A Columbia County doctor has waived his right to a jury trial on charges of aggravated assault and aggravated sexual battery.
Jerry Jackson Lee II, of the 4300 block of Deerwood Lane, is still on the Monday's court calender, but asked Friday for a bench trial by Superior Court Judge J. Carlisle Overstreet. The request was made in a letter to the clerk of court.
But less than two days before the clerk's office received the letter, Lee told The Columbia County News-Times that he'd been cleared of all charges.
"It's over with," he said "I got an acquittal on it."
On Friday, however, his lawyer - Augusta attorney Richard E. Allen - said the case was not over, but would not elaborate. Then, Lee backtracked Friday, saying the case had not started and he "expected an acquittal."
The charges stem from an incident that police say occurred at his Columbia County residence Dec. 7, 2001. According to a Columbia County Sheriff's family violence report, Lee's wife told deputies that he had beaten her and locked her out of their residence and that Lee admitted to hitting her with his fist and with a wooden paddle, and pulling her around by her hair.
Investigator's reports said she told authorities that her husband had sexually abused her. Lee said the incident started over her having an affair, sheriff's reports said.
Lee opened the Evans Women's Center in Evans, but said he recently closed the practice. However, a recording at the center's phone number directs callers to Lee.
The Columbia County charges are not the first legal troubles for the former Moultrie physician. He is also named in two civil lawsuits in Colquitt County that allege malpractice and negligence - stemming from the time practiced as a gynecologist at Moultrie OB/Gyn Associates from July 1997 through July 2001, according to a report in The Moultrie Observer. Also included in the suits are Moultrie OB/Gyn and Associates and the Hospital Authority of Colquitt County.
According to one lawsuit, Lee allegedly performed surgery on a patient in May of 1998, but had to perform a subsequent surgery in September of that same year to remove a sponge left inside the woman during the initial surgery.
According to a second lawsuit pending in Colquitt County Superior Court, a patient is alleging that Lee was negligent in rendering medical care and treatment, specifically properly monitoring and providing post-operative care.
The Observer article also said Lee said that the civil cases have been dismissed. However they are still on file at the Colquitt County Courthouse.
The article also said Lee claimed that the Columbia County charges had been dismissed and that his wife was coerced by local deputies into making statements.
"My wife and I have reconciled since then. Those reports were not true and that's not what happened at my house," The Observer quoted Lee as saying.
The Observer also reported that he said he'd filed a lawsuit against the Columbia County Sheriff's Department, alleging that they were wrong in their investigations. However, no paperwork has been filed in the local court system.
This week, Lee said he'd been misquoted throughout The Observer article and that the newspaper was harassing him.
"We've been badgered by everybody," he said. "It was blown way out of proportion out there."
Kevin Liles - a reporter for the Moultrie Observer - contributed to this report.
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