By Jillian Jorgensen
SALEM — All Salem District Court records in the sexual assault case against Planning Board member Jeffrey Gray have been sealed. But old records show Gray has previously been convicted of misdemeanor crimes of stalking and assaulting an ex-girlfriend.
Windham police have yet to arrest Gray, 48, on warrants for aggravated felonious sexual assault, kidnapping, false imprisonment, simple assault and obstructing the report of a crime. The alleged victim in those assaults met Gray after he posted a Craigslist ad seeking a roommate at his 104 South Shore Drive home in Windham.
"I hope that he'll be arrested by the end of the week," Windham police Capt. Mike Caron said yesterday. "But we won't know until he takes care of some stuff."
The assaults took place between March 5, when the woman met Gray, and March 8, when she filed a report with Salem police, Caron said. Salem police determined Gray's home was actually in Windham, and forwarded the report to them.
Windham police searched Gray's home March 9, while he was there, Caron said. There was no warrant for Gray's arrest at the time, police said.
The arrest warrants were granted March 15, and another search warrant — this one for Gray's DNA — was granted March 16. Police have yet to obtain his DNA, Caron said.
"We will get the DNA once he's arrested," he said.
In a written response to a Right to Know Law request filed by The Eagle-Tribune Friday, Windham police yesterday declined to provide the affidavits filed in support of their search warrants in the case.
Police said making the information public "may interfere with law enforcement proceedings," including Gray's apprehension and trial strategies. They also argued releasing the information would interfere with Gray's right to a fair trial, and could cause an "unwarranted invasion of privacy" for the victims and witnesses.
All the recent criminal filings against Gray in Salem District Court were sealed by a judge yesterday, including the motion to seal the documents.
Other court records show Gray has a history with Salem police, including three criminal convictions for misdemeanors, all involving the same ex-girlfriend. That woman, Teri Kelly-Emery, asked a judge for a protection order against Gray a week before the alleged assault of another woman March 5.
In a petition filed Feb. 24, Kelly-Emery wrote that a previous protection order expired on Nov. 13, 2010, and "since then the defendant has contacted me by text message" six times. She also wrote that Gray "continually called (her) home phone at 1:30 a.m." She heard from police that Gray had called a suicide hotline, she wrote.
"I feel he is not right and could be a threat to me and my children. He has been abusive to me and my children in the past," she wrote.
When Gray didn't appear in court for a hearing March 21, a judge ordered a one-year protection order, barring Gray from coming within 100 yards of Kelly-Emery. In 2006, Gray served 50 days in the county jail for violating a protection order by standing on Kelly-Emery's front lawn. He was still on the lawn when police arrived and arrested him at 12:01 a.m. on Sept. 20, 2006. Gray was ordered held without bail, until Nov. 8, 2006, when his bail order was changed to $5,000 cash or surety, and a requirement he attend daily Alcohol Anonymous meetings.
He pleaded guilty in December 2006 to violating the protective order, and was sentenced to a 12-month sentence — all of it deferred except for the 50 days he had already served, according to court records.
Gray also was previously convicted of simple assault for a Jan. 5, 2003, incident involving Kelly-Emery. According to the criminal complaint, he forced her down on her bed "by grabbing her by the wrists and lying on her body with his body."
Kelly-Emery got free only after screaming for her son, who came into the room, according to a police affidavit. Gray got off her and punched her son in the face, according to the document. He pleaded guilty in a negotiated plea deal, and received a six-month suspended sentence and mandatory drug-and-alcohol counseling.
In November 2004, Gray pleaded guilty to throwing a rock at a truck parked outside Kelly-Emery's home. He told police he thought she had a male visitor and the truck belonged to the visitor. He told police "he became jealous and he attempted to break the window with a rock," according to an affidavit.
Gray once accused his sister of false imprisonment and abduction, among other charges, in a lawsuit filed against her in federal court in 2008. The lawsuit is still active.
Gray, who is divorced from his wife Janette, had been involved in a lengthy custody battle over their two children with his sister, Lisa Sorenson, who lives out of state. Janette Gray is a co-plaintiff in Gray's lawsuit against his sister.
According to Sorenson's attorney, Daniel Lustenberger of Epping, neither Janette nor Jeffrey Gray have custody of their children now. A New Hampshire Supreme Court order determined that an out-of-state court had jurisdiction over the children's custody.
Lustenberger said most of his dealings with Gray in court have been related to child support and custody. He said the new charges against Gray came as a surprise.
"I wouldn't have suspected that he would have gone this far for anything like that, based on what I know," he said. "But again, it's certainly a domestic violence issue, and he's got a domestic violence history."
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