A judge upheld 41 charges against a Buellton man and former yearbook sales consultant accused of abusing more than dozen a teenage boys, including three from the Santa Ynez Valley. 

A two-day preliminary hearing in the case of Gregory Scott Ray, 54, began June 2 and resumed June 7 in Santa Maria. 

Ray is accused of abusing 14 victims between October 2007 and February 2019. The numerous counts include sodomy and oral copulation of a person under 18, lewd or lascivious acts upon a child, sexual penetration by a foreign object, witness intimidation and sexual battery.

A fourth amended criminal complaint filed Aug. 20, 2020, contained 42 counts. Later, two counts of sending obscene materials via electronic transfer were voluntarily dismissed and an additional count of forced sodomy against one of the victims was added, according to Deputy District Attorney Stephen Wagner. 

Ray was arrested in April 2019 following a weekslong investigation that began after a Santa Ynez Valley High School teacher overheard a conversation with Ray involving alleged inappropriate sexual contact with a student and reported it to sheriff's officials. 

The investigation revealed that Ray used a social media app to meet and have sex with teenagers, according to a sheriff's spokeswoman.

Before he was arrested, Ray was a print sales consultant for Canadian publishing company Friesens LLC and traveled to schools throughout California as part of his job, court records show. 

Ray is scheduled for an arraignment on information hearing at 8:30 a.m. June 24 at Superior Court in Santa Maria. 


Recommended for you

Load comments