PITTSFIELD -- A Florida sex offender is being held on $500 bail for allegedly sending a 17-year-old girl photos of himself naked.

According to the Pittsfield Police, Jesse L. Gray, 23, whose address is given as "unknown" on court documents, sent the pictures to the 17-year-old sister of a former girlfriend. They were sent to the teen’s cell phone via the instant messaging service Kik, police said.

The girl told police she had been texting back and forth with Gray "a few days ago" and that Gray sent them to her then. She said he knew she was 17.

Gray was arrested on Monday after police spoke with the 17-year-old at her Pittsfield residence. He was taken into custody without incident, said police.

According to Florida records, Gray, who has only been in Massachusetts a short time, served two years in prison for a 2008 conviction of lewd or lascivious battery on a person between the ages of 12 and 15 for having sex with an underage girl. In 2011, he was sentenced to three years in Florida state prison for failing to register as a sex offender.

On Tuesday, Gray appeared before Judge Fredric D. Rutberg and denied a single count of dissemination of obscene material to a minor. The charge carries up to 2 1/2 years in jail or five years in state prison.

The defendant’s attorney, Joseph P. Colonna, told the court that his client had been in a relationship with the 17-year-old’s sister and that the younger girl "somehow got a hold of" the images. He said his client denied sending them to the teen.

While Gray has ties to Florida, he has relatives in the Berkshires, said Colonna.

Gray told police after his arrest that anyone could have sent the images from his phone since he "sometimes leaves his phones lying around," according to the police report.

Police are seeking a warrant to look at the two phones they took from Gray as evidence.

On Tuesday, Judge Fredric D. Rutberg ordered Gray held at the Berkshire County Jail & House of Correction on $500 bail. He was still in custody as of Tuesday afternoon. He is due back in court Jan. 29.

According to the Florida sex offender registry, Gray has a Des Moines, Iowa, address. On the Iowa sex offender registry, his address is listed as being on West Street in Pittsfield.

To reach Andrew Amelinckx:
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On Twitter: @BE_TheAmelinckx