Hamptons Detective Says Lee Made Calls While Cops Search

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A detective testifying in the rape trial of former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Managing Director Jason Lee said two dozen calls were made from the banker’s mobile phone while police searched his Hamptons beach house.

Lee told police he fell asleep drunk in his Range Rover after an August 2013 encounter with a 20-year old woman at his East Hampton rental. She testified Tuesday that Lee attacked her in the bathroom, while Lee claims they had consensual sex.

Prosecutors argued that, far from sleeping, Lee was making calls to cab companies and even sought an Uber driver from the back seat of the vehicle. On Wednesday, the detective said at least two dozen calls were made between 6:24 a.m., when police were called, and about 8:30 a.m., when officers said they spotted Lee in his black Range Rover, parked in the driveway.

Detective Charles Scharff said some of the calls, including 10 to the beach house and several to New York-based Goldman Sachs, were hang-ups, while others lasted as long as six minutes.

The phone records were presented on the fifth day of the state’s case, which could end as early as this week. Lee, who waived his right to a jury, faces as long as 25 years in prison if convicted of first degree rape. A verdict will be delivered by New York State Supreme Court Justice Barbara Kahn, who is presiding over the trial in Riverhead.

East Hampton police officer Sarah Mortensen testified earlier in the trial that a Lindy’s taxi showed up at the house as she was preparing to leave the scene. Mortensen said she told the driver there was an ongoing investigation and that nobody in the house was going anywhere.

Yazira Velasquez, a dispatcher for Lindy’s, testified she got a call from a person at the house on that morning who said it was an emergency, and that he wanted to go to the Surf Lodge in Montauk. The caller sounded “agitated,” as if he was under stress, and called back a short time later to ask where his cab was, using an expletive.

“I was trying to get the driver there as fast as I could,” Velasquez said.

Cross Examination

On cross-examination Wednesday, Scharff told defense lawyer Andrew Lankler it was possible calls from Lee’s phone that lasted just seconds were an indication of poor reception on eastern Long Island.

On Tuesday, the woman Lee is charged with raping testified she had just finished a stint working in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, when she and two friends drove to 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 nearby Wainscott, where they met Lee, drank and danced before going back to his $33,000-a-month rental home, she said.

It was there that a naked Lee forced his way into the bathroom, pinned her down and raped her before she kneed him in the groin and got away, the woman testified. She said that the entire incident lasted a few minutes and that she tried to yell, but Lee allegedly held his hand over her mouth.

“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.”

One of her friends, identified only as Fiona, testified earlier that she went looking for her during the party when the alleged victim emerged from a doorway near a bathroom looking “shaken” and “scared.”

The case is New York v. Lee, 02053/2013, New York State Supreme Court, Suffolk County (Riverhead).

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