Massachusetts fugitive rapist sentenced to up to 40 years in prison

Serial rapist Gary Alan Irving, at age 18, faced life in prison. But before being imprisoned he escaped, disappearing for 34 years.

Story highlights

  • Gary Irving is sentenced to up to 40 years in prison after 34 on the lam
  • Irving was convicted of raping three Massachusetts women in 1979
  • He jumped bail and was found living in Maine using his brother's name
A man who evaded the law for 34 years was sentenced to 36 to 40 years in prison Thursday for raping three women in Massachusetts in 1978.
Gary Irving, 52, learned his fate in Norfolk Superior Court, the same court that convicted him more than three decades ago.
Norfolk District Attorney Michael W. Morrissey expressed remorse to the women Irving raped and apologized for the long wait for justice.
"I am sorry that so much strength and perseverance was asked of you. That the courage and resolve you showed testifying in 1979 resulted in decades of continuing injustice. Today does not erase that injustice, but does end it," he said after Irving's sentencing.
Irving will serve two consecutive 18- to 20-year sentences with a 7- to 10-year concurrent sentence on kidnapping charges. He will also serve 20 years' probation for all other charges, said Norfolk district attorney's office spokesman David Traub in an e-mail to CNN.
"We felt that the calculated brutality of these crimes, the repeated nature of these attacks, warranted a very long prison term. We are pleased that the court has now ordered a long prison term," Morrissey said in a statement.
In 1979, Irving was convicted of three counts of rape with force, unnatural acts and kidnapping, Massachusetts State Police said. In one incident, Irving knocked the victim off her bike and took her to a secluded area, where he repeatedly raped her. During another attack, Irving threatened a victim with a knife if she did not comply with his sexual demands.
A 12-member jury found him guilty on all counts. The judge -- new to the job -- offered him a weekend to put his affairs in order before reporting to jail. Irving never returned.
Instead, he fled Massachusetts and landed on the state's Most Wanted list, where he remained for 34 years.
After he fled, Irving's profile was featured on the TV shows "America's Most Wanted," "Unsolved Mysteries" and "Real Stories of the Highway Patrol," according to the Most Wanted poster.
Police found Irving at his Gorham, Maine, home in March, where he had been living under the name Gregg Irving, the name of his younger brother, said Massachusetts State Police spokesman Dave Procopio in a statement.
Police would not divulge what led authorities to Irving. Records show he had lived there since 2002 and perhaps since the mid-1980s, police said.
Confirmation of his identity was made via a scar on his chest from heart surgery he underwent as a child and a fingerprint match, police said.
CNN's requests for comment from Irving's attorneys were not immediately returned.