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Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Gary Irving: The Bail Jumping Rapist

     In 1978 a jury in Norfolk County, Massachusetts found 18-year-old Gary Irving guilty of three counts of rape with force, unnatural acts and kidnapping. Irving had knocked one of his victims off her bike, dragged her to a secluded area and viciously raped her. He had threatened a second rape victim with a knife. The convicted rapist faced up to life in prison.

     Immediately following Irving's guilty verdict and prior to his sentencing, the rapist's attorney asked Judge Robert Prince to extend his client's bail a couple of days so Irving could make final arrangements before being packed off to prison.

     The prosecutor in the case, Louis Sabadini, pointed out that if Gary Irving was not sent straight to prison he would flee. Extending bail to a convicted rapist who was facing at least 35 years in prison was simply out of the question. This young man was a violent sexual predator.

     Judge Prince shocked the prosecutor and the rape victims' families by granting Irving the weekend to settle his affairs before his incarceration. Irving took this opportunity to flee the state. Except perhaps for Judge Prince, Gary Irving's bail jump surprised no one.

     The convicted rapist would remain at large for 35 years.

     In trying to find this fugitive the police received plenty of help from reality television. The Irving bail jumping case was featured on "America's Most Wanted," "Unsolved Mysteries" and "Real Stories of the Highway Patrol." It seemed that Gary Irving had somehow left the planet.

     On Wednesday, March 27, 2013, local police and FBI agents arrested Irving at his home in Gorham, Maine where the 52-year-old had been living under the name Gregg Irving. He hadn't even bothered to change his last name.

     On July 14, 2014, Judge George Singal sentenced Gary Irving to 47 years in prison. The 57-year-old wouldn't be eligible for parole until he was 84.

     What can you say about a judge who made such a reckless decision? What was he thinking? Could he have been that stupid or were his motives more complicated and perhaps pathological? One can only hope that Mr. Irving, during his 35 years of freedom, didn't rape more victims. If he did, Judge Prince was his accomplice. (The judge has since died.)

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