Sex offender gets probation for sending lewd pictures to Pittsfield girl


PITTSFIELD -- A convicted sex offender admitted on Monday to sending photos of himself naked to a 17-year-old girl and was given a year of probation.

Jesse L. Gray, 24, whose address is given as "unknown" in court documents, sent images of his nude body to the 17-year-old sister of his former girlfriend in December.

The Pittsfield girl told police she had been instant messaging back and forth with Gray through an app called Kik when he sent the images. She said Gray knew she was only 17.

According to Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Rachael Eramo, police investigators found the same images on Gray's phone.

The defendant's attorney, Joseph P. Colonna, told the court that his client had been going through a rough break-up with the girl's older sister at the time and now wanted to get past what had happened and try and get his life back in order.

Gray served two years in a Florida state 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.

"He's been behind the eight ball since he was 18," Colonna said.

The lawyer said Gray spend much of his youth in Pittsfield before moving to Florida and had been back less than a year before his arrest here.

Gray initially denied sending the images but he pleaded guilty in Central Berkshire District Court on Monday.

. Colonna asked that Gray be given time served. Gray has already served 64 days in jail awaiting the outcome of his case unable to make $500 bail.

Eramo told the court that the victim and her mother were more interested in seeing that Gray receive help for his problems rather than serving jail time. She asked for a one-year suspended jail sentence with 60 days to be served. Because he already served that time he would have had a nine-month suspended sentence for a year. Eramo also asked that Gray submit to a mental health, sex offender and substance abuse evaluation, along with no unsupervised contact with minors, among other restrictions.

The charge carries a maximum 2 1/2 years in jail

Judge Charles W. Groce III called the crime "disturbing." He told Gray that after serving five years in state prison the last thing he should be doing is sending nude pictures to people. He said Gray had a "perverted fixation" and although he may not have been "dealt a great hand in life" he "wasn't playing his cards well."

After Gray acknowledged he had two girls of his own, the judge asked him how he would feel if someone sent them similar pictures to those Gray sent the victim.

Gray didn't answer, but hung his head.

The judge sentenced him to a year of probation with conditions that include attending community corrections, submitting to a sex offender evaluation and abiding by whatever treatment is recommended as well as staying away from the victim.

To reach Andrew Amelinckx:,

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