Corrections officer accused of sexual misconduct in jail

PORT ANGELES — A Clallam Bay Corrections Center corrections officer was booked Tuesday into the Clallam County jail for allegedly having sexual contact with four Forks jail inmates when he worked at the jail last year.

John Russell Gray, 51, will have his first appearance at 1 p.m. today in Clallam County Superior Court.

Gray was arrested Tuesday morning at the end of his shift at the prison, according to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, which investigated the case at the request of the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office.

Gray was being held without bond for investigation of one count of felony first-degree sexual misconduct and two counts of second-degree custodial sexual misconduct, a gross misdemeanor.

First-degree custodial sexual misconduct occurs when there is sexual intercourse.

Information for a potential fourth charge of custodial sexual misconduct, this one in the second degree, will be forwarded to the Mason County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office said on its Facebook page.

Mason County Prosecuting Attorney Michael Dorcey said Tuesday he had not received the referral for the charge.

He said if there is an additional charge, it may be transferred to Clallam County to consolidate the counts.

Jefferson County Sheriff’s Sgt. Brett Anglin said the Mason County allegation stemmed from Gray being an inmate-transport officer when he worked at the Forks jail.

The sexual assaults allegedly occurred from July and through September, according to the agency’s Facebook post.

Anglin said the women who made the allegations are former inmates.

Jefferson County began investigating the allegations in February, he said.

Anglin referred inquiries about the case to Brian King, Clallam County Sheriff’s Office chief criminal deputy.

King said Tuesday the case grew out of statements from a woman who was arrested in Port Angeles.

The woman said she was afraid to be incarcerated at the Forks jail because Gray had sexual contact with her when she was previously incarcerated there.

“Detective Joe Pursley began the investigation and quickly learned that four former inmates of the City of Forks jail had similar complaints that Corrections Officer John Gray had either touched them sexually or had sexual intercourse with them while he was working as a corrections officer at the Forks jail,” the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office said in the Facebook post.

Gray was a probationary employee at the Forks jail for eight or nine months before his employment with Forks ended in November, City Attorney-Planner Rod Fleck said Tuesday.

“He was let go with us,” Fleck said.

He said he did not have information available Tuesday on the reasons behind Gray’s departure as a city employee.

Fleck said Gray worked at Clallam Bay Corrections Center before Forks hired him.

State Department of Corrections spokeswoman Janelle Guthrie did not return a call for comment about Gray’s employment at the corrections center.

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Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at pgo[email protected].