An Irish doctor has been sentenced to 12 years in prison having pleaded guilty to sexually abusing two young girls in Florida.

Rory Doyle (59), originally from Sallins, County Kildare, has been on the run for over 12 years. The doctor pleaded guilty to the offenses carried out between September 1994 and July 2000, in Treasure Island, Pinellas County when the girls were aged 13 and eight.

Doyle, who has two teenage children, had maintained his innocence until last week. He was sentenced to 12 years in prison for the abuse of the two young girls and five years, to be served concurrently for failing to turn up for the trial.

According to the Pinellas County State’s Attorney office he could have been sentenced to a far more lenient sentence had he not fled and remained a fugitive.

After his sentencing one of his victims, now aged 32, told the Tampa Bay Times, “It was a huge relief. It's been so many years coming."

She continued, "I told him that I forgave him and I told him that I wanted him to realize that what he had done to me had changed my life. And that all these years later, what was most important to me was that it didn't happen to anybody else."

At the time of the abuse Doyle was working as an allergist and immunologist in Treasure Island. He was arrested in 2000 on charges of lewd or lascivious acts on two girls. He was deemed a flight risk as he had a passport and $1 million in overseas accounts.

Doyle fled the United States in 2001, on the eve of the initial trial.

He was eventually found in Dublin practicing cosmetic surgery. He had changed his name by deed poll to “David West.” He was subsequently struck off the medical register.

In January 2010 Ireland’s High Court ordered that Doyle be surrendered to Florida to face the charges of sexual abuse against him. He appealed and was on bail, with his passport surrendered, residing in Donnybrook, Dublin. He provided a bond of $34,074 (€25,000). A surety of $136,299 (€100,000) was put down by his mother, Maura Doyle (who was then 89 years old).

In December 2011 Doyle had his passport returned to him to travel to England with his mother for Christmas. He was also excused from signing-on for the period.

He was due on court in February 2012.

It emerged that his mother had spent Christmas in Cork at a hotel. When she returned her son was gone. She phoned to police when he had not returned by Jan 2.

The Irish Times reports that she was assured that the police would follow up on the matter. They did not visit the family home until Jan 27 and a warrant was issued for Doyle’s arrest. His mother lost her $136,299 (€100,000) surety.

In Ireland’s High Court Justice Michael Peart criticized the police for the manner in which they dealt the matter. He described what had happened as “a mockery of the process by which bail is applied for and granted.”

In November 2012 Doyle was arrested in Tangiers. He was extradited to the United States by Moroccan authorities.