US Marine In Ulster Sex Shame
A US Marine captain has been court-martialled for sexually assaulting two corporals and a sergeant during a drunken rampage in a luxury Ulster hotel, the Belfast Telegraph can reveal.
Captain Jonathan C Lee was convicted of assaulting the three men in their beds and in a jacuzzi at the plush Beech Hill Country House hotel in Londonderry during what was intended to be an educational trip to learn about the history of marines stationed in the city during World War II.
However, Lee’s US lawyers are now appealing for two Derry women who were in the hotel rooms with the marines to come forward with information in time for his appeal before the US Armed Forces Appeal Court.
The PSNI were never contacted about the 2004 incident which was handled internally by the US military.
In June, a lower military appeal court refused to allow a retrial based on new evidence obtained by a Belfast solicitor from a named Derry woman who was talking to the marines in the hotel.
Mr Lee’s US lawyer, Brent Harvey, said two other women who were with the marines in their hotel rooms have not come forward because they didn’t want their families to know.
A private detective hired by Mr Lee’s legal team was unable to find the two women, although both prosecution and defence lawyers accept there were three Irish women with the marines in the hotel and they met Lee.
Captain Lee has been convicted of over-familiarity with marines of a different rank, burglary and indecent assault after the weekend trip to Derry.
The group stayed at the Beech Hill Country House Hotel, which was the marine headquarters from 1942 to 1945. Lee assaulted three marines on the Friday and Sunday nights of the trip.
The Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals heard that one marine, identified as Corporal K, said Captain Lee used his foot to rub against the man’s genitals during a late night jacuzzi session on the first night. Corporal K said he later warned Captain Lee: “Don’t ever do it again or else I am going to kick your a** or kill you.”
Capt Lee later went to a room shared by four sergeants and began to talk about pornography. A Sgt B passed out drunk. When he woke up he found Capt Lee fondling him. Sgt B grabbed Lee by the throat and pushed him, and Lee fled the room.
The appeal court said it found the evidence “highly credible” and that Captain Lee had been trying to satisfy sexual desires.
It refused to grant a retrial after hearing that a Belfast lawyer hired by the defence team had recently obtained a statement from a Derry woman who was in the hotel.
However, Mr Harvey said it would be “very, very important” to find the other two Derry women in the hotel that night.
He said his client has been confined to desk duty and will be fired from the military if he does not win his case before the Armed Services Appeal Court.
Mr Harvey said it could be years before the court hears the case.