Former Gulf Breeze Mayor Ed Gray was booked into jail on a $101,000 bond after an investigation revealed he allegedly secretly recorded teen boys in his home and, in some instances, stalked and tracked them without their knowledge.
According to an arrest affidavit made public Monday by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the investigation into Gray was launched in late June 2020 when an 18-year-old told the Gulf Breeze Police Department that he found a video camera hidden in a shoebox in the master bathroom closet of Gray's home, where he had changed clothes prior to showering multiple times in the past year.
Gulf Breeze forwarded the complaint to the FDLE to investigate.
The 18-year-old told FDLE investigators that he had met Gray the summer of 2019 and had begun to work various jobs at Gray's Gulf Breeze home. The teen said Gray gradually became "more controlling" of him, and felt that Gray was following him at times.
Arrest made:Ex-Gulf Breeze Mayor Ed Gray arrested on voyeurism, stalking, tracking device charges
In one incidence, the teen told investigators, Gray found him in a Pensacola park around midnight in December 2019. The teen thought that Gray was tracking him through his phone. Another time, the teen told Gray he was sick because he didn't feel like working at Gray's house, but Gray confronted him over the phone and told him he was not at his house, but at a friend's house.
The 18-year-old said that after working in Gray's home, Gray would offer to let him shower in the large master shower. Gray would always go to get a towel prior to him taking a shower. In April 2020, the teen noticed a small, unconcealed GoPro camera sitting on a counter in the bathroom facing the shower, and another one inside a shoebox in the bathroom with a small hole.
The teen went to authorities after finding the cameras.
Investigators obtained a search warrant for Gray's home and raided it on Aug. 5, seizing several electronic devises. They found eight videos on the devices that captured four males either nude or undressing in Gray's bathroom. Most of the videos showed Gray starting the camera before the males came into the bathroom, according to the affidavit.
Investigators made contact with and interviewed the other males in the videos. The males told them they were 16, 17 or 18 at the time and were not aware the videos ever existed. They said they had all worked odd jobs around Gray's home before he invited them to take showers in his bathroom.
Some of the boys also detailed controlling behaviors exhibited by Gray. The former mayor met the young men through a variety of community organizations he was associated with, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
On Gray's cellphone, investigators found GPS coordinates that indicated Gray had installed GPS tracking devices on victims' cars no less than six times.
Retirement:Former Gulf Breeze Mayor Ed Gray leaves city amid investigation
Gray, 68, who lives at 1 Gray Oaks Lane in Gulf Breeze, was arrested Monday on eight counts of video voyeurism, one count of interception of oral communication and the misdemeanor charges of stalking and installation of a tracking device. He was released after a few hours in jail.
“As a long-time trusted public figure, Gray violated the trust and privacy of four young men from our community," said FDLE Special Agent in Charge Jack Massey. "FDLE agents, analysts, and digital forensic consultants worked together to thoroughly investigate the allegations and uncover the facts of the case."
Annie Blanks can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 850-435-8632.