EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

September 13, 2013

Man indicted in Salem attempted extortion case

By Doug Ireland
direland@eagletribune.com

---- — BRENTWOOD — A Massachusetts man has been indicted for allegedly trying to extort a gay lover from Salem whom he met through Craigslist.

William Gray, 48, of Springfield was recently indicted by a Rockingham Superior Court jury on single counts of harassment and attempted theft by extortion.

Gray has been held at the county jail since his arrest in May. He was charged by Salem police after demanding money from his unidentified lover, threatening to tell the Salem man’s wife about their relationship, according to prosecutor Jason Grosky.

The victim told Salem police in April that he met Gray over the Internet and the two agreed to have sex at Gray’s apartment.

After their sexual encounter, Gray told the man he would tell his wife about the affair unless the victim agreed to pay for $3,000 for furniture he had on hold at a store.

The Salem man paid for the furniture. Several days later, Gray called the man and asked that he place $2,400 on a reloadable, prepaid credit card, the victim told police.

Gray has an extensive criminal history, including an armed robbery conviction in 1996, Grosky has said. Gray denied trying to extort the man during his arraignment May 9 in 10th Circuit Court in Salem.

If convicted, Gray faces seven and half to 15 years in prison on the attempted extortion charge and up to a year imprisonment for harassment.