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Forensic scientist testifies in East Hampton 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

Traces of saliva were found on the front and near a pocket of a pair of khaki shorts worn by a Manhattan investment banker charged with rape, a forensic scientist testified Wednesday in Riverhead.

On Monday, a 22-year-old Irish tourist testified that Jason Lee, 38, barged into the bathroom of his East Hampton rental house and raped her on the floor two summers ago. During her testimony, she said Lee muffled her screams with the back of his hand and she tried to bite it.

Moly Phillips of the Suffolk County Crime Lab testified five spots on Lee's shorts, which he put on afterward, tested positive for amylase, an enzyme in saliva. A DNA analyst is expected to testify later that the saliva matches the woman's DNA.

Lee, who faces a maximum of 25 years in prison if convicted of first-degree rape, is on trial before Suffolk County Court Judge Barbara Kahn, who is trying the case without a jury. Defense attorney Andrew Lankler said in his opening statement last week that sex between his client and the woman was consensual.

During questioning by Assistant District Attorney Kerriann Kelly, Phillips said five spots on the shorts contained amylase. Those spots were on the front and on the outside of the front left pocket, she said.

Phillips said she also examined other evidence before sending it on for DNA analysis. They included an earring found on the bathroom floor, which the woman identified Monday as hers.

Phillips said she examined swabs from a sexual assault exam of the woman and found no evidence of semen on any of them. The woman testified Monday she ended the attack by kneeing Lee in the groin.

Earlier Wednesday, Suffolk Det. Charles Scharff testified about a blizzard of calls made from Lee's cellphone after the woman said the attack occurred on the morning of Aug. 20, 2013. Many of the calls were placed to the phone in the house or to various taxi companies. Many of them also went to Lee's then-employer, Goldman Sachs, and to the founder of a workplace furnishings startup company.

Police found Lee lying in the backseat of a car at the house that morning.

During his cross-examination of Scharff, Lankler suggested that many of the repeat calls, most of which were only seconds long, were the result of spotty cell service in East Hampton.

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