SANTA FE – Ex-teacher Gary Gregor has been convicted of sexually abusing another grade-school student years ago.
A Santa Fe jury on Wednesday afternoon rendered a guilty verdict against Gregor on one count of criminal sexual contact of a minor under 13 years old, a third-degree felony. The crime took place when he was a second-grade teacher at Fairview Elementary in Española during the 2006-07 school year.
Prosecutors said he now faces up to six additional years in prison. Gregor, 63, was previously convicted of 12 counts of criminal sexual penetration of a minor, criminal sexual contact of a minor and kidnapping for raping two fourth-grade students at Fairview during the 2007-08 year. He is serving a 108-year prison sentence.
He’s also charged with molesting two girls while teaching at a Santa Fe school before he was hired in Española and is set to face trial on those counts next year.
The case in which its trial ended Wednesday first went to trial in January of this year, when a mistrial was declared because the jury couldn’t come to a unanimous decision.
The alleged victim, now 21, testified last week that she didn’t initially report Gregor’s sexual abuse to anyone because she was too young to understand what he was doing.
She said Gregor made her stay behind during recess and then got down beside her on the carpet.
The woman said she could feel Gregor’s erection on her backside. She said she didn’t tell anyone until she was 18 and was approached by someone from a law firm asking her to take part in a civil lawsuit.
Gregor’s lawyer emphasized that the victim had changed her story over the years and also that she has received $2.5 million to settle civil claims against Gregor. The woman settled her lawsuit in October. To date, Española Public Schools has paid out $20 million to settle lawsuits against Gregor.
Gregor was let go from Santa Fe Public Schools in 2004 after some of his female students at Agua Fria Elementary School told school officials that he had touched them inappropriately after museum docents saw what they considered inappropriate behavior by Gregor on a field trip.
Still, he was given a “neutral recommendation” for any future employment and no one from SFPS or the state Public Education Department reported Gregor to police.
Gregor was finally charged by Attorney General Hector Balderas in 2017 after no local law enforcement or prosecutors had taken action. “Our office stands with all of the brave survivors of sexual abuse, and we will continue to aggressively prosecute those who prey upon children,” Balderas said in a statement Wednesday.