NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

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February 4, 2010

Rapist gets 20 to 25 years for attempted sexual assault on Plum Island

SALEM — A serial rapist who once admitted to raping more than two dozen women was sentenced this morning to 20 to 25 years in state prison for an attempted rape on Plum Island last September. Scott A. Gagnon, 51, of Tewksbury, will then spend the 20 years after that on probation and will also be under community parole supervision for the rest of his life, under the terms of the plea agreement accepted by Salem Superior Court Judge John Lu. Gagnon pleaded guilty to attempted rape and indecent assault and battery. Because the attempted rape was a subsequent offense, he was facing up to life, but a life sentence would have made him eligible for parole after 15 years. As a result of the 20- to 25-year term, he will not be eligible for parole until he has served at least 20 years. Gagnon, who had spent 27 years in prison and a state treatment center for a series of rapes in the late 1970s, was released in 2007 after experts concluded that he had been rehabilitated. On the afternoon of Sept. 28, Gagnon admitted this morning, he followed and then attacked a woman who had gone jogging along the beach. After a struggle, the woman escaped, said prosecutor Gerald Shea, and flagged down a passing four-wheel-drive vehicle. Gagnon was found in a parking lot a short time later. For more details on this case, please see tomorrow's Newburyport Daily News.

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