By JOSH FRIEDMAN
A Scottish man, who fled justice in the United Kingdom by traveling to California and faking his own death off the coast of Monterey County, has received a 15-year prison sentence for raping three women, sexually assaulting an 11-year-old girl and committing other crimes over a span of more than a decade.
Kim Vincent Avis, who went by the aliases of Kim Gordon and Ken Gordon-Avis, was a well-known street performer and trader in Inverness, Scotland. In Feb. 2019, while he had a scheduled court date in Scotland, Avis flew to Los Angeles International Airport. Days later, Avis’s 17-year-old son called 911 and reported that his father went missing while going for a swim at Monastery Beach in Carmel.
Authorities conducted a three-day search by land and water and found no signs of Avis. Sheriff’s investigators questioned Avis’s son about the story and determined his answers were not adding up.
Detectives continued to investigate the case and learned Avis was out on bail for 24 felony sexual abuse charges in Scotland. After speaking with Avis’s ex-wife, investigators became further suspicious of the drowning report.
Sheriff’s deputies interviewed Avis’s son a second time and determined he was not telling the truth. Authorities returned Avis’s son to Scotland, with help from Monterey County Child Protective Services.
Over the next few months, deputies worked with the U.S. Marshals Service, Interpol and Scottish authorities to obtain an arrest and extradition warrant for Avis. U.S. Marshals succeeded in obtaining the warrant through Interpol and Scottish authorities.
In July 2019, U.S. Marshals tracked Avis to Colorado Springs. Investigators managed to locate Avis because in part to a report in March 2019 that he was spotted driving a white Ford van in the Big Sur area.
U.S. Marshals captured Avis in Colorado Springs. He was later extradited to Scotland.
Last month, a jury at the High Court in Glasgow convicted Avis of raping three women. The jury also found Avis guilty of attempting to rape one of the women when she was 12 years old, as well as of sexually assaulting an 11-year-old girl. [BBC]
In all, the jury convicted Avis of 14 charges based on crimes that occurred between 2006 and 2017. Additionally, the jury convicted Avis of failing to appear for his previous trial.
During Avis’s sentencing hearing, Judge Lord Sandison said Avis had been a well-known street trader in Inverness for many years, busking and selling jewelry from his market stall. Avis even received a good citizen award.
But, there was another side to Avis, with a background report describing him as “a controlling and dominant personality,” Sandison said. Avis had manipulated, managed and coerced his victims, the judge said.