Friday 15 December 2017

Banker accused of Irish student rape 'hid in car', court hears

Former New York investment banker Jason Lee walks into court with his wife, Alicia
Former New York investment banker Jason Lee walks into court with his wife, Alicia

A FORMER Goldman Sachs boss accused of raping an Irish student told police who arrived at the scene "we're good, you can go" before hiding in the back of his Range Rover, a New York Court heard.

Jason Lee (37), who has pleaded not guilty, hid in the vehicle for two hours as he tried to call a car to collect him, prosecutors told the first day of his trial.

In her opening statement at Suffolk County Criminal Court on Long Island, prosecutor Kerriann Kelly told the court that the alleged victim, a 20-year-old Irish student working in the US for the summer and Lee (37), were "from such different worlds, they could have been from different planets".


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 before her planned return to Ireland.

She was joined on August 20, 2013 by a friend and the pair, along with her brother and his friend, travelled to East Hampton for a night out.

There, they met Mr Lee and his friend Reme Duncan in a restaurant and nightclub in East Hampton.

After a night of partying, as the club was closing at around 4am, Mr Lee had invited the group of Irish students and two local men back to his house.

Ms Kelly told Judge Barbara Kahn that after an evening of partying, Mr Lee followed the student into a bathroom at his rental home on Clover Leaf Lane and forced his way in .

Despite her attempts to block him, Mr Lee barged in and the student pushed the door so hard to block him, that she "left fingerprints behind her as proof".

Mr Lee knocked her to the floor with the force of his entry, Ms Kelly said, and then "he had her exactly where he wanted her, on the floor, on her back".

"He had no regard for the 20-year-old Irish girl," said Ms Kelly. "He had no condom on. He didn't stop his disgusting attack on her until she was able to knee him in the genitals."

Once they got to the house, Mr Lee and his friend said the two local men were not welcome and it was decided that the woman's brother's friend drive them home in Mr Duncan's car.

Around the back of the house, the girls took off their dresses and jumped into the pool in their bra and knickers. Mr Lee was "running around the back yard naked".

When he joined them in the pool, the pair became uncomfortable and one of the students left to get towels. After that, they went to the kitchen and had some pizza.

However, when the student went to get changed into her dress, the prosecution claims, that is when the defendant forced his way in and raped her.

Meanwhile, Mr Duncan called 911 about his missing truck.

When police officer Sarah Mortenson arrived, Mr Lee said: "We're good, you can go, the car is not an issue."

He was "trying to get rid of the police," Ms Kelly said.

The student's brother told the officer that "something happened to my sister," and the officer asked her to sit into the car, where she told her she had been raped.


The officer then noticed that Mr Lee was no longer part of the group standing outside the mansion and he "wasn't seen again for two hours".

During a search of the house, an officer spotted someone in the Range Rover, and they found Mr Lee "curled up in a feotal position hiding in the back seat".

In his opening statement, defence lawyer Andrew Lankley said: "This is not a case of alleged rape in a back alley between people unknown to each other, it's a case of consensual sex, perhaps regrettable consensual sex".

The trial continues.


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