Category: Archive

N.H. rape suspect is back in U.S.

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Patrick Markey

A New Hampshire man wanted for raping two Irish students last summer in Portsmouth was returned to the U.S. this week to face trial after fleeing to Belgium, where he had been fighting extradition, officials said.

Federal U.S. marshals and New Hampshire police detectives escorted Steven Gordon back from Brussels for arraignment at Portsmouth District Court in New Hampshire yesterday on charges of felonious sexual assault, U.S. officials said. Police charge that Gordon kidnapped and sexually assaulted two Irish women, both students in their 20s, who were working in the U.S. for the summer.

Gordon is an ex-convict who has already served a five-year sentence for sexual assault and was released only last year, according to Portsmouth police.

The two students were working in the New Hampshire’s Hampton Beach area, which is a popular summer resort. According to police, Gordon approached the two women armed with a plastic pellet gun he bought at a local Wal-Mart and forced them into a rented car. He then drove them to a secluded area where he allegedly assaulted both of them. After he fled, the women managed to get help at nearby house.

Investigators identified Gordon as a suspect after they discovered a rented car he had been using near the scene of the crime. Police said Gordon fled to Amsterdam using his own passport and then traveled onto Brussels, where he later surrendered to U.S. officials at the American embassy.

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Just before he surrendered, Gordon gave a brief but startling interview with a reporter from the Boston Globe newspaper who had managed to contact him by telephone at the Dutch youth hostel where he was hiding. During the interview, Gordon confessed to the assaults and apologized. Gordon’s family have said he suffers from manic depression and had recently stopped taking medication.

Police said Gordon is also wanted for questioning about a series of armed robberies in the area and in connection with another rape of a New Hampshire real estate agent.

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