March 31, 2011


Windham police prosecutor Heather Newell addresses the judge in Salem District Court
 during the video arraignment of Jeffrey Gray, 48.
Union Leader Correspondent
SALEM -- The Salem Planning Board member facing felony kidnapping and sexual assault charges remains on $50,000 cash bail following Wednesday’s arraignment after a police prosecutor told the judge he was a flight risk and a danger to the community.
Jeffrey Gray, 48, was arrested in Massachu­setts earlier this week and brought back to New Hampshire to face charges that he held a woman captive and sexually assaulted her in his Windham home over the course of three days in early March. 

“This is a case where he willfully and physically held somebody against her will, completely degraded her and sexually assaulted her on multiple occasions,” said Windham police prosecutor Heather Newell during the arraignment in Salem District Court. 
Gray, who was held on $50,000 cash bail after his Tuesday arrest, appeared via video for the arraignment from Rockingham County jail in Brentwood. 
He faces felony charges of aggravated felonious sexual assault and kidnapping, along with misdemeanor charges of false imprisonment, simple assault and obstruction of the report of a crime. 
Gray’s defense attorney, Mark Stevens of Salem, told Judge Paul Moore on Wednesday that his client had checked himself in to a veterans hospital in Brockton, Mass., on March 14, one day before arrest warrants out of Windham became active. 
“He was addressing his issues by checking himself into the VA hospital and he was under a doctor’s care when he was arrested,” said Stevens. 
Stevens argued that Gray, a longtime resident of Salem, has ties to the community and is not a flight risk. His request for $50,000 personal recognizance bail was rejected. 
Since 2003, Gray has been ordered by the Salem court to attend anger management and drug and alcohol counseling as part of his sentencing for other criminal convictions, said Newell. 
“I think this is a man who, yes, needs some psychiatric help, but since 2003 the court has had him in counseling and even with those years of counseling, he is still alleged to have committed these new crimes,” Newell said. “Clearly counseling is not enough to ensure the safety of the victim in this case and the community at large.” 
In court Wednesday, Newell outlined Gray’s previous criminal record, highlighting Manchester simple assault and stalking convictions from 1998 and more recent simple assault and criminal threatening convictions in Salem. 
“I think it’s pretty clear that this individual is a danger to the community,” she said. “This is now the second woman he is alleged to have assaulted.” 
Police say the alleged victim in this case — a 35-year-old woman from New York — came to Windham on March 5 with plans of moving into Gray’s home at 104 South Shore Road. The home’s owner said Gray has been renting the house on Canobie Lake in Windham since late February. 
Windham police Capt. Michael Caron said Gray answered an advertisement the woman had posted on Craigslist looking for a roommate in New England. 
At some point on March 9, Caron said, Gray allegedly drove the woman to Boston Logan International Airport and released her there. She reported the alleged incident to Massachusetts State Police on that day. 
All documents connected to the case against Gray have been sealed in Salem District Court. On Wednesday, a joint motion to unseal those records was filed by the New Hampshire Union Leader and The Eagle-Tribune. 
If Gray makes bail, Judge Moore said he will be required to turn over his passport, abstain from all drugs and alcohol, not possess any weapons and submit to pretrial monitoring. Further, he said, Gray will have to notify Windham police if he plans on leaving the state. 
A probable cause hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, April 5, in Salem District Court. 
Gray is still a member of the Salem Planning Board, though town officials said they are working with Gray’s attorney to determine his residency. Before these recent allegations, the town of Salem was not aware that Gray might have been living in Windham, said Salem Town Manager Keith Hickey. 
“If he’s a Windham resident, we’ll proceed with the process to open the seat up for Salem residents,” said Hickey. “We still haven’t verified his actual mailing address, and we’re trying to work with his attorney to tell us where he’s living. If he is living out of Salem, we will ask him to resign his seat.” 
If Gray resigns or is otherwise removed from the board, Hickey said the town would likely move to fill the seat temporarily and then turn the decision over to the voters next March. Gray’s term is set to expire in March 2012. 

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