Goldman Sachs managing director to be arraigned in rape charge

A Goldman Sachs Group Inc. managing director faces arraignment on charges of raping a woman at his rental home in East Hampton, New York, the wealthy beach community on the east end of Long Island.

Jason Lee, 37, of Manhattan, was to appear before state Supreme Court Justice Barbara Kahn today in Riverhead, New York, according to online court records. Lee was arrested and charged with first-degree rape in August after police went to his Clover Leaf Lane home and learned that a woman had been sexually assaulted inside the residence, where several people had gathered, according to a police statement.

A grand jury indicted Lee last month on one count of first- degree rape, which carries a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison, and misdemeanor counts of assault and sexual misconduct, according to court records. He was freed on $20,000 cash bail.

Lee’s employer wasn’t identified in the police statement. Lee, who lives in New York, is head of convertibles at Goldman Sachs and has been placed on leave, according to a person familiar with the matter who wasn’t authorized to speak publicly about a private personnel matter and asked not to be named.

Lee, a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, has been with Goldman Sachs since March 1998, according to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

He led “many of the firm’s most complicated financing and risk-management transactions for corporate clients” while managing convertible and equity derivative origination for financial, health-care and consumer companies, according to a biography posted on the website of a 2009 Milken Institute conference where he was a scheduled speaker.

‘Accomplished Individual’

Lee “adamantly” denies the allegations and looks forward to clearing his name in court, a spokesman, Risa Heller, said on Aug. 28. He’s a “very accomplished individual” who has never been in trouble with the law, and his wife supports him, said Heller, a publicist who has worked with former U.S. Congressman and New York City mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner, former New York Governor David Paterson and U.S. Senator Charles Schumer.

Brian Desesa, an attorney representing Lee, said in a phone interview after Lee’s arrest that the case is a “huge travesty” and an “injustice.” He said Lee would be cleared of the charges “once the story comes out.”

Heller declined to comment further in advance of the arraignment.

Waive Reading

Bob Clifford, a spokesman for Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota’s office, said in an e-mail that he expected Lee’s attorney to waive the reading of the indictment at the arraignment and enter a plea of not guilty. Clifford said he also expected Kahn to discuss bail and future court dates in the case.

Lee was arrested by East Hampton town police Aug. 20, his 37th birthday, after a woman told them she first met Lee at a club on Wainscott Stone Road and he bought her and friends drinks, according to authorities.

Later at the house at about 4 a.m., the woman said, Lee was naked when he tried to follow her into a bathroom and he shoved the door with such force that she fell to the floor, where he pinned her down. She struggled and during the attack kneed him in the groin, she told police.

A description of a four-bedroom, three-bathroom 2,700- square-foot house on the street where Lee was arrested, posted on the website of Douglas Elliman Real Estate, said it was available from Aug. 1 until Labor Day, Sept. 2, for $33,000.

The case is New York v. Lee, 02053/2013, Suffolk County Court, Criminal Term.

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