By Janene Scully

Noozhawk North County Editor


A Buellton man who worked as a yearbook consultant pleaded not guilty in Santa Barbara County Superior Court on Thursday to yet more charges alleging inappropriate sexual contact with boys.

Gregory Scott Ray, 54, of Buellton now faces 42 charges, all of them felonies, after the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office filed a fourth amended criminal complaint in the case Thursday.

Previously accused of incidents involving a dozen victims, Ray now has been charged with crimes involving 14 boys.

Ray, who was described as a yearbook consultant and salesman based in Central California, was taken into custody in April 2019 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.

As of late May with the previous amended complaint, Ray faced 34 criminal charges in the case.

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 and conferences. That led investigators from the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department to suspect that there were victims beyond the Santa Ynez Valley.

The investigation into Ray began March 18, 2019, 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.

In addition to Santa Barbara County, some of the alleged incidents occurred in Fresno and Orange counties, according to the criminal complaint.

The total tally includes 16 counts of oral copulation, 13 counts of sodomy, two counts of lewd and lascivious behavior, three counts of sexual penetration with a foreign object, three counts of sexual battery, two counts of sending child pornography, two counts of sending harmful matter and one count of dissuading a witness.

In addtion to the charges, prosecutors have alleged a number of special allegations or sentencing enhancements.

Deputy District Attorney Fabiana Fede is leading the prosecution team, while Ray is being represented by attorney Michael Scott after a switch.

The case is scheduled to return to court Sept. 17, when the attorneys and judge may set a date for the preliminary hearing.

Ray remains in the custody of the Santa Barbara County Jail with bail set at $500,000.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at