘forcibly raped’ her, according to Araoz. She was 15 at the time.
Araoz claims she dropped out of school to avoid Epstein and her life quickly deteriorated. She is now seeking damages for her emotional injuries.
Araoz said she was an aspiring actress when she met the billionaire after he hired a ‘recruiter’ to target her at her Manhattan high school and lure her to his house
It remains unclear what led to Epstein’s being injured in jail last week.
Two sources told NBC New York that Epstein was semiconscious at the time and had visible injuries on his neck, both signs of a possible suicide attempt.
A third source said that first two sources were greatly exaggerating the situation however, and suggested this was all a ploy being carried out by Epstein himself as he attempts to get out from behind bars while he awaits his federal sex trafficking trial.
Epstein could have also been attacked by a fellow inmate or prison employee, with sources stating that prison workers are still unclear about what happened that night.
The Federal Bureau of Prisons confirmed that Epstein is back in his cell but would not comment further about the incident, citing privacy concerns.
Authorities have already spoken to an accused murderer who is being held at the jail in connection to the incident.
That inmate, former police officer Nicholas Tartaglione, is accused of killing four men in a cocaine deal gone wrong.
His case will be going to trial in the coming weeks, and prosecutors have already announced they will be seeking the death penalty
There seems to be no evidence that he is a suspect however, and his attorney revealed on Thursday that his client and Epstein are friends.
Bruce Barket also said that he saw Epstein on Wednesday and he looked well, adding that he had been meeting with his lawyers.
A source confirmed this to DailyMail.com and said that Tartaglione was being questioned about Epstein’s behavior and mental state in the hours before he was found on the floor.
The men are both being housed at the facility’s Special Housing Unit (SHU) in the 9-South wing.
It remains unclear what led to Epstein’s being injured in jail last week. Investigators spoke with ex-police officer Nicholas Tartaglione (pictured), who is accused of murdering four people, but he has denied touching Epstein
Epstein was housed in the most secure area of the prison, 10 South, when he was first arrested earlier this month.
Inmates there are kept in their cells for 23 hours each day, and CCTV cameras watch them as they shower, go to the bathroom and sit alone in their heavily barricaded cells.
He was joined by Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman, but when he drug lord moved on to a super-max prison in Colorado on Friday so too did Epstein.
That is when the decision being made to put him in with the general population after he was denied bail in his case.
This backfired almost immediately, and after threats were made to Epstein he was moved into the SHU, which means he is alone in his cell but can interact with other prisoners during the day.
That entire wing is on lockdown though well before the time Epstein’s body was found by guards
This shocking development comes after Epstein appealed a federal judge’s decision to keep him in the Manhattan jail while he awaits trial.
According to a court notice made public on Tuesday, Epstein will ask the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn the judge’s July 18 rejection of his request to remain under house arrest in his $77million mansion on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.
Epstein has pleaded not guilty to charges of sex trafficking involving dozens of underage girls.
The charges, concerning alleged misconduct from at least 2002 to 2005, were announced more than a decade after Epstein pleaded guilty to state prostitution charges in Florida.
In denying him bail, US District Judge Richard Berman in Manhattan said the government had shown by clear and convincing evidence that Epstein would pose a danger to the community if released pending trial.
‘Epstein’s alleged excessive attraction to sexual conduct with or in the presence of minor girls – which is said to include his soliciting and receiving massages from young girls and young women perhaps as many as four times a day – appears likely to be uncontrollable,’ Berman said in a written decision.
Epstein has appealed to get overturned a judge’s July 18 rejection of his request to remain under house arrest in his $77 million mansion on Manhattan’s Upper East Side (above)
Prosecutors accused Epstein of arranging for girls under the age of 18 to perform nude ‘massages’ and other sex acts, and of paying some girls to recruit others.
They also said there was a high risk Epstein would use his wealth to flee.
Epstein estimated his net worth at $559million, including a private plane and homes in Paris and the US Virgin Islands.
Lawyers for Epstein have said he has had an unblemished record since his 2008 guilty plea, which was part of an agreement negotiated quietly with Alex Acosta, then the US Attorney in Miami.
Epstein served 13 months in jail but was allowed to leave regularly to work.
Prince Andrew was friends with the billionaire in the 1990s when the pair were introduced by British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell.