A former Oracle employee who falsely accused chief executive Larry Ellison of sexual harassment left a San Mateo courtroom in handcuffs on Tuesday with a possible four year jail sentence hanging over her for perjury.
Adelyn Lee, a 33 year old former lover of Ellison, was found guilty of falsifying email, offering falsified evidence and two counts of perjury. She was placed in San Mateo County Sheriff's jail in lieu of $100,000 bail - the same amount that she settled for as out of court damages when she accused Ellison of sexual harassment.
She will be sentenced next month, but before then she will be back in court on Thursday for a bail hearing on a second, unrelated charge. During a dispute between Lee and neighbors at her apartment complex in San Mateo on 21 December, .Lee allegedly brandished a .38-caliber handgun.
In a statement released after the verdict was delivered by a predominately female jury, Ellison said sexual harassment was a crime, but added: "It is not always the case, however, that everyone accused is guilty and everyone making a claim is telling the truth. Today a jury of 12 unanimously determined that Adelyn Lee's sexual harassment claim was based on her perjured testimony and evidence that she manufactured. And that's a crime too."
"This (verdict) is a vindication of the civil judicial system and of Larry Ellison," said prosecutor Paul Wasserman. "The only thing worse than sexual harassment in the workplace is being falsely accused of sexual harassment in the workplace."
Lee had accused of firing her from her post as an executive assistant at Oracle because she refused to have sex with him. The central plank of allegation was an email allegedly sent from her then boss, former Oracle vice president Craig Ramsey to Ellison which read: "I have terminated Adelyn per your request."
Ellison denied making any such request and counterclaimed that the email did not originate from Ramsey, whose cellular phone records supported the idea that he could not have sent the message. Wasserman said Lee sent the message herself by breaking into Oracle's computer system and using Ramsey's password.
In turn, Lee's attorney, Gordon Rockhill, - who quizzed Ellison on details of his sex life to porttray him as a philandering billionaire - tried to convince the jury that either Ellison or his staff had the motive, technical know-how and opportunity to set up Lee by making it look like she sent the e-mail.
But Lee made a crucial mistake. "The best fact we had was that Lee called her friend the morning the e-mail was sent and asked him to get it," said Wasserman. "Now how could she know it would be there, unless she had a friend at the Psychic Network?"
During the trial, Ellison - who admitted to dating several other women while conducting his on-off affair with Lee - spent four hours in the witness box during which time Rockill demanded: "You think you led this lady on a little bit? Have you ever led a lady on, Mr. Ellison? Have you ever dangled money in front of a lady, Mr. Ellison?"
Meanwhile Ellison seems to have no regrets about dating people who work for Oracle. In an interview with a Hong Kong newspaper he is quoted as saying: "The mother of my children I met when she was working with Oracle; Bill Gates met his wife working at Microsoft; [Oracle president] Ray Lane met his wife working at Oracle.
"So when you work very hard and spend a lot of time in your company, a lot of the people you meet are inside the company. So I certainly wouldn't advise them to not date within the company."
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