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Belgium clears the way for extradition of rape suspect

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Patrick Markey

Belgian authorities holding an ex-convict suspected of kidnapping and raping two Irish students in New Hampshire have cleared the way for him to be released into the custody of U.S. law enforcement officials.

Steven Gordon is suspected of forcing two young Irish students into a car at gunpoint on July 18, and then driving them to a secluded spot where he allegedly sexually assaulted both of the women, authorities said. After the assaults, police said, Gordon fled to Amsterdam and handed himself in to U.S. embassy officials in Brussels six days later.

Gordon was held on a provisional warrant while U.S. officials presented Belgian authorities with evidence for the extradition proceedings to begin, according to Detective Mike Ronchi of Portsmouth Bureau of Investigative Services. Portsmouth police must now wait for a release date when they can bring Gordon back to face aggravated felonious sexual assault charges.

Police said Gordon, 28, is also wanted for questioning about a string of robberies and the rape of another woman in the New Hampshire area. An ex-convict, Gordon was recently released after serving part of a five-year jail term for sexual assault. He was a history of manic depression and had stopped taking medication before the most recent assaults, his relatives told local newspapers.

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