While Epstein was flying around with powerful men and climbing the social ladder in the early 2000s, he was also developing an intense sexual addiction to underage girls. He hid behind his phony image and abused girls on a daily basis, often two to three times per day. One of the Florida detectives would later peg Epstein as a “smart person” who’d developed an addiction for prepubescent girls, saying, “He can’t stop.” He was obsessed with using young teens as sex objects.
Epstein created an elaborate scheme that relied on a network of co-conspirators who brought him a constant influx of girls. Epstein was surrounded by high school-age girls, both in his homes and on his Boeing 727—hence the jet’s nickname, the Lolita Express.
Despite open and obvious signs of Epstein’s perversion and continuous statutory rape, which should have been readily apparent to an average observer, none of the brilliant adults around Epstein seemed to notice. Some of the men in his inner circle of power and wealth participated in the abuse of teenage girls, and the rest looked the other way despite open and obvious signs of pedophilia. The same head-in-the-sand mentality by dozens or hundreds of persons nearby supported sexual predators Harvey Weinstein and Bill Cosby as well.
Epstein was able to operate among respectable people who simply didn’t ask questions, which is why he got away with it for so long. Epstein lured young girls into his New York and Palm Beach mansions by paying attractive older girls to offer the younger girls $200 or $300 to give him a “massage,” which was code for what he expected from them. One girl told investigators that all the girls knew what the deal was before they came to the mansion. They wanted the money and were told they wouldn’t have to submit to oral or vaginal sex with Epstein—an old pervert in their eyes. For them, the money was extraordinary, and it was worth stripping and some fondling and allowing him to masturbate in front of them. If they were willing to go further, Epstein paid even more—hundreds of dollars in cash.
Once inside Epstein’s Palm Beach mansion, the girls were led to a room by one of his personal assistants, Sarah Kellen. The girls were then left alone in a room with Epstein clad in only a towel.
He was nice to the girls some of the time but was known to use a stern, scary voice to order them into undressing for his massage. He made physical threats to other people on the phone in front of some girls and once threatened that he could make one of the girls “disappear,” like another girl who had disappeared. One of the daintiest girls said that he picked her up and threw her across the room and pulled her hair out of her head. He chose weak girls who he knew wouldn’t put up a fight—and who would keep their mouths shut.
Epstein judged the girls like pieces of meat, commenting on their young, “hot” bodies and rating them by the size of their breasts. Actually, he preferred breast buds, not developed breasts. He was obsessed with prepubescent girls and their blossoming figures. The girls weren’t really people to him, just attractive objects to scrutinize and play with sexually.
Jennifer Araoz’s experience is probably typical. She was only fourteen years old when a scout approached her as she stood outside her performing arts high school in New York, not far from Epstein's Manhattan mansion. She had dreams of becoming a singer and actress. She was enticed by a scout to go to the mansion and was told that Epstein liked to help people and he could help her modeling career.