A 22-year-old Irish woman testified she was raped in a luxury rental in the Hamptons by former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Managing Director Jason Lee while on a trip to see New York.
Lee, of Manhattan, is accused of raping the former waitress inside the bathroom of the summer home on the night of his 37th birthday in 2013. A naked Lee forced his way into the bathroom, pinned her down and raped her, the woman testified during the fourth day of a non-jury trial before New York State Supreme Court Justice Barbara Kahn in Riverhead.
“He was on top of me,” the woman said. “I struggled. I really didn’t understand what was happening. I said, ’get off me.’ And he wouldn’t.”
Defense attorneys have argued that the encounter was consensual. Indicted by a grand jury on charges including first-degree rape, Lee faces as long as 25 years in prison if convicted.
The woman testified that the entire incident lasted a few minutes. She said she tried to yell but Lee held his hand over her mouth.
“I was so upset I couldn’t even speak,” she said, adding that she wasn’t the one who called the police. “I couldn’t believe what happened.”
Defense attorney Andrew Lankler asked the woman why she told police and the grand jury that Lee attacked her while she was entering the bathroom, while she testified today that she was already in the bathroom when the assault occurred.
The woman said she was “under extreme stress” when she spoke after the attack and has had 1 1/2 years to think about it. Lankler also asked her how loud she screamed and how many times, to which she replied: “I had a hand over my mouth. I didn’t say much.”
The woman testified she had just finished a stint working in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, when she and two friends decided to drive to New York’s Long Island to visit her brother and “see the big city that everyone talked about.”
On the second night of their visit, they went to the now-closed Georgica nightclub in Wainscott, where they met Lee, drank and danced before going back to his $33,000-a-month rental home, she said.
One of the friends, identified only as Fiona, testified earlier that she went looking for her during a party at the house when the alleged victim emerged from a doorway near a bathroom.
“She looked shaken, she looked scared,” Fiona said. “I knew she was struggling, wanted to go.”
The waitress recounted what occurred after police arrived and the two were sitting in a cruiser, Fiona said.
“We just cried,” she said.
Lee was nowhere to be found, Fiona testified. Police say they found the former banker about two hours later, hiding in the back seat of his Range Rover, parked in the driveway.
Fiona said she left the following day and returned to Ireland.
Under questioning by Lankler, Fiona said she didn’t recall hearing any noises from the time that she and the brother began looking for the waitress and the time that they saw her.
The case is New York v. Lee, 02053/2013, New York State Supreme Court, Suffolk County (Riverhead).