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Man recently released from prison faces new rape charges

Posted May 26, 2009
Updated May 27, 2009

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— A Raleigh man, who served time for rape and was released from prison three months ago, is facing new rape charges.  The crimes have some people asking why a registered sex offender, with several felony rape convictions, was allowed to return to the streets.

Raleigh police arrested Travis Gillis, 43, of 1420 S. Wilmington St., Friday night and charged him with kidnapping, assault with a deadly weapon and rape. He was being held in Central Prison on a $3 million bond. He appeared in court Tuesday afternoon.

Police said he recently raped three prostitutes in abandoned homes and wooded areas, and then tried to strangle them. According to court records, Gillis has a long history of sexual assault.

“First-degree forcible rape, strangulation, assault with a deadly weapon, attempted second-degree rape, first-degree kidnapping,” District Judge James Fullwood said of Gillis' prior charges.

According to state Department of Correction records, Gillis was released from prison in early February after serving less than 15 years of a 40-year sentence for attempted second-degree rape, second-degree kidnapping and second-degree sexual offense. His parole ended May 8.

“That was very common for crimes that were committed prior to 1994 under the state's old fair sentencing laws,” Keith Acree, DOC's director of public affairs, said. “You earned a day off your sentence for every day you served in prison with good behavior, so off the top that pretty much served to cut your sentence in half."

Those crimes for which he was serving time occurred on July 1, 1993. DOC records show that Gillis had been released from prison June 11, 1993, after serving 3½ years for second-degree rape and a probation revocation. The probation stemmed from a conviction for attempted second-degree rape in August 1988, according to DOC records.

However, since 1994, the state has operated under structured sentencing. Prisoners get a minimum and maximum sentence, and they must serve all of that minimum time.

For Gillis, the change in law means, “if you're found guilty you have the possibility of spending the rest of your life in prison,” Fullwood said.

Gillis was being held Tuesday at the Wake County Jail under a $3 million bond. His first court date was set for June 15.

5 Comments

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  • prn13norm May 27, 2009

    Capital Punishment may not be a deterrent to crime however it solves the problem of repeat offenders!

  • beaker May 27, 2009

    love how they list his address as the homeless shelter

  • superman67112005 May 27, 2009

    No NEED to throw away the key!

    Thank your legislators who change the laws so structured sentencing is changed and people get out alot earlier than they should for crimes like this. Think of it, murder, rape, convicted felons who commit crimes like this over and over and in NC they only get 3-5 years of a 20 year sentence when they are released back to good ole society.

    LIBERALS and FREEDOM are going to kill us all.

  • jprime May 27, 2009

    throw away the key

  • shortcake53 May 27, 2009

    Another shining example of how well we are protected from some of the worst of society. Its disgusting.