46° Good Morning
46° Good Morning
Long IslandSuffolk

Defense rests in Jason Lee rape trial

Jason Lee arrives with his wife at the

Jason Lee arrives with his wife at the Suffolk County courthouse in Riverhead on Wednesday, April 8, 2015. Credit: James Carbone

Testimony ended Wednesday in the trial of a Manhattan investment banker charged with raping an Irish tourist without the defense presenting any evidence that the woman consented to sex.

Jason Lee, 38, is on trial without a jury before Suffolk County Court Judge Barbara Kahn. He is accused of barging into a bathroom in the East Hampton house he was renting two summers ago and raping the woman, then 20, on the floor after a night of drinking.

In his opening statement, defense attorney Andrew Lankler of Manhattan had told Kahn that the sexual encounter in the bathroom was consensual.

But when the woman returned from Ireland last week to testify, she said it was nothing of the sort. She described meeting Lee at the Georgica nightclub in Wainscott and drinking there for hours, then going with her brother and friends to the home Lee was renting on Clover Leaf Lane.

She said she and a friend stripped to their underwear and jumped in the pool while Lee ran naked throughout the backyard, and later they all shared champagne from a bottle. But she testified that while she was changing the next morning in the bathroom Lee came in, knocked her to the floor and raped her until she fought him off.

During Lankler's cross-examination of her, he didn't ask her if she consented to the sex. When he questioned a sexual assault nurse examiner, she agreed that the woman's genital injuries could have happened during consensual sex.

Lee, the only other person in the bathroom who could have testified about the issue of consent, did not take the stand.

Lankler Wednesday entered into evidence the police statement and grand jury testimony of the woman's brother, who did not testify at the trial. There are some differences between his account of what happened that morning and his sister's. Lankler suggested the prosecution did not make enough of an effort to produce him at the trial.

But Assistant District Attorney Kerriann Kelly said her office offered to pay his way from Ireland, as it did for his sister and one of her friends who testified, but he refused to come, citing university exams and job demands. Prosecutors couldn't compel him to come, Kelly said, because their subpoenas have no force beyond New York state.

Closing arguments are Tuesday.

Latest Long Island News