MOULTRIE -- A former Moultrie gynecologist was acquitted Tuesday in Augusta of two felonies, but was convicted of a misdemeanor for assaulting his wife.

Jerry Jackson Lee II, 42, who practiced at Moultrie OB/GYN and Associates from 1997 to 2001, was convicted of battery against Candace Lee and sentenced to one year of probation and a $1,000 fine.

In a bench trial, Judge J. Carlisle Overstreet dropped charges of aggravated sexual battery and aggravated assault against Lee and instead charged him with the misdemeanor.

Lee, who has since moved to Greenwood, Miss., pled not guilty and waived his constitutional right for a jury trial, opting for the bench trial.

On Dec. 7, 2001, Lee's wife told Columbia County Sheriff's Office that he hit her with his fists and a wooden paddle, made her pull her clothes off and sexually violated her, investigator's reports said.

Those reports also said Lee admitting to pulling her around by the hair.

Columbia County District Attorney Danny Craig said Candace Lee told an investigator the same story, and made a recorded statement two days later.

Candace Lee refused to testify at the bench trial and recanted her statements made to police. Craig said she quit talking to police once Lee was released from jail three days after the incident.

"Upon him being released from jail, she never repeated any of those statements again,' Craig said.

The state presented evidence during the trial to support Candace Lee's statements to police, including more than 40 photographs of her injuries, the recorded statement and an affidavit filed supporting her initial divorce papers.

Craig said the outcome probably would've been different if a jury had tried the case.

"I suspect that, had we tried the case before a jury, he would have been convicted of the felonies because the judge is less subject to the emotions that might have affected the jury," Craig said. "So it was probably a good, strategic decision by the defense to try the case by a judge instead of a jury."

The injuries Candace Lee sustained during the altercation were serious, he said.

"She had large areas of hair pulled out forcibly from both sides of her head in the temporal area," Craig said. "She had bruises, scratches and burns on her from being dragged about on the carpet all about her back, both arms ... and her neck."

Candace also had an older bruise on her chest that was indicative of having a gun pushed into her chest, Craig said. Furthermore, he said, a healing cut to the base of her nose was from an earlier attack with a knife. She told police he was demonstrating his willingness to use it in a more deadly fashion, Craig said.

The Augusta Chronicle reported that Lee testified in the bench trial that he hit his wife with a paddle, but she caused her own injuries - ripping out her hair, beating herself with a shoe and throwing her head and body against the walls and floor.

Lee's defense attorney, Richard Allen, said his client was not proud of his actions, but the felonious charges were too serious for the crimes committed, the Chronicle reported him as saying.

All in all, Craig said he accomplished his goals in the case, which were to have a guilty verdict.

"We accomplished having his (hospital) privileges denied in Augusta, so that we did not have to accommodate someone with this propensity in the Augusta area," he said, "Causing him to leave Georgia and move to Mississippi."

Tim Moore, chief operating officer for Greenwood-Laflore Hospital in Greenwod, told the Observer Wednesday that Lee has applied for hospital privileges there.

Craig said officials from the Greenwood-Laflore Hospital were present at the trial.

The Augusta Chronicle also reported that Lee could not obtain hospital privileges in Augusta, where he owned a women's clinic.



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