Tuesday 16 January 2018

'With every ounce of strength, I kicked him in the groin', student tells how she tried to fight off alleged attacker

Jason Lee, 38, from Manhattan, arrives at Suffolk County in Riverhead Wednesday morning with his wife
Jason Lee, 38, from Manhattan, arrives at Suffolk County in Riverhead Wednesday morning with his wife

The young Irish woman at the centre of a New York rape trial has described how "with every ounce of strength" she pulled her knee up and kicked her alleged assailant in the groin to stop his alleged terrifying attack.

A former Goldman Sachs executive is accused of raping the then 20-year-old after a night in an East Hampton nightclub in August 2013, a charge he denies.

Jason Lee was arrested at the luxury home he rented with his wife in East Hampton, accused of sexually assaulting a J1 student in the bathroom while her friend and brother partied nearby.

The woman dropped her head and cried as she was asked to identify Mr Lee in Suffolk County Criminal Court.

The woman had been working in South Carolina for the summer and was visiting her brother in the Hamptons for a few days on her way back to Ireland to return to college.

On the second night of their trip, the student, along with her friends and her brother, went to the Georgica nightclub in East Hampton, which the woman described in court as "very fancy, too fancy for us".

When the woman and her friend were approached by two older men, Mr Lee and his friend Rene Duncan, they thought it was funny she said. "We were just students, we didn't have much to offer."

After closing, the woman returned with Lee and some friends, including her brother, to Mr Lee's $33,000 a-month rental property.

The woman and her friend jumped in to the pool before returning to the kitchen to drink champagne, "that was going around", and eat pizza. Everything "was fine" she added.

Her brother became keen to leave at that point and the student walked to the bathroom to get changed.

In there she became aware of Lee standing at the door naked, she told the Court, thinking "he's just joking".

Lee pushed the door and she tripped and fell back. "He was on top of me," she sobbed, "holding my hands each side of my head."

The student said that initially she didn't understand what was happening, and told him to get off her. She called her friend, but he put his hand over her mouth and told her to "shut the f*ck up" and raped her.

The woman said that she couldn't bring herself to put her dress and underwear back on after the alleged attack because "they were disgusting", and she just sat there "in disbelief".

Police were called to the scene shortly after the alleged incident on a different matter and the student said that she didn't want to talk to them, she just wanted "to go home".

"I felt like it was my fault. I shouldn't have gotten in to the car. I should have just gone home."

The trial continues.

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