innocence blog

A Web log for the Innocence Institute of Point Park University

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Rapist pleads guilty to molesting 2 girls

This article appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle on January 23, 2007:

Rapist pleads guilty to molesting 2 girls

Henry K. Lee
Chronicle Staff Writer

A paroled rapist pleaded guilty Monday in connection with the sexual assaults of two 10-year-old Oakland girls during break-ins at their homes, a prosecutor said.

Kalonji Lee, 31, was identified by DNA evidence in the first attack in January 2004, but Oakland police acknowledged that they didn't follow up on the match until after the second victim was assaulted in December 2004, authorities said.

Alameda County Superior Court Judge Leo Dorado is expected to sentence Lee on April 18 to 50 years to life in prison, said Deputy District Attorney Tim Wellman, who called the attacks "every parent's worst nightmare, let alone the kids' worst nightmare."

"I'm pleased we were able to work out a sentence that will assure the defendant will never be able to terrorize another family again," Wellman said.

On Jan. 3, 2004, a 10-year-old girl awoke to go to the bathroom and was accosted by Lee, who had entered her home through an unlocked bedroom window. He told her, "Don't scream, or I'll kill you," authorities said.

Lee pleaded guilty Monday to performing a lewd act on a child during a residential burglary.

On Dec. 13, 2004, Lee entered another 10-year-old girl's home through an unlocked sliding glass door and assaulted her. The girl's father chased him, but Lee escaped. However, he was later identified through a cell phone that he left at the scene, Wellman said.

On Monday, Lee pleaded guilty to digital penetration during the course of a residential burglary.
The state Department of Justice DNA computer database matched DNA evidence found on the first victim to Lee, court records show. In June 2004, the state informed Oakland police of the "cold hit," the term for the DNA identification of a suspect not otherwise known to be connected to a crime.

But according to court records, the police did not try to look for Lee until after the second assault.


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