EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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November 14, 2013

Gray requests new trial

Former Salem official seeks his freedom from prison

BRENTWOOD — Former Salem Planning Board member Jeffrey Gray is so confident he was wrongly convicted of rape, he asked for a new trial yesterday.

Gray also is confident authorities botched their investigation and that DNA evidence will lead to his acquittal in the rape of a 36-year-old New York woman in March 2011. He is serving a seven- to 14-year sentence in New Hampshire State Prison.

Gray, 51, appeared before Judge Marguerite Wageling in Rockingham Superior Court to request another trial to prove his innocence.

The former Windham civil engineer is serving as his own lawyer, filing numerous handwritten motions with the court while incarcerated and subpoenaing witnesses.

Gray claims a state forensic laboratory report will confirm he didn’t receive a fair trial. He says there is no conclusive way to prove he raped the victim.

Gray, who allowed the woman to stay at his home because she need a place to live, claims the sex was consensual.

Gray has accused the prosecution of lying as well as Windham police Sgt. Bryan Bliss, who testified during Gray’s trial in July 2012 that a rape kit test was never administered.

It was inaccurate testimony, Gray claims, that led to his conviction for aggravated felonious sexual assault.

Deputy County Attorney Thomas Reid later acknowledged in court documents, filed last month, that a test had been conducted, but his office was not notified.

Assistant County Attorney Terri Harrington represented the prosecution yesterday in place of Reid, who was suspended with County Attorney James Ream amid an FBI investigation of the county attorney’s office.

Windham police Chief Gerald Lewis has admitted the county attorney’s office did not receive the lab report because it had been misfiled at the police station. That prompted some investigators, including Bliss, to believe a rape kit test was given.

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