March 29, 2011

Documents sealed in kidnapping incident involving Planning Board member

Union Leader Correspondent
SALEM -- A Salem District Court judge Monday morning sealed all court documents connected to allegations that a Salem town official held a woman captive in his Windham home for three days earlier this month.
Warrants for the arrest of Jeffrey Gray, 48, a Salem Planning Board member, have been active since March 15, according to Windham police Capt. Michael Caron.
And while Windham police say they know
 where Gray is, Caron said Gray is “not accessible” for arrest. Caron said police are working with Gray’s attorney, Mark Stevens of Salem, to get Gray to turn himself in. 

“I can’t make any promises, but we think that (his arrest) is likely by the end of the week,” said Caron Monday. 
Gray is facing felony charges of sexual assault and kidnapping, along with misdemeanor charges of simple assault, obstructing the report of a crime and false imprisonment, according to Caron. 
On Monday morning, Windham police asked a Salem District Court judge to seal all the documents on file, including a police affidavit supporting a March 9 search of the Windham home. The motion to seal the file was also sealed. 
“There’s a lot of personal information about the victim in those documents,” said Caron. “And there’s also personal information about the suspect that (if released) he’d be tried in the media instead of in the court. When he’s arrested, we’ll take it from there.” 
Caron said Gray met the alleged victim, a 35-year-old woman from New York, on Craigslist after he answered an advertisement she had placed looking for a roommate. 
Gray, a longtime resident of Salem, had been renting the small lakeside home at 104 South Shore Road in Windham for about a month, according to the home’s owner Kevin Bleeker of Windham. 
The woman is reported to have come up from New York on March 5 with the intention of moving into the Windham home, but Caron said Gray kept her captive inside the house from March 5 to 8, sexually assaulting her at least once. 
Windham police have refused to release further details about the incident, including under what circumstances the woman left the home. 
Gray has already appeared in court numerous times over the past several years. 
Gray was found guilty of a class A misdemeanor after police say he assaulted his ex-girlfriend Teri Emery of Salem in 2003. One year later, Gray was found guilty of criminal mischief after police say he threw a rock at a vehicle outside Emery’s Salem home. He later served 50 days in jail in 2007 for violating a protective order by visiting Emery’s home, according to court documents. 
That year, Gray filed a protective order against Emery, then identified as Teri Kelly, saying she was following him and making threatening comments. That order expired in November 2010. 
Emery most recently filed a new protective order against Gray, which went into effect on March 21. 
In the filing, Emery wrote that she had been “stalked” by Gray, who repeatedly texted her cell phone and called her house from November to February. In the filing, she said Salem police had visited her home in February looking for Gray after he had allegedly called a suicide hotline. 
“I feel he is not right and could be a threat to me and my children,” Emery wrote. “He has been abusive to me and my children in the past.” A hearing on the protective order was held March 21, but Gray did not show up, according to court documents. The protective order prohibits Gray from going within 100 yards of Emery or contacting her family and will continue until March 21, 2012. 
Gray is also involved in an ongoing child custody case involving his sister, who has had custody of Gray’s two children off and on since 2004. 
The children, ages 13 and 14, live with their aunt in Maine. 
According to a Salem Family Division court order, Gray owes $23,089 in child support payments to his sister. He has appealed the decision to the New Hampshire Supreme court, according to court documents. 
Gray is also the plaintiff in a New Hampshire federal court case claiming that his sister has interfered with his custodial rights and inflicted emotional distress on him and the two children. 

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