A Scottish serial rapist was sentenced to 15 years in prison on Friday after unsuccessful attempts to evade justice by fleeing Scotland and faking his own death on one of California’s most dangerous beaches.
Kim Vincent Avis, 57, of Inverness, was convicted of raping three women, attempting to rape a 12-year-old girl, as well as sexually assaulting an 11-year-old girl, following a trial in Glasgow High Court last month. .
The sex crimes allegedly took place between 2006 and 2017, according to the BBC.
Street vendor and busker Avis has also been accused of failing to show up on an earlier trial date after fleeing to America, according to the Scottish Prosecutor’s Office.
On February 16, 2019, Avis, who was then out on bail, flew to Los Angeles International Airport under the assumed name of Ken Gordon-Avis. Nine days later, her son reported her disappearance to the authorities at the monastery beach after an alleged evening swim.
The beach off Carmel is known for its dangerous conditions. Drownings from high waves and heavy surf are so common in California waters that they have been locally morbidly dubbed by many as the “death beach,” the San Francisco Chronicle noted.
However, the waters were calm and flat on the night of Avis’ reported death, raising police suspicion.
Commander Derrel Simpson added that one of his officers, Sergeant David Murray, suspected the hoax after it emerged Avis took all of his personal effects, including his passport, with him on the evening swim .
An extensive search was carried out by the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office, with the assistance of forestry and fire protection personnel, a dive crew, a Coast Guard helicopter as well as a drone to sweep the area and locate the missing man.
Three days later, suspicions from the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office came true after Avis relatives confirmed he was on bail facing charges of sexual assault against women and girls in the Highlands.
Police later found Avis plotted his own “death” with his son while on bail to escape his crimes in Scotland.
The son’s account of the event lacked crucial details, detectives said. He also couldn’t tell authorities how they got to the central California coast after flying from Scotland to Los Angeles.
The missing person’s case was ultimately quashed and the investigation turned to the US Marshals Service, the Associated Press reported.
The authorities have joined forces with Interpol and the Scottish Police to obtain an arrest warrant. They then followed the suspect following pings of his bank account activity, some 1,300 miles east of Colorado Springs, where Avis was found alive and well. The Scotsman was arrested by police five months after faking his death.
The 57-year-old has been moved for extradition to Scotland. Last month, the Glasgow High Court convicted the man of 13 counts relating to sexual offenses committed between 2006 and 2017. Avis has always claimed his innocence.
“Kim Avis went to great lengths to evade justice for his crimes,” said Fraser Gibson, the High Court’s sexual offenses attorney. “Thanks to the efforts of police and prosecutors, in conjunction with US law enforcement, he has been brought to justice.”