‘Bad breath rapist’ finally trapped 17 years after conviction

A fugitive dubbed the “bad breath rapist” has been detained 17 years after fleeing his conviction for raping a coworker.

Tuen Kit Lee was found guilty in 2007 of kidnapping and raping a young woman in her home south of Boston, Massachusetts, but went on the run before he could be sentenced.

Lee, who wore a mask during the attack, was identified partly by his victim recognising the smell of his breath and officers kept the case alive in the media with appearances on America’s Most Wanted.

He was arrested on Tuesday after he was spotted leaving a “multi-million dollar residence” near Oakland in California with his partner, who didn’t know his history.

“His female companion, after 15 years of being together in California, never knew who he really was,” said a Massachusetts State Police statement.

After images surfaced on social media of a man believed to be Lee, investigators were able to track him to California’s Contra Costa County, according to the US Marshals Service.

Tuen Lee detained. Pic: US Marshals
Tuen Lee detained. Pic: US Marshals

When officers pulled his car over, Lee initially gave a false name but confessed his true identity when pressed, with fingerprints confirming who he really is.

Lee is being held by police in California, pending his expected transfer to Massachusetts.

He faces life in prison.

Tuen Lee taken into custody. Pic: US Marshals
Tuen Lee taken into custody. Pic: US Marshals

Investigators said Lee broke into the victim’s home on 2 February 2005 and raped her at knifepoint.

“He was ultimately identified by DNA and his horrible breath, which produced the nickname ‘The Bad Breath Rapist’,” state police said.

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“There are violent offenders out there who believe they can commit crimes and not be held accountable for their actions,” said Sean LoPiccolo, acting commander of a US Marshals task force.

“Tuen Lee was on the run for more than 16 years and the unwavering dedication by law enforcement to locate and arrest him hopefully brings peace of mind to the victim and her family.”

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