By Janene Scully, Noozhawk North County Editor
A Buellton man who worked as yearbook salesman has pleaded not guilty in Santa Barbara County Superior Court to 10 additional criminal charges alleging inappropriate sexual contact with teen boys.
After prosecutors filed a second amended complaint earlier this month, Gregory Scott Ray, 53, now has been charged with 31 criminal counts in a case being heard in a Santa Maria courtroom.
The new charges allege acts involving three additional victims, putting the total at 11, with allegations the crimes occurred in Orange and Fresno counties in addition to Santa Barbara County.
Ray, who was described as a yearbook consultant and salesman based in Central California, was taken into custody in April after detectives served a search warrant.
As part of his job, he traveled to many other counties within California while employed as an independent contractor and sales consultant for Friesens LLC, a yearbook publishing company.
He also assisted with yearbook consulting at many school campuses in the state, from San Jose to Los Angeles County, and may have attended yearbook camps/conferences. That led Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department investigators to suspect there were victims beyond the Santa Ynez Valley.
In April, Ray pleaded not guilty to 13 felony charges filed against him, including two counts of lewd and lascivious acts, three counts of sodomy, seven counts of oral copulation, and one count of sexual penetration with a foreign object.
In late May, additional allegations and victims added a felony count of sending harmful matter, two felony counts of oral copulation, two felony counts of sodomy, and three misdemeanor sexual-battery charges.
Charges filed Nov. 7 include sodomy, oral copulation and dissuading a witness.
While authorities originally said the case involved three alleged victims, the amended complaints pushed the number to 11 — referred to as John Does No. 1 through 11— with the alleged acts reportedly occurring between 2007 and 2018.
The investigation into Ray began March 18 when Santa Ynez Valley Union High School representatives contacted sheriff’s deputies after a teacher overheard a conversation involving Ray and reported it to school administrators
Detectives learned that Ray allegedly was using a social media app as a way to meet and have sexual contact with young males ranging from 13 to 17 years old.
Deputy District Attorney Fabiana Fede is leading the prosecution team while Deputy Public Defender Lea Villegas is representing Ray.
The case will return to court Jan. 9, when the judge and attorneys may set a date for a preliminary hearing.
Ray remained in custody at the Santa Barbara County Jail Wednesday night, with bail set at $500,000.