AURORA | A registered sex offender who posed as an immigration official in order to sexually assault a young girl was sentenced Monday to decades in prison.
At the time of the assault, Kenneth Lee, 66, was on parole for a nearly identical crime years earlier. On May 8, he was sentenced to 40 years in prison, according to a statement from the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.
According to police records, on Dec. 9, 2021 Lee knocked on the door of an apartment complex on Chester Street in Aurora and identified himself as an immigration official. Two adults and a 7-year-old girl were inside. After entering, Lee demanded to speak to the girl privately in her room.
“The victim’s mother said the man was in the bedroom with her daughter for approximately five minutes before walking out of the apartment and leaving in an unmarked Minivan,” the statement said. “After the man left, the mother asked her daughter what happened and the daughter indicated she had been sexually assaulted.”
The family contacted police, who identified Lee based on surveillance video of his car and data from a GPS ankle monitor he was wearing. He was arrested the following day.
While researching Lee’s previous criminal history, investigators discovered he was listed as a “violent sexual predator” and had been convicted for two similar sexual assaults.
Lee was sentenced in 2014 to 23 years in prison for an assault on the child of a Vietnamese immigrant family. According to an affidavit, Lee identified himself as a doctor from an immigration agency, asked to privately examine a 9-year-old girl, and then sexually assaulted her.
He was paroled in 2020 after serving 9.5 years of his sentence, a decision that parole officials said at the time was not connected to the pandemic and was based on an assessment that determined he was at a “low range to re-offend.”
Lee pleaded guilty to sexual assault on a child, a class 4 felony, burglary, a class 3 felony and sexual exploitation of a child, a class 3 felony.
“Based on the facts surrounding this case and previous criminal cases, this defendant targeted immigrant and refugee families and victimized women and children who had no idea they were letting a dangerous predator into their homes,” Chief Deputy District Attorney Gary Dawson said in a statement. “I can only hope this new prison sentence will actually keep Mr. Lee behind bars for the rest of his life so he will not be able to victimize anyone else in our community.”
After Lee’s arrest, District Attorney John Kellner criticized the parole board’s decision to release him early, a belief he reiterated after the sentencing.
“It’s disheartening and appalling when a person convicted of sexually violent crimes gets released after serving a fraction of their sentence,” Kellner said in a statement, describing Colorado’s parole system as “lenient. “The community deserves accountability and transparency as to how and why a sexually violent predator was set free so early.”