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Man Convicted Of Rape Escapes To California To Fake His Own Death

Photo: Monterey County Sheriff's Office
Man Convicted Of Rape Escapes To California And Fakes Death

Convicted rapist, Kim Avis, 57, was convicted of 14 charges after preying on women in Scotland and then fleeing to America to fake his own death.

Avis, a well-known market trader from Inverness, was supposed to face trial in March 2019, but instead fled to America while on bail.

During Avis’s 11-year span of sex crimes in the Scottish Highlands, he preyed on two girls and two women, with charges spanning between 2006 and 2017.

Avis’s crimes included raping three of his victims, attempted rape of one of the three, and sexually assaulting his fourth victim. In his original trial, Avis told jurors that the accusations were “disgusting” and “untrue and made up.”

While Avis had been on bail, he flew to Los Angeles using the name Ken Gordon-Avis on February 16, 2019.

After being in California for nine days, he was reported missing by his 17-year-old son after having gone for an evening swim at Monastery Beach in Carmel, California.

Monastery Beach is notorious for its water’s dangerously strong undertow and incredibly high surf conditions.

The many deaths of swimmers and divers at the beach caused it to be nicknamed "Mortuary Beach."

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Avis’s disappearance prompted a three-day search of the shore and the water by authorities who were unaware of Avis’s background at the time. A dive team, a drone, and the coastguard combed the area, but were not able to locate Avis.

The effort was led by the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office, spearheaded by Commander Derrel Simpson. Simpson said one of his officers, Sergeant David Murray, felt as though something was off about the disappearance.

Through further investigation, the sheriff’s office found that Avis had appeared to take all of his personal belongings with him on his swim, including his passport. The sheriff’s office was told that the father and son had been staying in hotels in the area to hike and camp, despite having no hiking gear.

Murray also discovered that the hotel where Avis and his son were said to have stayed had no record of them as guests.

After authorities in Monterey County contacted relatives of Avis in Scotland, they learned Avis was facing charges of sexual attacks against women and girls back home.

After receiving this information, the case was turned over to the US Marshals Services, the department responsible for catching wanted criminals.

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The Monterey Sheriff’s Office worked with US Marshals and Scottish authorities throughout the months following Avis’s disappearing act in an attempt to arrest Avis and secure an extradition warrant.

They discovered that Avis had used a false name to enter the United States, and they found that his bank account had been accessed in Colorado after he vanished in California.

According to Commander Simpson, the biggest tip-off they received was a reported sighting of Avis driving a white Ford van in the Big Sur area of California.

Five months after his disappearance in February, authorities traced Avis to Colorado Springs, Colorado. After being found 1,300 miles away from his last known location, Avis was arrested and returned to Scotland.

Avis finally faced trial at the High Court in Edinburgh on Friday where he was found guilty of 13 offenses of rape, attempted rape, sexual assault, and indecency. He was also found guilty of failing to appear in court on March 11, 2019.

During his trial, judge Lord Sandison told Avis, “You then effectively went on the run before US Marshals, unpersuaded that you were dead, tracked you down in Colorado.”

Sandison went on to explain that he was aware of Avis’s past as a street-trader and as he understood it, Avis had even received “some sort of good citizen award.”

However, the judge also said there was another side to Avis. The author of a background report written about Avis had described him as having a “controlling and dominant personality.”

Avis received a 12-year sentence for the sex crimes he had committed, along with three years for failing to appear in court.

Avis’s defense counsel, Lorenzo Alonzi, said that Avis continues to deny the charges and believes them to be “a tragedy for truth and justice.”

Avis, who was already a registered sex offender, will remain on the list indefinitely.

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Livvie Brault is a writer who covers self-love, entertainment and news and relationships.