A man who was sentenced to 23 years in prison in 2014 served only a fraction of that time, and now he’s accused of sexually assaulting a 7-year-old Aurora girl this month about 18 months after his prison release, according to records obtained by 9News.
Kenneth Dean Lee, now 65, was paroled from the Department of Corrections on April 22, 2020 after serving only about 9.5 years of his sentence, according to a spokesperson.
Documents obtained by 9News indicate he was released because “appropriate treatment dosage” was received and “adequate institutional conduct” was met. It also indicates that Lee will be on parole for the rest of his life.
“This is extremely gut wrenching as this deranged individual preyed on vulnerable individuals – when this was reviewed by the board the individual was participating in offense specific treatment, had met the criteria required to be considered for parole, and medical professionals believed he was at low risk to society to reoffend,” parole officials said in a statement released to 9News.
“This case was considered on these merits in December 2019, granted in January 2020 and had nothing to do with the pandemic.”
Under state law, the sexual assault case was not defined as violent crime, which made Lee eligible for parole after serving about a third of his sentence.
Lee was arrested Dec. 10 and faces charges of sexual assault on a child and first-degree burglary. Aurora police officers were told a man, later identified as Lee, entered a residence around noon, identified himself as an immigration official, and proceeded to assault the victim.
According to an arrest affidavit for Lee from APD, he knocked on the door of the apartment and specifically asked for the girl by name and said he needed to speak with her alone in a bedroom.
The two were alone in the room for about five minutes before he left the room and the apartment, the affidavit says. Someone at the home then went into the bedroom and found the girl lying on a bed under covers, according to the document. The girl eventually told that person that the man had touched her, and that person called Immigration and Customs Enforcement, according to the affidavit. That person learned that no agents had been dispatched to the home, the affidavit says.
Lee has a criminal history with a pattern of similar allegations, and it is believed he specifically targeted immigrant and refugee families, APD said.
The 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office said Lee was sentenced to 23 years in 2014 in connection to a series of sexual assaults between August and October of 2010.
Lee has been in custody since 2010 – initially in the county jail before he was transferred to DOC in late 2014 following his conviction. He became eligible for parole in 2016 and had his first of several parole hearings in January of that year.
9News obtained audio of five hearings between 2016 and 2019, and in one of the recordings, Lee described his own behavior as “reprehensible.” In another he said he had “regrets” and “remorse” about what he had done.
During each hearing, Lee was asked whether he was, in fact, guilty, and he replied “yes” every time. He was then asked to describe what happened, which he did in detail.
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