A convicted rapist, found 34 years after he fled from sentencing, was arrested at his home in Maine this week, according to authorities.
Gary Allen Irving, now 52-years-old, was found guilty of three rape charges in Norfolk County, Massachusetts in 1979. Facing the possibility of spending the rest of his life behind bars, the rapist fled from his conviction, becoming one of the state’s most wanted criminals for over three decades.
On Wednesday, the rapist’s 34 years in hiding came to an end as authorities from Massachusetts and Maine joined forces with the FBI to arrest Irving at his residence in Gorham, Maine.
According to officials, the fugitive allegedly falsified his identity and date of birth to create a new life in Maine. He secured employment, got married, and started a family — effectively keeping his past a secret to those around him.
Irving was reportedly accused and found guilty of viciously raping three young females during the summer of 1978. One woman was allegedly forced into a secluded area and raped repeatedly. A second victim was forcibly raped at knife-point in the man’s vehicle.
Police have indicated that the convicted rapist, living under the name Gregg Irving, spent the majority of the past 34 years living in Maine. They have not yet confirmed what led to his discovery and capture.
Maine State Police Sergeant Robert Burke described Irving’s reaction to Wednesday’s events, relating that the man “was surprised to find law enforcement on his front door.”
Irving initially denied his identity when police arrived on scene. However, a childhood surgical scar on the man’s chest was reportedly used to confirm that the correct individual was being apprehended.
A subsequent search of Irving’s home in Gorham reportedly uncovered a significant amount of rifles and handguns. Irving will face charges relating to the firearms, as ownership is considered illegal for convicted felons.
The rapist was taken into custody at the Cumberland County Jail and held without bail. He is scheduled for a court appearance on Friday to face charges relating to the confiscated firearms and for fleeing his 1979 conviction. It is unclear if Irving has secured legal representation at this time.
Now that Irving’s identity has been discovered, investigators in Maine intend to review open rape cases from the area to determine if the fugitive could have been involved in additional crimes during his 34 years in hiding.
How would you react if you discovered your neighbor or family member was a convicted rapist on the run from prison for 34 years?
[Top image via Shutterstock]