Late in the summer of 1978, 18-year-old Gary Alan Irving allegedly picked up two young women walking in Weymouth and tried to coerce them into having sex with him. Irving was charged with accosting and threatening them but was never tried. He was later convicted in 1979 of raping three other women and fled the state before he could be sentenced.
David Traub, spokesman for the Norfolk County District Attorney’s Office, declined to comment on whether Irving, who was captured in Gorham, Maine, last week after 34 years on the lam, would face a trial on the Weymouth charges now that he has been returned to Massachusetts.
“Because this remains a pending case . . . the DA’s office is not going to comment on the future of those charges or on any pending investigation,” Traub said in an e-mail.
Louis Sabadini,the Norfolk County prosecutor who handled Irving’s prosecution for the three rapes more than three decades ago, said in a phone interview Wednesday that he had tried to join the Weymouth charges with the three rape cases, but that a judge did not allow it.
The alleged attack in Weymouth happened during the same summer as the rapes in three different South Shore communities, according to officials, though the exact date was not immediately available. Irving allegedly picked up the two young women in his car, and began trying to make them have sex with him, according to Brian W. Noonan, a former Cohasset police chief who spent years hunting Irving after he fled the state.
Irving allegedly told the girls that his name was Bob, that he was from the Cape, and that “people were making him pick them up and have sex with them.” Those people, he reportedly said, would be checking to make sure he followed through. He told the same story to the 16-year-old Cohasset girl he raped that summer, said Noonan.
The two young women in Weymouth escaped unharmed, Noonan said, and as they fled, they grabbed the blue and white tassel hanging from Irving’s rearview mirror and took down his registration number. The car belonged to Irving’s father, an auxiliary police officer from Rockland who has since died.
It was the tassel that allowed police to solve the three rapes Irving committed that summer: The colors identified Irving as a Rockland High School graduate, and his victim in Cohasset recalled a tassel with a “78” — the year Irving graduated. She identified him from a yearbook photo.
When Irving was arrested in early September 1978, a police officer asked him if they had arrested the wrong man, said Noonan. Irving looked at his knees and shook his head no, Noonan said.
Irving was returned from Maine on Monday to face sentencing in the rape cases and is due back in Norfolk Superior Court in Dedham for a status hearing on April 12.
Evan Allen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.