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Convicted rapist on the run for 35 years captured in Maine

March 31, 2013|By Paloma Esquivel

Gary Alan Irving was 18 years old in 1978 when he was convicted in Massachusetts of three counts of rape and faced life in prison. But before he was sentenced, the judge allowed him to go home. He soon disappeared.

This week, police finally tracked him down. He was married and living in Maine.

In a news conference Thursday, officials said Irving, 52, had been living in the town of Gorham and had changed his name slightly to Gregg Irving. When law enforcement officers from Maine and Massachusetts knocked on his door about 9 p.m. Wednesday, he was watching TV with his wife.

“He just asked, 'How’d you find me?' and that’s all he really said,” said Maine State Police Sgt. Robert Burke at the news conference, which was posted online by local TV station WMTW.

Irving, who had been listed among Massachusetts’ most wanted, was convicted of committing three rapes in 1978. In one case, he knocked a woman off her bike, took her to a secluded area and repeatedly raped her. In another, he forced a woman into his car and threatened her with a knife if she did not comply with his demands.

He had been living in Gorham since at least 2002 but possibly as far back as the 1980s, authorities said. Investigators did not say what led them to Irving but noted that it was only in recent days that information pointed them to Maine.

The investigation was conducted by the Massachusetts State Police Violent Fugitive Apprehension Section with help from a State Police detective unit.

While Irving did not put up a fight when police tracked him down, they did find numerous handguns and long guns at his home, according to a Massachusetts State Police news release. The guns were not legally in his possession and he will be charged with firearms offenses, they said.

Irving's lawyer, Christopher Leddy, told the Portland Press Herald that Irving had camped in Maine as a child and was fond of the state. He married not long after his conviction and had two children.

"How many people can say they worked at the same place for 20 years and have been married for 32?" Leddy told the paper. "It should count for something. I don't know whether it will."

Irving appeared for a hearing Friday at Cumberland County Unified Criminal Court, but the hearing was continued to Monday.


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