August 19, 2019
Jeffrey Epstein Could Have Been Stopped In 1997, Says Early Accuser Alicia Arden

Associated Press reports that Alicia Arden, an early Jeffrey Epstein accuser, claims she went to the police about the accused sex trafficker years ago in 1997, and investigators failed to do anything about her complaint. According to Arden, Epstein could have been brought to justice much earlier if the California police station she went to had taken her sex-crime complaint seriously.

"If they would have taken me more seriously than they did, it could have helped all these girls," said Arden, an actress and model. "It could have been stopped."

Arden filed a complaint claiming that Epstein groped her during what was supposed to be a modeling interview for a Victoria's Secret catalog.

According to Associated Press, Santa Monica police agreed to summarize the notes of the detective who the department says questioned Epstein following Arden's complaint. Epstein reportedly gave a story that conflicted with Arden's, and the notes suggest Arden didn't want to press charges against Epstein⁠ — she just wanted him to receive a warning. But Arden vehemently denies this claim.

"If the victim tells the detective they do not wish to prosecute, then the detective will close the case," police spokeswoman Lt. Candice Cobarrubia said in a statement. "In this case, the victim advised the detective she did not wish to prosecute so there was no point in presenting it to the City Attorney for review."

Arden said that she didn't feel well-received when she first reported the event. The male detective she spoke to reportedly highlighted that she willingly went to Epstein's room and suggested that she consider whether she was serious about wanting to file a report. Arden says she left the interaction crying and told her friend on the phone she wished she was able to speak with a female police officer.

"I felt like I was being blamed," she said, although she went back the next week and filed a report with the same detective.

Epstein's suicide has left both the public and his victims angry at New York's highly secure Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) and the officials responsible for him. Per The Inquisitr, two alleged victims have filed a lawsuit against his estate for allegedly luring them into a sex trafficking ring and sexually assaulting them regularly. The lawsuits were filed days after his suicide.

The lawsuits are being filed under the federal sex trafficking law, the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, which allows any alleged victim to sue when they are lured or tricked into a commercial sex act.