A well-known Inverness market trader who tried to cheat justice by faking his own death has been found guilty of a string of sex abuse charges.
Kim Avis was convicted of 14 charges on Friday after a two-week trial at the High Court in Glasgow.
He preyed on two girls and two women between 2006 and 2017, mainly in Inverness – including at his property called Wolves Den.
Pony-tailed Avis – also a well-known busker in the city – should have originally stood trial in March 2019.
But the 57 year-old had instead gone to America where he was then reported missing by his 17 year-old son Reuben.
He was said to have last been seen going for a swim at Monastery Beach in Carmel, California.
Avis was eventually caught 1,300 miles away in Colorado, where he was tracked down to low-cost motel after a police stake-out in July 2019.
Avis was brought back to Scotland and now faces a lengthy jail term when he is sentenced next month.
The crimes included raping three of the victims, also attempting to rape one of the trio and sexually assaulting the fourth.
He was further convicted of failing to appear for the previous trial.
Lord Sandison adjourned sentencing until June 11 in Edinburgh.
As he was led handcuffed to the cells, Avis stated: “This is a tragedy for truth and justice.”
The victims bravely testified against Avis, who claimed the accusations were like “reading from a film script”.
One – just 12 when Avis first struck – described him being in a “trance” during a sex attack.
He pounced after the pair had been at a car boot sale in Muir of Ord in May 2016.
Avis said “it’s time” leaving the girl terrified.
This victim – now aged 22 – recalled: “I remember telling him to snap out of it while trying to look at him – but there was absolutely nothing there.”
Avis – who later raped the victim in a separate incident – told the victim there was “something wrong” with him.
Two women were raped as they repeatedly suffered at his hands.
One told how he flew into a rage at “not very much”. She described him as “extreme”.
Prosecutor Graeme Jessop asked her: “Did he ever do anything sexually that you did not want to do?”
The 48 year-old replied: “He would want to have sex in the daytime.
“But, I was too busy and thought it inappropriate. In the evening, a lot of times I was too tired.
“He did not take it well.”
The woman eventually “just went along with it” not to “upset” Avis.
The other witness denied “chucking mud” at Avis in a bid to blacken his name.
The woman sobbed as she told jurors: “I am just giving my story.”
She said her abuser had even made false accusations against her on social media – but denied wanting “vengeance”.
The final victim – now 21 – was also aged around 12 when Avis first targeted her.
Avis was held after police were alerted in 2017.
He gave evidence during the trial and suggested some of the victims were motivated by money.
Quizzed about the allegations, he insisted: “It is like reading a film script. It is untrue. It is disgusting.”
Avis was placed on the sex offenders register.
Detective Inspector Caine McIntyre said: “I welcome this conviction. I would like to take this opportunity to commend the victims/survivors in this case for the courage, strength and dignity they have shown throughout this investigation and subsequent court case.”