'It was so powerful' Epstein accusers testify

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on August 27, 2019 - Duration: 01:54s

'It was so powerful' Epstein accusers testify

Women who say Jeffrey Epstein sexually abused them voiced anger and defiance in a packed New York courtroom on Tuesday during a dramatic hearing less than three weeks after the financier killed himself while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.

Yahaira Jacquez reports.

'It was so powerful' Epstein accusers testify

(SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) JENNIFER ARAOZ, JEFFREY EPSTEIN ACCUSER SAYING: "It was so powerful in there hearing all the other victims - very similar stories to what I've endured." Jennifer Araoz and other women who say they were sexually abused by Jeffrey Epstein got their chance to speak out in a packed New York courthouse Tuesdayโ€ฆ In a dramatic hearing just weeks after the wealthy financier killed himself while in federal custody.

(SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) JENNIFER ARAOZ, JEFFREY EPSTEIN ACCUSER SAYING: "I want to thank the judge for letting us speak - having some closure.

It's going to be a tough road." One after the other - the women spoke to tell their stories and express anger.

One said she was upset that justice had 'never been served.'

Cameras were not allowed in the courtroom.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) ATTORNEY, GLORIA ALLRED, SAYING: "Jeffrey Epstein's death does not end the case, it does not end their fight for justice or their feeling that they were manipulated and were child victims." Epstein - who once counted U.S. President Donald Trump and former President Bill Clinton as friends- was arrested in July and had pleaded not guilty to federal charges of sex trafficking, involving dozens of underage girls as young as 14.

His arrest came more than a decade after the former hedge fund manager avoided being prosecuted on similar federal charges in Florida by striking a deal criticized as too lenient.

Another woman told the court Tuesday that she was hired by Epstein to give massages and that he raped her the third or fourth time they met on his private island and continued to abuse her.

Federal prosecutors asked the judge at Tuesday's hearing to formally dismiss their case against Epstein in light of his death.

But reiterated - the government's investigation was ongoing.

Since his death, multiple women have filed civil lawsuits against Epstein's estate, which, according to documents seen by Reuters - is said to be worth more than half a billion dollars.

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