Henry Jarecki-1
In 2018 in the Virgin Islands, Dr. Henry Jarecki signs a development agreement for a project planned at Norman Island, which he owns. Dr. Jarecki — who also owns Guana Island — was accused in a New York lawsuit Monday of sexually abusing a woman on “his private island” in the Caribbean. He strongly denied the allegations. (File Photo: Amanda Ulrich)

Ninety-one-year-old billionaire Dr. Henry Jarecki — the owner of Guana and Norman islands in the Virgin Islands — has been sued in United States court by a female model who said he raped her in New York and sexually abused her on “his private island” in the Caribbean years ago.

The 17-page lawsuit filed Monday in a New York City federal court alleges that the psychiatrist and entrepreneur “enabled” the sex-trafficking organisation operated by Jeffrey Epstein, a financier and former USVI resident accused of abusing dozens of young women over the course of many years.

In a statement sent to the Beacon, Dr. Jarecki acknowledged that he knew the accuser but roundly rebutted her allegations.

“False accusations have been made against me by lawyers seeking money on behalf of a woman with whom I had a consensual, non-secretive, and mutually respectful relationship when she was a successful professional in her late 20s,” he said in a statement emailed by his attorney Serita Kedia. “I have never engaged in any abusive contact with her or anyone else.

Echoing a similar statement Ms. Kedia previously provided to Reuters, Dr. Jarecki pledged to challenge the “demonstrably untrue claims in the appropriate forum.”

Epstein crimes

Mr. Epstein’s crimes have made global headlines for years, with his activities at Little St. James Island near St. Thomas attracting particular notoriety. But until the new allegations against Dr. Jarecki, this territory had mostly stayed out of news stories linked to the case.

After the lawsuit’s filing on Monday, however, headlines linking Dr. Jarecki and words such as “Epstein,” “depraved,” “sex slave” and “sex trafficking” have circulated around the globe, drawing the VI into the fray and raising questions about a man once mostly known for his psychiatry, investing prowess and philanthropy.

The Beacon found no evidence that Dr. Jarecki faces any criminal investigation here, in the US, or elsewhere, and VI officials have stayed quiet.

Governor Daniel Pruce deferred comment to the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force, which did not respond to requests for comment.

Premier Dr. Natalio “Sowande” Wheatley and acting government Communications Director Karia Christopher also did not respond to requests from the Beacon.

Caribbean ties

During the period in which the model, identified in court documents only as “Jane Doe 11,” was allegedly being abused in New York by Dr. Jarecki, her mistreatment extended outside the US as well, the suit claims.

“In addition to raping Jane Doe 11 by force on dozens of occasions in New York, Jarecki trafficked Jane Doe 11 from New York to his private island in the Caribbean, where he sexually abused her there as well,” the complaint states.

The lawsuit does not specify where in the Caribbean Ms. Doe was allegedly abused, and Dr. Jarecki’s ownership of Guana Island, which he purchased in 1975, and Norman Island, which he bought in 1999, was not explicitly mentioned in the complaint.

Guana Island , above, is one of two islands Dr. Henry Jarecki owns in the Virgin Islands. A small resort operates there. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons (User: Legis))

Lawyers for Ms. Doe — from the New York-based firm Boies Schiller Flexner and the Florida-based firm Edwards Henderson — did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Both firms have represented Epstein victims in the past, winning a $290 million settlement last year from the bank JP Morgan after alleging that it facilitated the abuse, among other victories.

Abuse allegations

The Monday lawsuit asserts that Dr. Jarecki “directly participated in the sexual abuse and trafficking of young women who he knew were victims of Jeffrey Epstein’s sexual abuse.”

Mr. Epstein was arrested by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation in 2019 on sex-trafficking charges, but the same year he reportedly died by suicide in a New York prison before trial.

Ms. Doe was described in the suit against Dr. Jarecki as a foreign model affiliated with a “well known modeling agency,” who was awaiting a work visa in 2010. She soon moved to New York City and was introduced by another model to Mr. Epstein, who eventually began abusing her, the lawsuit states.

After Ms. Doe began suffering from depression, Mr. Epstein referred her to Dr. Jarecki, then around 80 years old, for medical treatment, according to the allegations.

He allegedly saw her in his home office in New York.

“Jarecki then insisted that he give Jane Doe 11 a tour of his home. Despite her initial refusal, Jane Doe 11 followed Jarecki. Things took a horrible turn when Jarecki was showing Jane Doe 11 his room, as Jarecki pushed her hard onto a bed and forcibly raped her against her will,” the lawsuit claims.

Following the rape, Ms. Doe was told by Mr. Epstein that the financier had “made a deal with Jarecki” and that she had to continue to see the psychiatrist, the suit adds.

“Jane Doe 11 believed she had no realistic or safe way to disobey Epstein, as he was too powerful and could/would destroy her life,” it states.

Eventually, Ms. Doe was pressured to move into an apartment Dr. Jarecki owned in Gramercy Park, New York, which he reportedly said would “keep her safe,” the complaint alleges.

Once the model moved in, she claimed, her life began to be increasingly controlled by Dr. Jarecki, who allegedly showed her testosterone pills he was taking to maintain his sex drive.

“Jarecki then began using the apartment to force Jane Doe 11 to engage in sex with Jarecki, telling her how expensive the rent would be and that if she did not sexually please him when he wanted and in the manner he wanted, then he would have her thrown out on the streets,” the suit claims.

The suit alleges that the rapes began in 2011 and that Ms. Doe had her last contact with the psychiatrist in December 2014.

VI ties

Dr. Jarecki is known in the VI for his ownership of Guana Island, which hosts an exclusive resort, and Norman Island, which is home to the Pirate’s Bight restaurant.

For many years, he had planned to further develop Norman Island, and in 2018 Cabinet gave the go-ahead for government to negotiate a development agreement to move forward.

Plans to further develop Dr. Jarecki’s Norman Island, above, have not materialised in recent years. (File photo: CLAIRE SHEFCHIK)

Dr. Jarecki told the Beacon that year that he planned to develop the infrastructure necessary to support 75 to 100 lots on Norman. He said at the time that he envisioned the project lasting five to 10 years and costing hundreds of millions of dollars — requiring a finance banker to pool investments from hundreds of people.

The development, however, never materialised.


According to a 2014 article in Connecticut’s New Haven Register newspaper, Dr. Jarecki’s net worth was estimated that year at around $1.3 billion. Most of those funds came from his forays in commodities trading, which began while he was teaching psychiatry at Yale Medical School in the 1970s, the newspaper reported.

He also was a prolific entrepreneur, and with his son Andrew he founded the entertainment directory service Moviefone, which was sold to internet pioneer America Online in 1999 for $450 million, the newspaper stated.

In the VI, in addition to the islands, Dr. Jarecki has been an active participant in the community. He was an early investor in VI telecommunications company CCT, and he has served on the board of governors of the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College.

Dr. Jarecki is also known for his founding, continued support and longtime chairmanship of the non-profit Youth Empowerment Project in Fat Hogs Bay, which he formed with then-Seventh District representative Dr. Kedrick Pickering and several “like-minded individuals” in 2004, according to the group’s website.

Attempts to reach Dr. Pickering were not immediately successful, and longtime YEP Executive Director Stacy Mather — also now an at-large representative who serves as an opposition member and deputy speaker in the House of Assembly — declined to comment.

Deputy Premier Lorna Smith, who has served as a board member for YEP, told the Beacon that the lawsuit “is a matter for US courts” and didn’t comment further.

When the Beacon requested comment from Guana Island resort, Guana Island Managing Director Andrew Marston sent the same response from Dr. Jarecki that Dr. Jarecki’s attorney sent shortly thereafter.