Mass. rapist returns from Maine, held without bail

Posted: 04/01/13 at 10:10 am EDT      Last Updated: 04/01/13 at 8:37 pm EDT

DEDHAM, Mass. (WHDH) -- A man who disappeared while awaiting sentencing for three rapes 34 years ago in Massachusetts is held without bail there after agreeing to return without a fight.

Gary Alan Irving, 52, returned to Norfolk Superior Court in Dedham, where he was convicted decades ago, on Monday, more than three decades after he was convicted of raping three women from Cohasset, Weymouth and Holbrook. Irving was 18 years old at the time.

Just before his scheduled sentencing in 1979, the judge allowed Irving to go home for two days to get his affairs in order. Police said Irving then fled.

Irving was arrested last week in Gorham, Maine on a fugitive charge after Massachusetts State Police learned he was living there under a different first name, Gregory.

“Very satisfying. It’s been a long investigation. Basically over a 30-year investigation, we refocused on it approximately two years ago. Assigned some troopers from the unit to work on it and they worked tirelessly,” said Det. Let. Michael Farley, of the Massachusetts State Police.

Members of the State police violent fugitive apprehension section said Irving was probably able to hide in plain sight for so long because he disappeared before computers were around.

“When we’d get frustrated or run into dead ends I’d pick up the old police reports that the detectives did 34 years ago and you read what he did to these girls and I just couldn’t imagine -- so that would get us back going again and through the frustration and get us back out there the next day,” said Farley.

Police said Irving was surprised when they showed up at his home last week.

“On the trip on the way back [from Maine] he was asked if he -- when he stopped looking over his shoulder and he said he never did,” said Farley.

Prosecutors said they hope to sentence Irving in the old case within the next three weeks. He faced a possible life sentence after being convicted in 1979.

Irving returns to court April 12.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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