April 13, 2013

Rapist's attorney may appeal 1979 conviction

Gary Irving, who hid for more than three decades in Gorham, submits a DNA sample, which a lawyer says could help prove his innocence.

By Eric Russell erussell@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

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Gary Irving appears at Norfolk Superior Court in Dedham, Mass., on Friday.


Because of Irving's violent past, Maine police are combing through unsolved sexual assaults in Greater Portland to see whether Irving could have been involved. So far, there is nothing to indicate that he committed any other crimes, said Maine State Police Trooper Jeremy Forbes.

Irving could face more charges in Maine. When police searched his home after the arrest, they discovered 10 guns, including two sawed-off shotguns. As a convicted felon, Irving was not allowed to own guns. It's likely, though, that no charges would be filed until his Massachusetts case is resolved.

Judge Kenneth Fishman set a sentencing date of May 23 but also asked the defense and prosecution to report back for a status conference on April 26. One of the things that could hold up the case, Tassel said, is whether or not authorities can find the trial transcript from 1979.

Tassel said he has yet to have any lengthy conversations with his client but said, "He strikes me as a very gentle, kind individual."

"He's lived openly for 35 years in Maine," Tassel said. "He has a tremendous number of supporters in Gorham, Maine. Everyone in the community in Maine is astounded that this could possibly be the same person who stood trial back here so many years ago."

Staff Writer Eric Russell can be reached at 791-6344 or:


Twitter: @PPHEricRussell

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