doctor accused of exploiting patient
Thursday, May 13, 2004
By MARSHA DORGAN
Register Staff Writer
The district attorney has filed felony criminal charges against a former
county health department staff psychiatrist, alleging he had a sexual
relationship with a patient.
On Wednesday afternoon, Jeffrey Thomas Gray, 47, turned himself in to the
court after a Napa County arrest warrant for him was issued earlier that
Superior Court Commissioner Kelly Boyd informed Gray that charges filed
against him included one felony count of prescribing an illegal drug for
a person who was not his patient, one felony count of possession of drugs
without a prescription, one felony count of possession of a controlled
substance, misdemeanor possession of child pornography and misdemeanor
exploitation of a patient by a physician.
Gray pleaded innocent to all the counts.
At the request of the Attorney General's Office, Boyd also prohibited
Gray from practicing medicine during the duration of his criminal
For the past eight years Gray was employed by the Napa County Department
of Human Health and Services as a psychiatrist.
Bruce Heid, department director, told the Register on Wednesday that as
of about a month ago, Gray was no longer employed by the county.
Heid said he could not comment if Gray's job termination was related to
the criminal charges because it is a personnel matter. He also declined
to comment on Gray's criminal matter.
The allegations against Gray stem from a relationship between him and his
The girl was 16 when Gray, who was working for the county health
department, began treating her for mental health problems. The alleged
sexual relationship with the patient, which took place in Napa County,
began when she was 21 and lasted from 2001 through 2003.
The law prohibits a physician from having a sexual relationship with a
patient or a former patient when the professional relationship ended for
the purpose of engaging in sexual acts unless the physician refers the
patient to another independent and objective physician, which Gray did
not do, Chief Deputy District Attorney Mark Boessenecker said.
Gray is also charged with prescribing Dexedrine for his fiancée who is
not his patient, Boessenecker said. The drug is used to treat Attention
Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
After serving a search warrant at Gray's east Napa home this week,
sheriff's investigators found vicodin and temazapam drugs and confirmed
Gray did not have a prescription to possess them, according to a
sheriff's department press release. During an exam of Gray's home
computer, detectives also uncovered numerous photographs they suspect to
be child pornography, sheriff's Capt. Mike Loughran said.
The arrest warrant set the bail at $50,000.
At Wednesday's court hearing defense attorney Lael Kayfetz argued that
bail should be reduced, stating her client had only found out about the
arrest warrant that morning and already had turned himself in.
Kayfetz also told the court that the relationship between her client and
the woman only lasted a few months.
"The complaining witness said it was a three-month long
relationship. Her mother, who is currently seeking money from the county,
said the relationship lasted past that time," Kayfetz said.
"The police department chose to rely on the mother's rendition of
the span of the relationship as opposed to the complaining witness."
Kayfetz also argued that Gray downloaded images on his computer of people
he believed were over 18 and that he got them "from what he thought
was a bona fide Web site."
Boessenecker reminded the court of the seriousness of allegations against
Gray, saying, "At this point, we don't even know if there are any
Commissioner Boyd reduced bail to $30,000.
Calling it a "bully move" by the Medical Board of California,
Kayfetz asked the court not to suspend Gray's medical license because it
would strip him of his livelihood. She also said any medical practice
Gray would engage in would be under a "microscope" by the
Vivien Hara, state deputy attorney general, told Commissioner Boyd that
Gray "exploited a patient and is a dangerous person to the
In the past, Gray has also provided private psychiatric care in
Vacaville, the city of Napa and also worked as an on-call psychiatrist
for St. Helena Hospital, according to the sheriff's department.
Anyone who has information about the investigation or had a relationship
with Gray while under his care is asked to call sheriff's detective Jon
Crawford at 253-4205 or 253-4591.