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Case Number: 2:22-cr-01841
Judge: Kenneth J. Gonzales
Court: United States District Court for the District of New Mexico (Bernalillo County)
Plaintiff's Attorney: United States Attorney’s Office in Albuquerque
Description: Albuquerque, New Mexico criminal defense lawyer represented Defendant charged with one count each of kidnapping and transportation for illegal sexual activity.
A federal grand jury indicted Clay on Nov. 9, 2022. At the time, Jeffrey Steven Clay, age 51, of Anthony, New Mexico, was employed as the Executive Director of Analytics, Strategy, and Assessment and Public Education Information Management Systems for the El Paso Independent School District (EPISD). Clay previously worked for EPISD in various roles including as a teacher and school principal.
On Aug. 4, 2021, Clay offered a ride to Jane Doe near Copia Street in El Paso, Texas, ostensibly to take her to a friends’ residence in El Paso. Instead, Clay took Jane Doe to his residence in Anthony, New Mexico. There, Clay attempted to kiss Jane Doe. When she rebuffed him, Clay struck Jane Doe in the face and handcuffed her. Clay then took Jane Doe to a bedroom where he struck her in the face and sexually assaulted her while she was handcuffed, crying, and pleading with Clay to stop. Afterward, Clay drove Jane Doe back to El Paso. Jane Doe escaped when Clay was stopped at a traffic light and sought help at a nearby convenience store.
At trial, another woman testified that Clay repeatedly sexually abused her as well, both when she was a minor and when she was an adult, including while she was seven months pregnant.
“This crime was disturbing and relentless,” said Raul Bujanda, FBI Special Agent in Charge. “The conviction of Jeffrey Steven Clay is a great achievement in keeping our communities safer from those who target and prey on innocent people. The FBI will always work together with our partners and hold these criminals accountable and prevent such violence from happening in our communities.”
“Even in darkness there is light,” said U.S. Attorney Alexander M.M. Uballez. “For those of us who serve in law enforcement, the light is working with these heroic victims and witnesses whose courageous testimony ensures that sexual predators will never ruin another life. I stand in awe of these two brave women who shared their stories so that others would be safe.”
Clay faces up to life in prison. Upon his release from prison, Clay would be subject to registration as a sex offender.
The Las Cruces Resident Agency of the FBI Albuquerque Field Office investigated this case with assistance from the Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Office, the El Paso Police Department, and the Third Judicial District of New Mexico District Attorney's Office. Assistant United States Attorneys Matilda McCarthy Villalobos and Ry Ellison are prosecuting the case.
18:2421(a) TRANSPORTATION FOR ILLEGAL SEXUAL ACTIVITY
Outcome: Defendant was found guilty by a jury.