Rapist's flight from prosecution is over

Alan Boyd Curtis fled the country in 2005, but Europe has sent him back.

Published February 25, 2007

Ever since he killed a stranger with a three-pronged frog gig in 1982, Alan Boyd Curtis has had a knack for staying out of prison.

In this case, he changed his name and fled west from his Tarpon Springs home with his wife, Tammy, who married Curtis when she was 16.

Eleven years later, in 1993, in Klamath Falls, Ore., Tammy turned him in.

In a remarkable turn of events at Curtis' 1994 trial, the deeply religious family of 26-year-old victim Joseph Velario asked prosecutors to reduce Curtis' first degree-murder charge to manslaughter, a change of heart that the court accepted and likely spared Curtis a long prison term.

But it didn't reform him.

He was convicted in 1999 of a St. Petersburg rape and robbery. Again, he was spared in court, getting a 20-year suspended sentence and probation.

Then in 2005, when Curtis was again accused of a rape, he took off again.

But, again, the law caught him.

On Friday, Curtis was delivered by the U.S. Marshals Service to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.

Curtis had fled to France to avoid prosecution in the February 2005 rape case.

When French authorities, working with Pinellas County detectives, arrested Curtis, he skipped bail and headed for Spain, where he was arrested and jailed until Friday.

Curtis will face parole-violation charges from the 1999 case and two counts of sexual battery from February 2005.

Authorities said Curtis sexually battered a female associate on a boat in the Gulf of Mexico.

At one point in the 2005 rape, the victim jumped overboard, authorities said. Curtis told her she could get back in the boat or risk freezing, drowning or being eaten by sharks, sheriff's officials said.

Back at the boat ramp, the woman ran away. She notified detectives the next day.

But Curtis was likely already on his way out of the country, flying to Paris.

David Velario, who was with his brother Joe when Curtis killed him in 1982, originally wanted revenge.

David, 17 at the time, said he would have liked to hurt Curtis, even kill him. But he and other members of the Velario family found religion.

David Velario, now 42 years old, said he regrets ever giving Curtis a chance.

"He manipulated Christianity and made everybody believe he was a changed man," he said. "He's a con artist. A major con artist. He needs to be in a cage for the rest of his life."

Velario, 42, lives in Largo and owns a heating and cooling business.

"Justice has finally been done on this. I feel sorry there had to be another victim."

Times staff writers Tom Tobin and Craig Pittman contributed to this report. Casey Cora can be reached at 727 580-1542 or ccora@sptimes.com.