APD arrests alleged serial rapist
Anchorage police have arrested an alleged serial rapist and charged him with 10 counts of sexual assault. Thirty-five year old Clifford Lee of Anchorage was apprehended on Thursday evening.
The five known victims were all women who were intoxicated and walking alone in the downtown or midtown areas. Lee allegedly offered them rides then took them to secluded areas in south Anchorage and assaulted them. Some times he used a stun gun.
Lt. Anthony Henry with the special victims unit says the victims provided a general description of an Asian male in a dark colored SUV, but it took investigators over a month to link the cases.
“What you have is a fact set that never clearly identifies itself early. So what you do is you have these crimes that are reported and there are similarities in some of the cases but they are rarely exact. So it usually takes time before that pattern is actually recognized. And in this case, there were a lot of descriptions that were vague.”
This series of reported assaults began in late June. Police think there may be other victims, and Henry urges the women to come forward. He says it will both help the women find resolution and help the case against Lee.
The police believe that Lee acted alone. Henry says serial rapists who target strangers are rare. Most rapists know their victims.
The investigation is on-going. Lee is being held on a $750,000 bail.