Source: Accused Rapist Hid in Range Rover

Grand jury hastily convened; alleged victim, a foreign student, heads home
A source close to the investigation of an alleged rape in East Hampton on Tuesday said that police found Jason Lee, a Goldman Sachs banker arrested in connection with the incident, crouched inside a parked Range Rover. Doug Kuntz

A grand jury, which met in Riverhead from Wednesday through Friday, is expected to indict Jason Lee, a banker at the Manhattan investment banking firm Goldman Sachs, on a charge of first-degree rape as a result of a hearing at which the alleged victim appeared. Mr. Lee was arrested on a charge of first-degree rape at 2:24 p.m. on Tuesday, his 37th birthday. He was arraigned in East Hampton Town Justice Court, in front of Justice Catherine Cahill, the following day. Bail, set at $20,000, was met and Mr. Lee was released.

East Hampton Town police allege that Mr. Lee raped a 20-year-old woman, a foreign national, early that day. She and her brother were driven to the Riverhead hearing by an East Hampton Town detective.

The felony complaint, signed by detectives overseeing the investigation, charges that Mr. Lee held her down with his forearm and proceeded to rape her during a party at an East Hampton house, which he had rented. The arrest was made several hours later.

“There’s not a scratch, there’s not a mark, there is not a bruise on my client,” Mr. Lee’s attorney, Edward Burke Jr. of Sag Harbor, said on Saturday. “There is not a blemish on his background, on his record.”

The woman, whose name has been withheld, is a student who had been working on the East End for the summer. She has either returned home, or is about to do so, according to a source close to the investigation.

Jason Lee, 37, has been arrested in connection with an alleged rape in East Hampton.

The night before his birthday, Mr. Lee, an Ivy Leaguer who had started at Goldman Sachs in 1998 and risen to the position of manager of convertible and equity derivatives for other large financial institutions, called a friend, Rene Duncan of the Bronx, inviting him to East Hampton to celebrate the occasion. Mr. Duncan drove a 2004 GMC Yukon to the house that Mr. Lee and his wife, Alicia, had rented on Clover Leaf Lane, the source said. Ms. Lee was reported to be in the city at the time.

According to an incident report released by police Friday, the two men went that night to the Georgica restaurant and lounge in Wainscott, not far from Clover Leaf Lane house; it was at the Georgica nightspot that they met a group of foreign students, including the alleged victim, who were celebrating the end of their summer employment. Two other men, who were strangers to Mr. Lee and Mr. Duncan, joined the party, and the group moved to the Clover Leaf Lane house when the restaurant closed, traveling in the Yukon, which is registered to Mr. Duncan’s wife. She had remained in the Bronx, with their 5-month old baby, according to a source.

The source said the seven continued drinking and partying in the backyard swimming pool, either partially clothed or in the nude. Police allege that at some point Mr. Lee and the young woman entered the house, where the rape occurred.

Meanwhile, one of the two men who had joined the party got permission to drive the other home in the Yukon. When the man and the Yukon did not return, Mr. Duncan dialed 911, reporting that his vehicle might have been stolen.

East Hampton Town police, concerned that there had been a number of thefts of valuable automobiles in the Wainscott area, arrived on the scene quickly, the source said. The car was found in Montauk that afternoon. It was returned to Mr. Duncan, who declined to press charges. Mr. Duncan has not been accused of any wrongdoing related to the alleged rape.

With police now at the scene, the source said, the brother of the alleged victim drew a female officer aside and led her into the house, where the 20-year-old, who was crying, was interviewed. According to the source, Mr. Lee then went to the driveway, got into his late-model Range Rover — which has dark, tinted windows — and tried to hide; it was there that he was found by police. Detectives were called, and the distraught woman eventually agreed to press charges.

Normally, it can take weeks or even months before an indictment can be procured from a grand jury, but, because the alleged victim was scheduled to leave the country in the immediate future, Suffolk District Attorney Thomas Spota fast-tracked the process.

Mr. Burke, a leading local attorney who practices criminal law, was retained by Mr. Lee, after his advisors made many phone calls, researching the options, the source said.

If convicted as charged, Mr. Lee will serve between five and 25 years in state prison.

“He adamantly denies these allegations,” Mr. Burke told the court during the banker’s arraignment in Town Justice Court.