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Accused rapist gets life sentence
Acquitted of rape, Lee found guilty of another serious charge
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A Rincon man has been sentenced to life in prison after he was found guilty of aggravated sodomy by an Effingham County jury.

James Lee will spend life in prison without parole after his conviction. He was sentenced July 7 by Judge Gates F. Peed in Effingham County Superior Court. Lee had been charged with rape and aggravated sodomy but was found not guilty on the rape charge.

With three prior felony convictions already, Ogeechee Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s office filed a recidivist notice. Because of that, another felony conviction would have meant Lee would have to serve the maximum sentence. A fourth conviction is the maximum without parole.

Both rape and aggravated sodomy carry life sentences as maximums, said Assistant District Attorney Brian Deal, who prosecuted the case.

“Under the law, there is no discretion for the judge,” Deal said. “He got the sentence that the law demanded.”

Lee’s previous convictions were for theft by taking in 1993; possession of a firearm by a convicted felon in 1997; and burglary in 2001.

Lee was indicted Sept. 15, 2008, for a February 2008 rape and aggravated sodomy that took place in Guyton. Lee was arrested in June after forensic evidence was by processed the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s state crime lab.

Lee had been a person of interest from the start in the attack. After Guyton Police established him as a suspect and obtained a search warrant, DNA evidence was collected from Lee to send to the state crime lab.