Rapist who fled to US jailed for 15 years
A rapist who tried to evade justice by fleeing to the US has been jailed for 15 years.
Kim Avis was found guilty of raping three of his victims and sexually assaulting a fourth following a trial at the High Court in Glasgow last month, the Crown Office said.
The 57-year-old was convicted of 14 charges in total, with the offences taking place mostly in Inverness between 2006 and 2017, including a charge of failing to attend a previous trial date after he fled to America.
Avis, who was extradited from the US to face the charges, was jailed when he appeared at the High Court in Edinburgh on Friday.
Avis, from Inverness, was detained by the US Marshals Service in Colorado Springs in July 2019.
He had been reported missing in February of that year after going for a swim at Monastery Beach in Carmel, California.
Investigators later discovered he was on bail for offences in Scotland
Fraser Gibson, procurator fiscal for High Court sexual offences, said: “This has been a difficult and complex investigation for all those involved. I would like to commend the victims for their bravery in coming forward.
“Kim Avis went to great lengths to evade justice for his crimes. Thanks to the efforts of police and prosecutors, working together with US law enforcement, he has been brought to justice and sentenced today.
“As this case shows, we prosecute sexual crime effectively and fairly. I would urge anyone who has been the victim of such offending to report it to police and seek support.”
Avis was jailed for 12 years for the sexual offences – including some against children and a rape – and three years for the failure to appear charge.
The trial date had been fixed for March 11 2019, but the court was told after a near-death experience in California that Avis believed he would not receive a fair hearing and decided not to return to Scotland.
It was heard he then went on the run for several months before US marshals, who did not believe he was dead, tracked him down in Colorado and he was extradited to the UK.
Avis, who continues to deny all the sexually related charges against him, was a street trader for many years in Inverness and had received a good citizen award.
He was found guilty of 13 charges of sexual offences between 2006 and 2016.
Avis pled guilty to the other offence and received a reduced jail term of three years for that part of the sentence.
Detective Inspector Caine McIntyre, of Police Scotland’s domestic abuse task force, said: “I welcome the conviction of Kim Avis, otherwise known as Kim Gordon.
“I would like to take this opportunity to commend the victims/survivors in this case for the courage, strength and dignity they have shown throughout this investigation and subsequent court case.
“I would also like to take this opportunity to reach out to anyone who is experiencing or has experienced domestic or sexual abuse – it is never too late to report to the police or seek support and advice from one of our partner agencies such as Women’s Aid or Rape Crisis Scotland.”