An Anchorage man accused of sexually assaulting at least eight women between 2001 and 2014 has agreed to plead guilty to two counts of first-degree sexual assault. As part of his plea deal, he will also have to admit to all of the assaults.


Clifford Lee was first arrested in 2014 after a string of sexual assaults in Anchorage that summer. Five women initially reported being sexually assaulted by a man matching his description, threatening to hurt them with a stun gun or kill them if they did not comply. His arrest led to the discovery of his involvement in other sexual assault cases dating back to 2001.


“The Anchorage Police Department investigated sexual assaults in 2001 and 2005 which were not initially solved,” Assistant District Attorney Jenna Gruenstein wrote in a statement on the case. “The Anchorage Police Department collected Lee’s DNA in 2014, which led to his identification as the suspect in the 2001 and 2005 sexual assaults through the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS).”


The case against Lee is being touted by the Alaska Department of Law as an example of why sexual assaults should be reported even when prosecution seems unlikely. Gruenstein noted that law enforcement agencies preserve evidence collected in sexual assault investigations, including rape kits, until the crime is solved. Because of the DNA collected after Lee’s arrest in 2014, the Anchorage Police Department’s Special Victims Unit was able to reopen the earlier sexual assault cases and connect them to Lee.



“Lee’s guilty plea means that his victims do not have to relive the trauma that Lee inflicted upon them,” Gruenstein wrote. “There will be no trial and no uncertainty.”


Alaska Superior Court Judge Paul Olson said Lee could face up to 99 years for each count, as well as a fine of up to $500,000. Gruenstein explained Lee could serve between 31 and 198 years in prison, depending on the length of the prison terms and if the judge says they have to be served consecutively.



Olson scheduled Lee’s sentencing for Dec. 2. Lee is not eligible for bail before his sentencing, according to Gruenstein.