Anchorage police have arrested a man who allegedly raped four women and attempted to rape a fifth in a month-long string of cases, threatening them with a stun gun until they did as he wished.
Court records show Clifford K.I. Lee, 35, has been charged with seven first-degree counts and one second-degree count of sexual assault, as well as two counts of first-degree attempted sexual assault. Police held a press conference on Lee’s arrest Tuesday afternoon.
According to an affidavit on the case from Detective M. Foy VonDolteren with APD’s Special Victims Unit, the first victim contacted police on June 26 to say she had been sexually assaulted in a black SUV parked outside a local business.
“(The victim) described the suspect as an Asian male adult, 30-35 years old with short black hair,” VonDolteren wrote. “The suspect threatened to kill the victim if she did not comply with his demands.”
Another woman reported being raped by a man driving a black SUV at an Anchorage residence on July 13, after he offered her a ride.
“The victim described the suspect as an Asian male adult, with short dark-colored hair, approximately 35 years old, wearing a ‘puffy’ North Face vest, who identified his ethnicity as Korean,” VonDolteren wrote. “Inside the residence the suspect…sexually assaulted her, under the threat of imminent physical violence. After the assault, the victim fled the residence.”
A third report of an attempted sexual assault matching the previous cases’ methods came in to APD on July 22, from a woman who denied the suspect’s demands for sex inside a black SUV. She fled instead, and was able to offer police key points of evidence.
“(The victim) described the suspect vehicle as a black Chevy Suburban or Tahoe SUV with cracks in the front windshield,” VonDolteren wrote. “On (July 31) (the victim) positively identified the suspect as Clifford Lee from a photographic lineup.”
Police say Lee raped a third woman later that day, who spoke with police on July 23 and also reported being coerced by a threat of violence. That incident was followed by a nearly identical account from a fourth victim on July 30, with a single key difference.
“The suspect gained compliance from the victim by placing the ‘stun gun’ against her body,” VonDolteren wrote. “The victim inadvertently left her cellphone behind when she fled the suspect vehicle.”
Police began searching for Lee’s Chevrolet Tahoe on July 30, making a traffic stop on it in Spenard the following day.
“On the evening of July 31, at about 9:15 p.m., members of the APD Vice Unit located Lee in his SUV in the area of Lois Drive and Northern Lights (Boulevard),” police wrote in a statement distributed Tuesday. “Lee attempted to flee from officers, but was stopped by Swing Shift Patrol in the area of Minnesota (Drive) and Spenard Road where he was taken into custody.”
Lee’s vehicle was impounded pending a search warrant, while he was taken to APD headquarters for an interview. VonDolteren says Lee waived his Miranda rights, telling investigators he had recently bought a stun gun and had access to the home of a relative where the July 13 incident took place.
“Many of the various details provided by the multiple victims were confirmed during our interview with the suspect and the impound of the suspect vehicle,” VonDolteren wrote. “Details such as the vehicle color, vehicle condition, suspect description and ‘stun gun’ use by the suspect.”
When Lee asked that police get his cigarettes and lighter from inside the Tahoe’s driver’s-side door, VonDolteren says police saw at least two cellphones inside, as well as “multiple cracks to the suspect vehicle front windshield.”
Lee has been held at the Anchorage Jail on a $750,000 appearance bond and a $500,000 cash-or-corporate performance bond, with a court-approved third-party custodian required for release.
APD says Lee may have had additional victims, and ask anyone assaulted by him to call police at 786-8900.
Editor’s note: Information that would identify the victims, as well as details of the acts involved in the sexual assaults, has been omitted from this story.
This is a developing story. Please check KTUU.com and the Channel 2 newscasts for updates.