A Scottish rapist who was considered missing, and possibly dead, in California has been sentenced to 15 years in prison after authorities finally tracked him down.
Kim Avis, 57, was jailed in the Edinburgh High Court following his arrival back in the UK on Friday after pleading guilty to non-sexual charges. He maintains he is innocent over the sexual-related offences.
Last month, Avis was found guilty on three counts of rape and one count of sexual assault in the High Count in Glasgow, according to the Crown Office. He is originally from Inverness, where we worked at the market and had once received a good citizen award.
He will serve 12 years for the sexual crimes, which include a rape and an offence against a child, and three for not attending his court sessions. He was supposed to begin his trial in March 2019 but failed to attend court as he had fled to the US.
Fraser Gibson, the procurator fiscal for High Court sexual offences, said of the case, “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.”
He continued, “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.”
Prior to arriving back in Scotland, he was in detention, under the control of US Marshalls from July 2019 after being believed to be missing for six months.
He was considered to be dead as he had been last seen in Monastery Beach, an infamous location in Carmel, California due to the amount of people who have died swimming there. The beach’s reputation has gained it the grim moniker “Mortuary Beach”.
It was unclear whether the man was alive or dead, but US authorities continued their search and finally discovered him in Colorado.
A member of Police Scotland’s domestic abuse task force, Detective Caine McIntyre supported Avis’ conviction and praised his victims for coming forward and cooperating with the process.
“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.”
She also urged people in similar situations to come forward and reach out to the relevant authorities.