A former Augusta gynecologist was convicted Wednesday of sexually assaulting a 9-year-old girl.
The Columbia County trial of Jerry Jackson Lee II, 47, of Evans, began Monday. After two days of testimony and more than four hours of deliberations, the jury convicted Lee of aggravated sexual battery but acquitted him on three counts of child molestation.
"I think it is a fair and accurate verdict," Assistant District Attorney Jeff Johnston said.
Lee smiled and nodded at his attorney, Richard Allen, and the jurors after the verdict was announced.
Lee was arrested two years ago after he was accused of sexually abusing the 9-year-old in his home.
Police learned of the incident after responding to a report of a domestic dispute May 14, 2005, between Lee and his wife. According to the incident report, Lee and his wife argued about his alleged abuse of the girl.
A sentencing hearing had not been scheduled Wednesday, but an aggravated sexual battery conviction carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison, with a maximum of 20 years incarceration, Johnston said.
The girl's mother said she was not completely pleased with the verdict, but that it was enough justice for her daughter, now 11.
"It should have been a lot more," she said, adding she's happy that Lee should be required to register as a sex offender when he is released from prison. "I just wanted to make sure she would be an adult before he ever got out. And she will be. She'll be (at least) 21."
Lee claimed from the stand that the incident was actually an examination to ensure the girl had not been abused after a neighbor of the victim was reportedly assaulted.
Johnston rejected the claim, contending that Lee "was hiding behind his former profession to justify his actions."
Lee, who was issued a license to practice medicine in 1994, voluntarily surrendered that license in August 2003, according to the Georgia Composite State Board of Medical Examiners Web site.
The board had been investigating allegations Lee was using drugs, and he surrendered the license because of the allegations and a medical condition, according to the Web site.
Since his 2005 arrest on the assault charges, Lee has been held in the Columbia County Detention Center on a probation hold involving a June 2004 arrest in Hazelhurst on a fraud charge.
He was accused of obtaining controlled substances using a revoked registration number.
In 2003, Lee was acquitted of aggravated assault and aggravated sexual battery charges involving his wife. He was found guilty of misdemeanor battery by Superior Court Judge J. Carlisle Overstreet, who also presided over his recent trial. In that case, Lee was given 12 months' probation and a $1,000 fine.
Lee's wife initially told authorities he beat her with his fists and a paddle and sexually assaulted her.
She later recanted, and Lee testified she caused her own injuries.
Lee also was indicted in September 2002 in Augusta on unlawful possession of a firearm involving a fully automatic assault rifle police say was found inside his home.
Superior Court Judge Bernard Mulherin acquitted Lee of the charge, which could have been punishable by five years in prison.
"God is good because he is going to prison," the girl's mother said after Wednesday's verdict.
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