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Former Goldman Sachs banker found not guilty of raping Irish woman in New York

Jason Lee had been accused of raping the Irish J1 student in 2013.

Jason Lee, with his wife, at the beginning of the trial earlier this month. Source: AP/Press Association Images

Updated 7.30 pm

A FORMER NEW York City investment banker has been found not guilty of raping an Irish tourist at his East Hampton rental home.

Jason Lee, 38, had been charged with first-degree rape, sexual misconduct and assault in the August 2013 incident, and claimed the sex had been consensual.

He was cleared of all charges in court today.

According to local news website 27 East, Justice Barbara Kahn indicated that the lack of testimony by the woman’s brother, who was present at the time of the incident, was an influencing factor in her verdict.

The court has heard Lee met the then 20-year-old Irish woman, identified only as D.D, at a nightclub in the Hamptons, while celebrating his birthday.

He then took the woman, her brother and a friend to his house to continue partying after a night of drinking.

The woman, who returned to New York to testify during the three-week-long trial, said that while in the bathroom, a naked Lee forced his way in, knocking her to the ground as she fought to keep the door shut.

She said he jumped on top of her and sexually assaulted her, at one point putting his hand over her mouth and telling her to be quiet.

During closing arguments yesterday, Lee’s lawyer Andrew Lankler claimed there had been inconsistencies between the Irish woman’s testimony, and statements she made to police after the incident in 2013, the East Hampton Star reported.

Jason Lee Jason Lee, after his arrest in 2013. Source: AP

Fighting back tears, and refusing to look directly at Lee, the woman told the court on 14 April that she had struggled against him during the attack.

With every ounce of strength I had in me I kneed him in the groin.

Responding to claims about alleged inconsistencies in her statements, she said was “extremely stressed” in the immediate aftermath of the incident, but had had 18 months to “process what happened.”

Yesterday, lead prosecutor Kerriann Kelly told Justice Barbara Kahn there could only be one conclusion:

They say a picture paints a thousand words, your honor. This defendant’s actions paint only one. That this defendant is guilty.

Lee had waived his right to a jury trial, leaving Kahn to reach the verdict on her own.

If found guilty of rape, he had been facing a maximum 25-year prison sentence.

Contains reporting by the Associated Press.

Originally published, 7.13pm

Read: ‘I fought with every ounce of my strength: Irishwoman testifies in US rape trial>

Read: NY banker had no injuries after alleged rape incident, court is told>

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Dan MacGuill

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