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Judge rejects new rape trial for ex-Salem planning board member

Union Leader Correspondent

April 17. 2014 10:35PM
Jeffrey Gray, formerly of Salem, lost his bid to upend his 2012 conviction on aggravated felonious sexual assault. (JAMES A. KIMBLE/FILE PHOTO)

BRENTWOOD — A judge rejected a bid by Jeffrey Gray, an ex-Salem Planning Board member, to upend his conviction on charges of sexual assault, saying that his arguments alleging perjury and prosecutorial misconduct were not convincing.

Gray, who is serving a 7- to 14-year prison term, was convicted by a jury in June 2012 of sexually assaulting a 34-year-old pregnant woman that he met on Craigslist.

The woman agreed to move in with Gray as his roommate at a rented Windham home in March 2011.

Judge Marguerite Wageling said in a 10-page order that a DNA sample, which was not handed over to county prosecutors prior to the 2012 trial, would not have helped the defense.

Wageling also said that Gray also failed to produce any evidence supporting his claim that the woman was lying about having sex with another, unidentified man.

"The evidence shows that the defendant had sex with (her)," Wageling said. "The evidence does not show that (she) had sex with anyone else."

Gray represented himself through the months of hearings seeking a new trial. He argued that the 34-year-old victim in the case had committed perjury during her trial testimony.

Gray also accused police and prosecutors of withholding key evidence — results from a DNA test — that would have been helpful to his defense.

Wageling disagreed with that assessment and concluded that the results of the DNA test were consistent with the woman's testimony. The lab results conclude the only DNA found on the woman belonged to Gray "to a reasonable degree of scientific certainty, and excluding an identical twin."

The evidence could have called Gray's credibility into question, according to Wageling.

A Windham police detective who testified at Gray's trial said the DNA sample was obtained through a rape kit conducted at a local hospital, but was never processed by the state lab.

That statement wasn't entirely accurate. A lab test was performed, but the results were apparently misfiled and not discovered again until after Gray's trial. Wageling said that the detective did not give false testimony during the trial because he believed what he was saying to be true.

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