Lawyers fail to bring missing witness charge against alleged victim's student brother

Jason Lee's lawyer failed Wednesday to bring a missing witness charge against the prosecution based on a social media page belonging to the alleged victim's brother.

Lawyers fail to bring missing witness charge against alleged victim's student brother

By John Riordan, New York

Jason Lee's lawyer failed Wednesday to bring a missing witness charge against the prosecution based on a social media page belonging to the alleged victim's brother.

Judge Barbara Kahn denied the application made by Andrew Lankler, representing Jason Lee, and agreed with the prosecution that the Irish woman's brother refused to appear in spite of repeated offers to pay for his travel costs and also that he could not be compelled to appear.

The then J1 student had spent the summer working elsewhere in the US before visiting her brother in the Hamptons where she met Mr Lee at an East Hampton nightclub during the early hours of August 20, 2013.

The 38-year-old former Goldman Sachs executive denies raping the young woman later that night.

During testimony last week, the 22-year-old asserted that her brother would do anything for her but that it would be detrimental to his studies if he was to leave Ireland for any period of time due to college deadlines.

However, just prior to the defence resting its case, Mr Lankler presented a print out of her brother's Facebook page in which it appeared he would be attending the Spin South West Limerick Student Race Day at Limerick Racecourse on April 16.

The lawyer also said he was a "little concerned" about another entry related to a so-called 4/20 event, a US tradition that celebrates the consumption of marijuana on April 20.

This was "unrelated to his studies", argued Mr Lankler before charging that the prosecution had elected not to bring the alleged victim's brother to New York.

Kerriann Kelly of the Suffolk County District Attorney's office insisted that it was always the intention of the prosecution to bring her brother back to take the stand but that he had repeatedly refused, citing his studies and the offer of a six-month job contract in London starting in May which was contingent on completion of his course work.

Furthermore, the young man had assured Ms Kelly that he did not attend either event mentioned on his Facebook page but rather was in his college library studying on both dates.

Ms Kelly said the missing witness charge was not appropriate, adding that she had tried again and again to convince him and had asked the alleged victim to intervene on their behalf, to no avail.

Judge Kahn denied the application and also denied a further missing witness application, this time by the prosecution, related to a private investigator named Hal Sherman.

According to the prosecution, Mr Sherman delivered missing items related to the crime scene to the offices of the Suffolk County District Attorney seven months after the alleged incident took place in East Hampton.

The case has been adjourned until next Tuesday when both sides will make their closing arguments.

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