A former Goldman Sachs managing director was found not guilty Wednesday of raping an Irish woman at his East Hampton rental home during the summer of 2013 in a Suffolk County bench trial.
Jason Lee, 39, had faced up to 25 years in jail before Judge Barbara Kahn delivered her stunning verdict in front of a packed Riverhead courtroom.
Lee, who has appeared relaxed during the three-week trial, was completely stone-faced as Kahn read her ruling.
The financier was celebrating his 37th birthday at a Hamptons restaurant with a pal when they met his accuser and her friends.
The Irish national was visiting her brother as he wrapped up a seasonal summer job on the East End at the time, prosecutors said.
The group eventually headed back to Lee’s swanky $33,000 per month summer rental in East Hampton to resume the party around 4 a.m..
According to trial testimony, the accuser and a friend hopped into a pool in their underwear before Lee stripped naked and joined them.
The woman said the nudity unnerved her and she headed inside the home to put her clothes on in a bathroom.
She testified that Lee appeared at the door still naked and barged his way in.
After covering her mouth and ordering her to be silent, he raped her, the woman testified tearfully.
East Hampton cops came to the residence after Lee’s pal became alarmed that one of the accuser’s friends borrowed his car and had not yet returned with it.
Once officers arrived, her brother informed them that Lee had raped his sister. He was eventually found hiding in a Range Rover on the property after attempting to call several local taxi companies.
After his arrest, Lee’s attorneys admitted that he had sex with the woman but that it was consensual. Lee’s wife Alicia, who also works in finance, has stood by her husband during the ordeal.
At trial, Lee’s Manhattan lawyer, Andrew Lankler, stressed inconsistencies in the victim’s testimony and the lack of physical evidence in the case.
Despite her claims that she fought the attack, photos of Lee after his arrest showed no obvious wounds, Lankler argued.
He also amplified that the entire crew had been drinking heavily.
But prosecutors countered that Lee’s hiding in the SUV and his feverish texting of cab companies implicated that he knew he had done something wrong.
Lankler argued that he was trying to arrange transportation for his drunken guests because he wanted them out of his home.