SALINAS—A wanted sex offender who was on probation for a similar offense turned himself in to the police after he had attempted to lure a child into a public bathroom stall at the Northridge Mall in Salinas.
On Monday, September 1, an 8-year-old boy entered a public bathroom in the Northridge Mall and was contacted by the suspect, identified as Kevin Rodney Gray, 34, of Salinas. The two engaged in a conversation about his age, and Gray attempted to lure the boy in the bathroom stall.
The child did the right thing and left the bathroom, and reported it to his mother who was standing outside the restroom. The mother confronted Gray as he came out.
Gray managed to slip away and make his exit from the Mall before security could be notified. He was last seen on mall surveillance footage crossing North Main Street in an easterly direction.
The child was not touched or injured by Gray. Gray was initially described as a white male adult, approximately 25 years of age, 6-foot-I and 200 pounds, with blonde hair. He was wearing a black and yellow hoodie with a batman logo on it.
The Salinas police took this information and gave it to all media outlets, including United Reporting Crime Beat News. A Monterey County Probation Officer who was watching the news recognized the suspect as Gray, and contacted the police.
Detectives were unsuccessful in finding Gray throughout the day, even as more and more citizens came in and report him as the suspect in the Northridge Mall case.
At About 5:45 p.m., Gray walked into the police station and turned himself in for custody. He stated, “I know that the police want to talk to me.” Gray was taken into custody and transported to Monterey County Jail and booked on charges of annoying or molesting a child and a violation of probation. Gray is a registered sex offender. He had been arrested in February 2012 on charges of lewd acts on a child under 14. He is listed on the Megan’s Law list of sex offenders, and resides in northwest Salinas.
Update 1/08/15 – The Monterey District attorney Dean Flippo announced that Gray was sentenced to eight years in prison after his conviction for annoying or molesting a child and contacting a minor with the intent to commit a sexual offence. He is also subject to a lifetime registration as a sex offender, with this and the prior conviction.