05/16/08 — SJAFB airman cleared of rape charge

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SJAFB airman cleared of rape charge

By Dennis Hill
Published in News on May 16, 2008 2:29 PM

A jury found a Seymour Johnson Air Force Base airman innocent of second-degree rape, second-degree sex offense and assault inflicting serious bodily injury on Thursday.

Jack Lee, 25, of Poinsettia Drive, stood accused of a February 2007 rape in a Goldsboro hotel room.

Investigation into the incident began on Feb. 18, 2007 court records show.

In an affidavit seeking search warrants, Goldsboro Investigator Dwayne Dean described how police handled the case.

Dean was on-call Feb. 18 when summoned to Wayne Memorial Hospital on a report of a woman in the emergency room with injuries consistent with a sexual assault, court records show.

The Goldsboro News-Argus, in most circumstances, does not identify the alleged victims of sexual assault.

The alleged victim told police she knew the attack took place in a Goldsboro hotel room, but did not know where or at which establishment, Dean testified.

The woman told police she had been drinking at Dunleavy's bar on East Ash Street, Dean testified.

The woman told police she remembered waking up in an unknown hotel and noticing blood on the bed.

The alleged victim told police she remembered her alleged attacker helped her to the shower "to clean her up."

Nurses at the hospital told police that the alleged victim had a severe vaginal laceration, or "tear," which Dean and other police saw as consistent with a sexual assault.

Evidence presented by prosecutors at trial included pictures of bruising to the alleged victim, court records show.

Dean started calling hotels in the area and eventually found that a Jameson Inn housekeeper had reported finding bloody sheets, court records show.

Dean seized the bloody bedding from Room 225 of the South Harding Drive hotel, he testified.

However, a hotel manager would not allow the investigator to look through the check-in records without a warrant, so Dean obtained one.

The guest name for the room was Jack Lee, showing a check-in time of 12:12 a.m. and a check-out time of 1:45 a.m. on Feb. 18, court records show.

People familiar with the case said they knew it would be difficult to prosecute, however, because the hospitalized victim woke up at home and could not remember much of the attack.

Police Sgt. Chad Calloway said the department preferred not to comment on the case.