EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

May 24, 2013

Convicted rapist whofled sentenced to 36 years


The Eagle-Tribune

---- — DEDHAM, Mass. (AP) — A man convicted of raping three women in Massachusetts was sentenced Thursday to 36 to 40 years in prison more than three decades after he fled the state and began living a secret life in Maine.

Gary Alan Irving could have faced possible life in prison at his sentencing in Norfolk Superior Court. His attorney said Irving will be eligible for parole in 24 years.

Irving was a teenager when he was convicted of raping three women. When authorities finally caught up with him in Maine in March, he was a 52-year-old man with a wife and two grown children.

Irving, who lived in Rockland, fled Massachusetts in 1979 after a judge allowed him to return home to make final arrangements before sentencing. He was on Massachusetts’ Top 10 Most Wanted list for decades.

Neil Tassel, a Boston attorney hired by Irving’s wife and children, said after his recapture that people who know Irving in Maine were “astounded” that he was convicted of three rapes.

In one of the attacks, Irving was convicted of knocking a woman off her bike and bringing her to a secluded area, where he repeatedly raped her, according to Massachusetts State Police.

In another attack, he was convicted of forcing the victim into his car as she was walking and threatened to use a knife if she didn’t comply.