A shopkeeper who tried to deceive justice by faking his own death has been convicted of atrocious sexual abuse.
Kim Avis was found guilty today on 14 counts after a two-week trial in Glasgow High Court.
He attacked two girls and two women between 2006 and 2017, mostly in Inverness, including at his property called Wolves Den.
Ponytail Avis – also a well-known busker in the city – was originally due to go on trial in March 2019.
But, the 57-year-old had instead fled to America where he was later reported missing by his 17-year-old son, Reuben.
He was last seen swimming at Monastery Beach in Carmel, California.
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The fugitive was eventually caught 1,300 miles away in Colorado, where he was found in a low-cost motel after police surveillance in July 2019.
Avis has been brought back to Scotland and now faces a lengthy prison sentence when convicted next month.
The crimes included the rape of three of the victims, the attempted rape of one of the three and the sexual assault of the fourth.
He was further convicted of not showing up at the previous trial.
Lord Sandison postponed the sentence until June 11 in Edinburgh.
While handcuffed to cells, Avis said: “It is a tragedy for truth and justice.”
The victims courageously testified against Avis, who moaned that the charges were like “reading a movie script”.
One of them – barely 12 when Avis first struck down – describes him as being in a “trance” during a sexual attack.
He jumped after the couple participated in a garage sale at Muir of Ord in the Highlands in May 2016.
Avis coldly said “It’s about time” leaving the girl terrified.
The victim – now 22 – recalled: âI remember telling him to get out of it by trying to look at him – but there was absolutely nothing there.
Avis – who then raped the victim in a separate incident – told the victim there was “something wrong” with him.
The two women mistreated by Avis had had relations with him.
The two were also raped because they repeatedly suffered from her hands.
One of them recounted how he got angry with “not a lot”. She described it as “extreme”.
Prosecutor Graeme Jessop asked him, “Has he ever done anything sexual that you didn’t want to do?”
The 48-year-old replied, “He would like to have sex during the day when he comes home from work.
âBut I was too busy and found it inappropriate. In the evenings, I was often too tired.
âHe didn’t take it well.
The woman finally “just accepted” so as not to “upset” Avis.
The other ex-partner denied having “thrown mud” at Avis in an attempt to blacken his name.
The woman sobbed as she told the jurors, “I’m just telling my story.”
She said her attacker even made false accusations against her on social media – but denied that she wanted “revenge”.
The latest victim – now 21 – was also around 12 when Avis first targeted her.
Avis was detained after police were alerted in 2017.
He testified during the trial and suggested that some of the victims were motivated by money.
Asked about the allegations, he insisted, “It’s like reading a movie script. It’s wrong. It’s disgusting.”
Avis was placed on the sex offender list.
Detective Inspector Caine McIntyre of the Scottish Police Domestic Abuse Task Force said: âI welcome the conviction of Kim Avis, also known as Kim Gordon.
“I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the victims / survivors in this case for the courage, strength and dignity they have shown throughout this investigation and the trial that followed.
I would also like to take this opportunity to reach out to anyone who is experiencing or has suffered domestic or sexual abuse; it is never too late to report to the police or seek help and advice from one of our partner agencies such as Women’s Aid or Rape Crisis Scotland.