Saturday 23 September 2017

Senior US banker 'brutally raped Irish J1 student in New York' court hears

Jason Lee
Jason Lee

A SENIOR US banker has been charged with brutally raping an Irish J1 student in the bathroom of a luxury home in New York.

Jason Lee, a managing director of the leading investment banking firm Goldman Sachs, appeared in a US court on Friday where he was charged with first degree rape.

If found guilty, Lee faces up to 25 years in prison.

The accused was initially arrested a month ago after the Irish student accused him of attacking her at a house he had been renting in the Hamptons.

The alleged incident is said to have taken place in the bathroom of the $33,000 a month summer house on Long Island.

The young woman is said to be deeply distressed following the alleged sexual assault.

Lawyers for the New York City investment banker today insisted their client is innocent.

Edward Burke Jr. told independent.ie: “I have said from day one, my client adamantly denies these allegations and is adamant that he did not do this.”

Lee is said to have met the young Irish woman, who was working in America on a J1 visa, at a restaurant on August 19, where he was celebrating his 37th birthday.

It is alleged Lee asked the alleged victim and her friends back to his luxury rental home.

The alleged victim later told police Lee, who was naked at the time, followed her into a bathroom, slammed the door open by force, causing her to fall to the floor.  He then allegedly pinned her by her forearms and raped her.

It is claimed the young Irish woman stopped the alleged rape by kneeing Lee in the groin.

On Friday, wearing a sharp black suit, a crisp white shirt, a green striped tie, and a wedding ring, Lee appeared at the Suffolk County Criminal Court in East Hampton where he pleaded not guilty to raping the young Irish woman

Lee posted $100,000 bail and walked out of court holding hands with his wife, Alicia, who was in Manhattan when the alleged incident is said to have taken place. 

It has also emerged that Lee's own friend, Rene Duncan, who was out celebrating with the investment banker, called the police, believing one of the alleged victim's friends had stolen a car from the rental home.

But when police arrived, a friend of the woman took a female officer aside and led her into the house where the sobbing student reported that she had been raped.

A source told a US newspaper that Lee then went to the driveway of the home he was renting, got into his Range Rover, which was dark with tinted windows, and hid. But officers soon found him cowering inside.

Lee, who is managing director of the firm's equity capital markets group, is currently on a leave of absence from Goldman Sachs pending the outcome of the criminal trial. He lives in Manhattan.

 

Niamh Horan

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