EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

March 29, 2013

Mass. rapist caught in Maine

Faced life in prison in 1978 for three rapes in Norfolk County

GORHAM, Maine (AP) — A Massachusetts man who disappeared while awaiting sentencing for three rapes 35 years ago has been arrested in Maine, where he’d married and started a family while living under an assumed name outside Portland, police said yesterday.

Gary Allen Irving, who worked installing telephones in businesses, was living in Gorham using the name Gregg Irving when he was arrested Wednesday night by Massachusetts and Maine State Police, Gorham police and the FBI.

“He was surprised to find law enforcement on his front door,” Maine State Police Sgt. Robert Burke said Thursday. Maine police didn’t say what led authorities to Irving.

Irving, 52, was due to appear in court Friday on charges of being fugitive from justice and being a felon in possession of firearms.

Irving has been on the Massachusetts Top 10 Most Wanted list for decades. He’d fled in 1978 while awaiting sentencing for three rapes in Norfolk County that carried the potential for life imprisonment, according to Massachusetts State Police.

In one of the rapes, he knocked the victim off of her bike, dragged her to a secluded area and raped her repeatedly; in another, he forced the victim into his car and threatened her with a knife, police said.

In Gorham, Irving and his wife had no encounters with police other than 2006 when the wife was a victim of identity theft.

“They certainly blended into the community,” said Gorham Police Lt. Christopher Sanborn.

The couple have an adult son and daughter who are in their 20s, as well as a granddaughter, said a neighbor, Leroy Dixon, who knew Irving by his middle name, Al. Irving had lived in the home for decades, Dixon said

“As far as I can see, he lived an ordinary life in a middle-class suburb,” Dixon said.

Police said the couple were watching TV and that a 3-year-old girl was inside the home when police arrived to make the arrest Wednesday night.

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