Gary Alan Irving, a convicted serial rapist who eluded Massachusetts police for 34 years by living a quiet family life in Gorham before he was captured last year, appeared in federal court in Portland on Tuesday to several new charges.
Irving, 53, who had been held at the North Central Correctional Institute in Gardner, Mass., before being brought back to Maine, pleaded not guilty in U.S. District Court during his initial appearance on charges of being a fugitive in possession of firearms, Social Security fraud and aggravated identity theft.
The new charges stem from Irving’s flight to Maine from Rockland, Mass., after a jury convicted him of raping three girls in the summer of 1978, when he was 17. A judge in Massachusetts in 1979 released Irving to his parents’ custody after his conviction in an act of leniency before Irving was scheduled to be sentenced. Instead, Irving vanished.
Irving lived as a free man without being detected in Gorham for years under his brother’s name — as Gregory Irving and Gregg Irving. He married, had two children and even registered to vote, all while Massachusetts considered him one of its most wanted fugitives.
Irving was sentenced last year to up to 40 years for his past crimes.
Irving spoke only briefly at Tuesday’s hearing, answering questions posed to him by U.S. Magistrate Judge John Rich III about his finances. An attorney from the Federal Defender’s Office, J. Hillary Billings, was appointed to represent him.
Irving, dressed in a tan prison uniform, waived his right to a bail hearing on the new charges and will continue being held.
In 1978, Irving surprised his female victims, all of whom were walking or riding a bicycle, and forced them into secluded areas or into his car and raped them at knifepoint.
The victims identified Irving from his yearbook photo and from a graduation tassel in his high school’s colors that hung from his car’s rearview mirror.
For years after Irving’s disappearance, police in Massachusetts sought clues about his whereabouts. He became one of the commonwealth’s most sought-after fugitives and his case was featured numerous times on nationally syndicated television shows such as “America’s Most Wanted” and “Unsolved Mysteries.”
When police finally arrested Irving last March, they found numerous guns in his house, which he was forbidden to have as a convicted felon.
Authorities found four rifles, four shotguns and a revolver at his house at 151 South St., for which Irving now faces an additional 10 years in prison on top of his Massachusetts sentence.
Irving was indicted on the new charges Dec. 12 by a federal grand jury.
He faces five years in prison on the Social Security fraud charge and another two years for the aggravated identity theft charge. For each of the three counts, Irving faces a potential $250,000 fine.
Scott Dolan can be reached at 791-6304 or at:firstname.lastname@example.orgTwitter: @scottddolan