Gary Irving, the man who lived a peaceful, upstanding life in Gorham for 34 years before he was identified as a convicted serial rapist from Massachusetts, was sentenced Friday to almost seven years in federal prison for gun charges, on top of the 36 to 40 years he already is serving for the rapes he committed in Massachusetts when he was 18.

Irving, 53, would be 100 at the end of his sentence if he served it all. He will be eligible for parole on the Massachusetts convictions in about 24 years, when he is 77. But the federal sentence is to be served consecutively, once the state sentence is complete, making his earliest release when he is about 84.

Irving was convicted of raping three high school girls at knifepoint in 1978, though he still denies committing those crimes. The judge in that case gave him a couple of days of freedom to put his affairs in order before reporting to prison, and he fled.

On March 27, 2013, he was arrested by Maine State Police at his Gorham home, shocking his family, neighbors and co-workers.

While raising his family in Maine, he used his brother’s name, Gregory, and Social Security number, and at the time of his arrest, owned nine guns – two of them shotguns with illegally short barrels, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Darcie McElwee.

Irving was not allowed to have guns because he was a fugitive and had been convicted of a violent felony. In March, he pleaded guilty to the federal gun charge and to using someone else’s Social Security number.

Irving’s lawyer, J. Hilary Billings, asked Friday in U.S. District Court in Portland that his client be given a minimal sentence of five years on the two charges, and that the sentence be served concurrently with the Massachusetts sentence for rape.

But Judge George Singal ruled that Irving was faking his name to avoid accountability for very serious crimes, in which young women were raped at knifepoint. Those women did not get to live the normal life Irving did, he said.

Singal sentenced him to 81 months, almost the entire 84 months the prosecution sought, and he decided Irving’s federal sentence should be tacked on to the Massachusetts’ sentence. He enumerated the crimes Irving was convicted of in Massachusetts, saying that to fully appreciate the deception he created in Maine, the court needed to consider the crimes committed in Massachusetts.

The three victims in that case never married, never had children and one said she never was able to trust men again, Singal said, citing information provided by the prosecution.

Irving arrived in court wearing a khaki jail uniform and his wrists chained to his waist. He told the judge he was sorry and that he didn’t realize that what he had done was so bad – but it was unclear which behavior he was referring to. Irving’s family and friends who spoke on his behalf or supported him from the gallery were startled by what they saw as a harsh ruling.

As his wrists were again chained to his waist, Irving directed a kiss toward his wife, then was led from the courtroom.

David Hench can be contacted at 791-6327 or at:

dhench@mainetoday.com

Twitter: @Mainehenchman