You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and may be used against you in a court of law.
Or, you may not remain silent and your words may come back to bite you.
The words of a Waynesville woman recently charged with prostitution have come back to bite not only her, but her husband also.
After Barbara Dionne Gray was released from the Haywood County Jail on prostitution charges, the 42-year-old, mother of two went to local media outlets to explain herself.
In great detail, Gray spilled the beans about life as a struggling mother desperate to make ends meet for her family. The problem is- she spilled the beans.
Claiming she can’t find (legal) work, Gray detailed for reporters how many clients she sees (six to 12 clients per week, according to news reports), the amount of money she made ($200 per hour), which alias she uses and the classified web site she used to post ads.
She claims mounting medical bills and living expenses thrust her into prostitution in an attempt to provide a home, as well as things like book fair money and musical instruments, for her elementary- and high-school aged children.
The decision to return to prostitution after an earlier prostitution charge in 2010 was a “very hard” choice, Gray told reporters
Police will not confirm that Gray always worked for cash, adding new details will emerge as the case plays out in court.
To some, the story is a titillating tale about a scandalous underworld happening in plain view. To others, it’s a sympathetic story about a woman who claims that selling her body is the only way she can provide for her children.
But in the courtroom, it’s called a confession.
District Attorney Ashley Welch said statements and admissions made to the press could be used as evidence in a pending case.
Just ask Gray’s husband, David, 52, who was also charged in his wife’s prostitution case after she went public with their story. Waynesville Police arrested David after statements were made to reporters implicating him as an accomplice.
One reporter wrote that Gray’s husband “sat quietly … next to his wife” as she talked about other men. Gray told reporters if a client needed something during times when the kids were at home, David would take the kids away.
Police said those statements confirmed what their investigation revealed, and therefore charged David with aiding and abetting, and maintaining a place for prostitution.
Police were initially alerted to allegations against Gray by some who showed concern about the amount of traffic frequenting her home, sometimes late at night. She was arrested Dec. 29, 2015 following an undercover operation by the Waynesville Police Department that involved sending a “wired up” officer into her home- posing as a client.
She faces a felony for solicitation of prostitution and maintaining a dwelling for purposes of prostitution.
While police and prosecutors work to seal the case against Gray, her Defense Attorney Brad Ferguson perhaps has the more complicated job of navigating her comments through the process.
Ferguson said he thinks the felony charge is a stretch. He has not yet read recent news reports about his client but did acknowledge the challenge that recent statements could bring to her case.
He also confirmed – for those who are wondering- that he has been retained (meaning that Gray is paying for his services).
As Gray’s case builds, only time will tell the weight of her words shared with the public. But one thing is for certain- it’s bad enough that the police were listening to her story. She had better hope the IRS isn’t paying attention.