Category: Archive

New Hampshire rapist gets life sentence

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Patrick Markey

An American ex-convict found guilty of raping two Irish students in New Hampshire last year was handed a life sentence yesterday by a judge who called the crime one of the state’s most horrific cases, officials said.

Steven Gordon, who had already served jail time for a previous sexual assault, was convicted of raping the two young students in an brutal early morning attack last summer.

Handing down the sentence, Superior Court Judge Patricia Coffey called Gordon’s action’s despicable and the most horrific rape case in her time on the bench, according to a spokesman for the Rockingham County prosecutor’s office.

Gordon was given a life-term sentence for one of the rapes and a sentence of 95-190 years for the other counts with which he was charged.

"If there was ever a case that called for the maximum sentence, it was this one," said Rockingham County Attorney James Reams, who prosecuted the case.

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Under New Hampshire law criminals sentenced to life imprisonment are kept behind bars for the rest of their lives and they are not eligible for parole, Reams said.,

Neither victim was in the courtroom for the sentencing although one earlier told officials she was still suffered from fear and anxiety. At the time of the attack Gordon was on parole after having served three and a half years of a six-year sentence for a previous armed sexual assault.

The two students were working in the U.S. for the summer when Gordon took them in a rented car to a desolate spot near a graveyard, where he assaulted them at gunpoint. Both victims, who are in their 20s and from the south of Ireland, managed to get help from a nearby house.

Detectives tracked Gordon through the car he used in the assault. The car was left near the scene of the attack after Gordon smashed into a headstone and abandoned the vehicle.

After the assaults, Gordon fled to Europe, where he eventually surrendered to U.S. authorities at the American embassy in Brussels. He will also stand trial for the alleged rape of another New Hampshire woman, and has been questioned by police about a series of armed robberies.

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