Greater than 20 years earlier than Jeffrey Epstein took his personal life, a girl went right into a California police station and filed one of many earliest sex-crime complaints towards him: that he groped her throughout what she thought was a modeling interview for the Victoria’s Secret catalogue.
Alicia Arden stated she by no means heard again from investigators about her grievance. No expenses ever got here of it. And to at the present time she sees it as a obtrusive missed alternative to deliver the financier to justice lengthy earlier than he was accused of sexually abusing dozens of teenage women and girls.
“If they might have taken me extra severely than they did, it might have helped all these women,” stated Arden, an actress and mannequin. “It might have been stopped.”
With latest scrutiny targeted on Epstein’s life, wealth and connections to highly effective folks, his early brush with the legislation has been one thing of a thriller. After Arden’s 1997 grievance to Santa Monica police first got here to gentle a number of years in the past, the division stated little about it and Epstein’s attorneys stated solely that police discounted her allegations.
In response to Related Press inquiries and a public information request, Santa Monica police agreed final week to summarize components of the detective’s notes to a reporter. The notes confirmed that Epstein was questioned quickly after Arden’s grievance and gave a conflicting assertion. Most notably, the detective wrote that Arden didn’t need to press expenses towards Epstein however wished him warned about his behaviour, an assertion that she strongly denies.
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In a follow-up assertion, police spokeswoman Lt. Candice Cobarrubias declined to say something extra about how Epstein’s account differed from Arden’s and pressured that the case was closed as a result of the sufferer was not “desirous of prosecution.”
“If the sufferer tells the detective they don’t want to prosecute, then the detective will shut the case,” the assertion stated. “On this case, the sufferer suggested the detective she didn’t want to prosecute so there was no level in presenting it to the Metropolis Legal professional for evaluation.”
When requested to supply documentary proof of Arden’s acknowledged needs, Cobarrubias refused to supply any extra particulars from the detective’s notes.
Contacted this week, Arden was adamant that she didn’t, in any means, talk to the police that she didn’t need to press expenses. She was outraged to listen to that the police say in any other case.
“The truth that they didn’t do something, they usually discredited me, is only a stab to my coronary heart,” Arden stated.
On the time of Arden’s Might 12, 1997, encounter with Epstein, she was 27 and had credit together with TV’s “Baywatch” and “Pink Shoe Diaries.” She says she despatched modeling portfolio photographs to Epstein’s New York workplace after listening to from a mutual pal that he might assist get her into the Victoria’s Secret catalogue. He adopted up by asking to fulfill her, and his secretary booked an appointment for the 2 at a beachfront lodge.
“I at all times was sending my resumes and footage round to individuals who owned magazines,” Arden stated. “I by no means thought that it might be unhealthy to go and meet him.”
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However when she confirmed up, Epstein was not what she anticipated. Barefoot and clad in sweat pants and a pink, white and blue USA T-shirt, he began criticizing her determine and requested her to return near him so he might consider it, in line with accounts she gave in interviews with the AP and in her police report.
He then requested her to undress and assisted in pulling her high off and skirt up, saying, “Let me manhandle you for a second” as he started groping her buttocks.
Arden stated she pushed his fingers away and left.
“He was greater than me,” she stated. “I felt prefer it might have been unhealthy if I didn’t go away.”
One element she informed the AP that was not in her unique grievance was what occurred as she left the lodge room. She stated Epstein spontaneously pulled out $100 and tried to offer it to her, a proposal she refused as a result of she felt he was treating her like a prostitute. However after he adopted her out to her automotive, she took it as a result of she wanted gasoline.
Arden went to police the following day, and he or she says she received an off-putting reception. A male detective famous that she had willingly gone to Epstein’s room – although she emphasised the aim was enterprise, she stated. She remembered the detective suggesting she take into consideration whether or not she actually wished to file a report.
She left, crying on the telephone to a pal that she wished she might discuss to a feminine police officer.
“I felt like I used to be being blamed,” she stated.
However, she went again to police every week later and filed the report with the identical detective.
“I wished to be taken severely,” she stated.
The report recorded Arden’s account in two pages of element and famous that she had been there every week earlier, nevertheless it didn’t tackle what the detective informed her. Police spokeswoman Cobarrubias stated there’s no document of it.
Epstein went on to be accused of working a sex-trafficking scheme involving a community of recruiters and dozens of teenage women, some as younger as 13. He was arrested final month on federal expenses involving allegations that he paid teenage women lots of of in money for massages after which sexually abused them.
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On the time of his demise on Aug. 10, he had pleaded not responsible and was getting ready to make the argument that he couldn’t be charged due to a 2008 deal he made to keep away from federal prosecution on comparable allegations. The health worker’s workplace on Friday dominated the 66-year-old’s demise a suicide, confirming that he hanged himself in his cell. An individual accustomed to operations on the jail stated Epstein was found with a bedsheet round his neck.
All the episode has left Arden appalled – by the jail’s questionable monitoring, the unanswered questions and the way in which police dealt with her personal grievance.
“The entire scenario is simply terrible,” she stated. “And he doesn’t need to face us”