SPRINGFIELD, ILL., DEC. 24 -- Gary Dotson, a convicted rapist released from prison when his victim recanted, then jailed again several times, was released from prison today on a "last chance" clemency order from Gov. James R. Thompson.

Dotson was released from the Dixon Correction Center at 1:40 p.m., two days earlier than expected, said Susan Mogerman, a spokeswoman for Thompson.

Dotson drew national attention when he was released from prison two years ago after a woman he was convicted of raping, Cathleen Crowell Webb, recanted. Webb said she accused Dotson of rape because she thought she was pregnant by a boyfriend.

Thompson's clemency order requires Dotson to undergo treatment for alcohol abuse and be placed on parole for three years.

A spokesman for the governor said this was Dotson's last chance, and that if he violates the terms of his parole, he will be returned to prison to serve the remainder of his 25- to 50-year rape sentence.

The governor first commuted Dotson's rape sentence in May 1985 after Dotson, now 30, had spent six years in prison. He was then arrested four times on traffic violations and was jailed later in connection with a domestic dispute.