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October 28, 2013

Former Salem official fights for prison release

Gray claims new DNA evidence will exonerate him

BRENTWOOD, N.H. — Former Salem Planning Board member Jeffrey Gray, sentenced to seven to 14 years for rape, has uncovered DNA evidence he hopes will lead to his release from prison.

Gray, 51, serving as his own lawyer while sitting behind bars, claims the lab report misfiled by Windham police will help prove he shouldn’t have been convicted of aggravated felonious sexual assault in July 2012.

In court documents, Gray claims the state forensic lab report will confirm he did not receive a fair trial in Rockingham County Superior Court because the victim lied when testifying she only had sex with him. He also has accused the prosecution and police of lying.

A hearing is set for Nov. 14 on whether Judge Marguerite Wageling should grant Gray a new trial, but he has asked for that hearing to be rescheduled.

The former Windham civil engineer was found guilty of raping the pregnant 36-year-old New York woman, who placed an advertisement on Craigslist because she needed a place to live. Gray contacted her, saying he only wanted to help her out.

He paid her airfare from New York and allowed her to live in his home for free. Gray claimed the sex between the two was consensual, but the woman testified he forced her to participate.

She also told jurors Gray liked to wear a diaper and pretend to be a baby before raping her and urinating on her. Gray also demanded that she pretend to be his mother, the woman testified.

When Gray appeared in court Sept. 4 to request a new trial, he said the prosecution made false statements during the trial and that Windham police Detective Bryan Bliss did as well when he testified no DNA test was conducted.

“That testimony, your honor, is false. There was a test,” Gray told Wageling. “That test shows her testimony was false.”

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