Greg Scott Ray

A Santa Barbara jury has convicted Gregory Scott Ray — a 57-year-old former yearbook salesman and youth sports coach — guilty of more than three dozen felony sexual-assault charges stemming from crimes committed against multiple minors over an 11-year span. 

The trial, prosecuted by Santa Barbara County Deputy District Attorney Lindsey Bittner, began in March and concluded on June 14 after several days of deliberations, according to Santa Barbara Superior Court records. 

Of the charges, Ray was convicted of 14 counts of lewd and lascivious acts, 13 counts of oral copulation of a person under 18, and multiple other crimes, including forcible sodomy and attempted sexual penetration of a minor. Santa Barbara County District Attorney records show that Ray’s crimes were committed against eight victims between 2007 and 2018. 

County investigators found the defendant met many of his victims through his sons, who attended local schools in the Santa Ynez Valley. Ray’s involvement in the community as a yearbook salesman, field-trip chaperone, and coach for little league baseball and high-school volleyball programs allowed him to meet and exploit underage boys. Ray also turned to online same-sex dating apps like Grindr and Adam4Adam, where he met with boys as young as 13, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

Ray was originally placed in custody in 2019 after a victim confided in a friend, who reported the misconduct to a high school principal, who in turn contacted the police, according to the DA’s Office. 

Michael J. Scott, Ray’s attorney, argued that his client was unaware his victims were minors due to Grindr’s age-confirmation policy. In reference to the forcible sodomy charges, Scott stated, “He and I were surprised and disappointed that the jury found him guilty.” Ray is expected to appeal his conviction. 

In a statement announcing the conviction, the DA’s Office acknowledged the bravery of the victims who came forward and testified against the perpetrator, along with the work of victim advocates and staff at the the North County Rape Crisis Center.

“Their strength in facing such challenges is commendable and serves as an inspiration,” stated DA John Savrnoch.

Sentencing is scheduled for July 24 at 1:30 p.m. in Department 6 before Judge Kristy Imel. Ray is facing up to 39 years followed by an additional term of 125 years to life.

To reach out and report a sexual assault, or to find resources for crisis-counseling, contact the Standing Together to End Sexual Assault 24-hour hotline at (805) 564-3696.

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