‘Bad breath rapist’ captured in California after 16 years as fugitive

Christopher Preciado, 19, is charged with capital murder and his father, Ramon Preciado, 53, was charged with abuse of corpse. According to San Antonio police, the couple was shot before their bodies were moved to a car and left in a parking lot.

DANVILLE, Calif. — A Massachusetts man dubbed the “Bad breath rapist,” who fled during his trial in 2007 and has been a fugitive for 16 years, was captured in California on Tuesday, authorities said.

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Tuen Kit Lee, 55, was arrested in Danville, about 30 miles east of San Francisco, the Massachusetts State Police said in a news release. Lee was convicted in absentia and faces life in prison after prosecutors said he raped a waitress from the Kagawa restaurant his family owned in Quincy, Massachusetts, at her home on Feb. 2, 2005, WFXT-TV reported.

The victim’s boyfriend found her zip-tied to a bed in her home several hours after the assault, The Washington Post reported.

Lee was identified at the time by DNA evidence and his “horrible” breath, officials said.

Lee was convicted in 2007 but fled the state before he could be sentenced, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Lee had posted $100,000 cash bail, WFXT reported. After he testified at his trial in Norfolk Superior Court, Lee did not return for closing arguments in September 2007.

Chris Tamayo, a senior inspector with U.S. Marshals Service in Northern California, said that Lee had initially fled to New York and then took a bus to San Francisco, The New York Times reported.

Early this year, investigators said they received a tip suggesting that Lee, was living with a woman who owned a flower shop. Danville police stopped Lee while he was driving with the woman, the newspaper reported.

According to police, Lee originally gave officers a fake name but later “confessed when pressed about his true identity,” the Chronicle reported. His identity was confirmed with fingerprints, officials said.

The flower shop owner “never knew who he really was” despite spending 15 years in a relationship with Lee, officials said, according to the newspaper.

Lee had been living with the woman in her multimillion-dollar home in Diablo, a community of about 1,200 residents just outside Danville, the Massachusetts State Police said in their news release.

After meeting the flower shop owner, they lived together in Diablo but never married, Tamayo told the newspaper.

“Anything they had was in her name, so he just stayed off the radar,” he said. “She was completely shocked.

“I have some sympathy for her. Her life was just turned upside down. She had no clue who he was.”

Online booking records show that Lee was being held without bail at the Contra Costa County Jail, where he will remain until he is extradited to Massachusetts, the Chronicle reported.

“There are violent offenders out there who believe they can commit crimes and not be held accountable for their actions,” Chief Inspector Sean LoPiccolo, acting commander of the Marshals’ Pacific Southwest Regional Fugitive Task Force, said in a statement. “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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