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‘Bad Breath Rapist’ Caught After 16 Years on the Run

A fugitive Massachusetts rapist was caught in California this week after 16 years on the run. The US Marshals Service said it found Tuen Kit Lee in Danville, California, and arrested him on Tuesday.

Lee was initially arrested for the rape of a waitress at his family’s restaurant in Quincy, Massachusetts on February 2, 2005, reported. He zip-tied her facedown and raped her, then left her there until her boyfriend went looking for her hours later.

The woman told police the man who raped her, who wore a mask, had very foul breath, leading to him being dubbed the “bad breath rapist.”

Lee testified at his trial in 2007, but he didn’t come back to court for closing arguments and disappeared. Investigators believed he had fled the state, but until recently his location was unknown. He was found guilty in absentia at the trial.

The US Marshals task force worked with investigators from Massachusetts and California to bring him into custody. In 2023, the Massachusetts State Police announced a $10,000 reward for information leading to Lee, WCVB reported. Earlier this year, state police said, they found social media images of a man they believed to be the fugitive.

They connected those images to a multi-million home in Diablo, California, that belonged to a woman who owns a flower shop. On Tuesday, police stopped a vehicle that left that home with the woman and man inside. Lee initially gave them a fake name but later confessed his true identity. Fingerprints confirmed it was Lee.

The fugitive was in a relationship with the flower shop owner for the past 15 years, police said, but she was unaware of his past.

“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,” U.S. Marshals Service Pacific Southwest Regional Fugitive Task Force Acting Commander Chief Inspector Sean LoPiccolo said.

Lee faces a life sentence when he is brought back to Massachusetts.