NewsCrime Desk

Jason Lee found not guilty of rape of Irish student

Crime DeskBy Shuki Byrne
Not guilty: Jason Lee and his wife
Not guilty: Jason Lee and his wife

A former Goldman Sach banker has been found not guilty of the rape of a young Irish student.

Jason Lee (38) was accused of raping the then 20-year-old Irish woman in the Hamptons at his summer rental home in August of 2013. 
Lee was charged with rape in the first-degree, sexual misconduct and assault in the third-degree. The judge found Lee not guilty on all counts.
The Irish woman returned to the ex-banker's home with her friend and her brother following a night-out in New York. 
It was alleged the banker cornered the unnamed girl in the bathroom of his house, pinned her to the ground and raped her. 
He was facing a jail term in excess of 20 years if found guilty. He denied all of the charges put to him. His defence team argued he and the young girl had consensual sex. 
At Suffolk County Criminal Court, New York State Judge Barbara Kahn said the charges put to Lee could not be categorically proven beyond the burden of reasonable doubt.
Earlier in the trial the Irish student took to the stand to testify against the banker. 
She told the court she fought with "every ounce of strength" as she tried to resist the accused's attack. She said the accused was "on top of her" during the attack, which only stopped when she kicked the alleged attacker in the groin area. 
The court heard, however, that the trial missed out on a key witness - the Irish girl's brother. 
It was heard he was not able to appear at the trial due to extenuating circumstances. His lack of testimony was an influencing factor in the Judge's final verdict. 
Lee, a former managing director at Goldman, did not testify at his trial and waived the right to a jury, opting instead for a bench trial in front of Kahn.
After the verdict, Lee left the courtroom stone-faced, flanked by his lawyers, and did not respond to questions from the press. He got into a black Jeep Patriot that was waiting outside the courthouse and left immediately.
On Tuesday, defense attorney Andrew Lankler said in his closing statement that prosecutors failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that sex was not consensual and that key points of the prosecution's case were inconsistent.
The prosecutor, Assistant District Attorney Kerriann Kelly, said inconsistencies concerned "peripheral details" and that Lee's actions subsequent to the alleged attack had clearly shown "consciousness of guilt".