Lake Placid tied to Epstein rape case

Woman says agent of millionaire recruited her at horse show

Jeffrey Epstein is seen at one of his arrests in July 2013. (Provided photo — Florida Department of Law Enforcement)

LAKE PLACID — A California woman says it was in Lake Placid that she first met an associate of Jeffrey Epstein. She is suing the estate of the late millionaire, also alleged to be a repeat sex offender and pedophile, for half a billion dollars, saying he raped her when she was a teenager and that she now has a painful bone disease as a result.

Caroline Kaufman, now 27 years old and living in California, says she was 16 when she met a woman named Susan Hamblin at the North Elba Show Grounds in Lake Placid. Kaufman — who was living in Connecticut at the time, according to a lawsuit filed in United States District Court for the Southern District of New York — was in Lake Placid to attend a horse show.

Hamblin allegedly approached Kaufman at the horse show and claimed that her “boss” could help her get into the modeling industry, according to the lawsuit. After that first meeting, Kaufman alleges that Hambin called her repeatedly on behalf of Epstein throughout 2010.

At the end of the year, Kaufman says Hamblin asked her to come to Manhattan for a “modeling interview.” She was driven by a family friend to Epstein’s mansion in Manhattan, where she was introduced to a number of people — including Britain’s Prince Andrew, the lawsuit claims — and asked to undress so an older woman could take photos of her. Kaufman believes that older woman was Ghislaine Maxwell, who is currently detained in a Brooklyn jail awaiting trial for allegedly grooming and trafficking underage victims of Epstein. After taking photos of Kaufman, Maxwell left the room with the camera and came back a short time later, the lawsuit says. Maxwell told her that her “boss” wanted to meet her.

“Kaufman then put a bikini back on and was escorted by Maxwell into a massage room. Epstein was nude on the massage table as she entered the room,” the lawsuit reads. “After Maxwell left the room, Epstein got up off the table, grabbed Kaufman and threw her against the massage table. During this encounter, Epstein vaginally and anally raped Kaufman, while saying, ‘I know you love it.’ Kaufman was screaming for help during this encounter, but no one came to her rescue.”

After leaving the room, Kaufman was handed $500 by Hamblin and told Epstein was a “very powerful man” who would kill her and her family if she said anything.

Kaufman told the U.S. Sun that she has osteomyelitis and believes it’s the result of Epstein hitting her in the face during her rape.

Kaufman’s lawsuit alleges a rape that would’ve happened after Epstein pleaded guilty to soliciting a minor for prostitution in 2008 in a non-prosecution deal that stopped an FBI probe and sealed the indictment, according to the Miami Herald newspaper. Dozens of women have filed lawsuits against Epstein’s estate, alleging sexual abuse. Epstein was charged with sexually abusing multiple young girls in the early 2000s and arrested on federal sex trafficking charges. He died by suicide in prison in 2019.


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