Thursday 22 February 2018

Banker 'raped student then hid in Range Rover'

Jason Lee
Jason Lee

Orlaith Farrell

A former Goldman Sachs boss accused of raping an Irish student in the Hamptons told police who arrived at the scene, "We're good, you can go," before hiding in his Range Rover for two hours, prosecutors claim.

A court heard that the alleged victim was a 20-year-old student working in the US for the summer, while defendant Jason Lee was a 37-year-old executive who had left his wife in the city.

They were "from such different worlds, they could have been from different planets," said prosecutor Kerriann Kelly at Suffolk County Criminal Court on Long Island.

The alleged victim had spent the summer in the US working on a J1 visa and joined her brother for a holiday in the exclusive enclave of Montauk. With her friend they travelled to East Hampton for a night out.

They met Jason Lee and his friend Rene Duncan in Georgican, a restaurant and night club. "That is where the two worlds collide," Ms Kelly said.

The prosecutor told Judge Barbara Kahn that the smartly dressed Jason Lee she would see, taking notes, was not the same individual that the Irish student encountered in the early hours of August 20, 2013.

"What she encountered was a man that wanted one thing and one thing only. That was sex, and he used her to get it."

After an evening of partying, Mr Lee allegedly followed her into a bathroom at his rental home on Clover Leaf Lane, as she was changing. Mr Lee knocked her to the floor with the force of his entry, Ms Kelly said, adding that he put his hand over the woman's mouth.

His friend Mr Duncan had called 911 about a missing truck, Ms Kelly told the judge.


When police officer Sarah Mortenson arrived, the court heard that Mr Lee approached the car and said: "We're good, you can go, we got this under control, the car is not an issue." But the student told police she had been raped.

During a search of the property, an officer spotted someone in the Range Rover. Ms Kelly said they found the former banking boss "curled up in a foetal position hiding in the back seat".

When officers opened the vehicle's door, Mr Lee allegedly said: "I'm embarrassed, I'm drunk, I fell asleep."

Defence lawyer Andrew Lankler said there had been a "rushed investigation" and the prosecution is "trying to stitch things together." "This is not a case of alleged rape in a back alley, between people unknown to each other," he said, arguing it was a case of consensual sex - "perhaps regrettable consensual sex." He said there were "enormous inconsistencies".

Mr Lee pleaded not guilty to rape and assault, and the trial continues.

Irish Independent

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