Convicted rapist Gary Irving is escorted into Dedham Superior Court by Massachusetts State Troopers on April 1, 2013. Credit: Getty Images Convicted rapist Gary Irving is escorted into Dedham Superior Court by Massachusetts State Troopers on April 1, 2013. Credit: Getty Images

A convicted kidnapper and rapist who spent decades as a fugitive was sentenced to up to 40 years in state prison Thursday.

Gary Allen Irving was captured in March, living under an assumed name in Maine.

At the time of his arrest, Irving's wife and two grown children were unaware that he had been convicted of kidnapping and raping three 16-year-old girls on the South Shore in 1978.

 

After being found guilty in 1979, a judge allowed Irving, then 19, to return home before being sentenced. Instead, Irving fled, and was eventually placed on the Massachusetts Most Wanted list.

On Thursday, Superior Court Judge Kenneth Fishman ordered Irving to serve two back-to-back sentences of 18 to 20 years behind bars. At the same time, Irving will serve seven to nine years for kidnapping.

"This punishment is deserved," Fishman said during the hearing, according to the Associated Press. "What was not deserved was the 34 years of freedom he enjoyed in the prime of his life while his three victims were deprived of closure, peace of mind, and safety that comes from the imposition of sentences immediately following conviction."

In court, Irving's victims and their family members testified that they remain traumatized by the crimes.

His lawyer said Irving, now 52, will be eligible for parole after 24 years.

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