Friday 19 January 2018

J1 rape victim will return to US for trial of accused

Mark O'Regan and Emma Jane Hade

A YOUNG Irish woman allegedly raped in a bathroom while on a J1 student visa will have to return to the US to testify in court against her attacker.

Jason Lee, a managing director of the leading investment banking firm Goldman Sachs, is charged with first-degree rape, sexual misconduct and third-degree assault.

He faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted of first-degree rape.

However lawyers for the investment banker told the Irish Independent their client "vehemently denies these allegations."

"There has been a rush to arrest, a rush to the grand jury and a rush to indict," they said last night.

"He looks forward to clearing his name in court."

The attack allegedly took place at his flashy Hamptons rental property in New York, after his birthday party at a restaurant.

It has been reported that Mr Lee was with friends at the upmarket Georgica restaurant in East Hampton and chatted up the 20-year-old victim and her friends before returning to his $33,000-a-month (€24,000) rented property for a pool party.

SHOVED

Mr Lee – who is officially on personal leave from his lucrative post at the firm – allegedly followed the young woman as she went into a bathroom and forced his way through the door.

The alleged victim later told police Mr Lee was naked and allegedly pinned her by her forearms and raped her.

It is claimed she stopped the attack with a forceful knee to his groin.

Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota said Mr Lee's accuser will tell her story on the stand and that she was examined after the alleged attack "by a nurse who is specially trained in sexual assaults."

"The injuries that she found on the victim were very, very consistent with what that victim was saying occurred that evening," said Mr Spota.

The 37-year-old managing director at the investment giant lives in a $5.45m (€4m) Tribeca home.

"My client has never been in trouble before," defence attorney Ed Burke Jr said in the court when his client was charged.

"He's obviously very successful. He's got the support of his family."

Mr Burke insisted reports that Mr Lee had been kneed in the groin during the alleged attack were not true.

"I will tell you all there's not a bump, not a bruise. There's not a scratch on my client at all," he said. His accuser had a summer job in another state.

Irish Independent

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