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Ex-Salem official's kidnapping trial delayed

Union Leader Correspondent

February 06. 2012 10:55PM


BRENTWOOD - Ex-Salem Planning Board member Jeffrey Gray was supposed to go on trial Monday for the alleged kidnapping and sexual assault of a New York woman, but a challenge by the defense about how police collected evidence has prompted a judge to delay the case.

Prosecutors are now expected in court on Feb. 27 to argue against a move by Gray to bar jurors from knowing about pornography found on his computer. Gray is facing a single count of kidnapping and nine counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault, charges which could put him behind bars for decades if he is convicted by a jury.

Once the dispute about the evidence is decided, Gray's trial will begin the week of March 26 in Rockingham County Superior Court.

Police executed search warrant at Gray's home on March 10, which allowed them to seize his computer, and a variety of items he used to 'act like a baby' during the assaults, according to court records.

Police also went looking for the pornography on Gray's computer.

Defense lawyer Anthony Naro is arguing that the pornography that police found on Gray's computer should not be allowed as evidence because police did not seek an additional warrant to search the contents of the computer.

Prosecutors maintain it was clear to a judge who granted the search warrant that police were searching for pornography based on statements made by the woman.

The victim told police that Gray, 'would play porn on the computer and told (her) that she needed to do what they were doing,' Deputy County Attorney Tom Reid wrote.

The woman also told police that Gray wore 'adult-sized diapers' and acted like a baby during the alleged assaults, a police affidavit says.

'During the execution of the search warrant, the detective apparently viewed images on the computer,' Reid wrote. 'The officer took photos of the computer screen and the images depicted.'

Gray was arrested last March, after the woman escaped and notified police she was raped, according to police.

Diapers, duct tape, pacifiers, a baby bottle and two blue blankets were seized during the search, police affidavits say. Gray met the 35-year-old woman on Craigslist. She told police she was looking for a roommate when she began exchanging messages with Gray.

Crime, law and justice Salem

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