Indicted in Rape of Minors

Two men arrested recently by East Hampton Town police on felony charges have been indicted by grand juries, and could face significant jail time if convicted. 

On Nov. 8, detectives charged Benjamin J. Lehman, 25, with three counts of rape involving two 16-year-old girls, whose names were withheld under state law. “I might have hooked up with her, but I didn’t rape her,” he said of one of the alleged victims. The incidents reportedly occurred between March and August.

Anyone older than 21 having sex with someone under 17 is considered to have committed rape in New York State.

Mr. Lehman, formerly of Sag Harbor and most recently of the Oakview Highway trailer park in East Hampton, was initially held at the county jail in Riverside, unable to meet the $15,000 bail set by East Hampton Town Justice Steven Tekulsky. 

He was brought back to the local court on Monday and would have been released had he not been indicted. He broke down crying when he was told that an indictment had been obtained. 

The grand jury added two more felony charges of rape. Mr. Lehman now faces a total of five, plus two misdemeanor charges of endangering the welfare of a minor. 

Remanded without the possibility of bail and since transferred to the county jail in Yaphank, he will be re-arraigned in the Riverside courtroom of State Supreme Court Justice Barbara Kahn on Monday. Justice Kahn’s court handles felony sex crimes in Suffolk County.

The other man, Robert J. Dozier of Mastic, 53, was indicted last Thursday for felony drunken driving, among other charges. He too had been scheduled for release under state law; in his case by last Friday. With five prior felony convictions, Mr. Dozier could end up being sentenced as a habitual felon. He too is being held in Riverside without bail. Details of his re-arraignment were not immediately available.