Imagine doing time harder than that.
There are lots of scary guys in prison, but Gray is very high on that list. In trouble since he was at least sixteen, Gray has done time for robbery and assault. In 1985 he was convicted of second-degree murder in the stabbing death of a woman along the banks of Cherry Creek. He was sentenced to sixteen years for stabbing her fourteen times.
Two years later, Gray was charged with his first in-prison rape. He was found guilty following an administrative hearing and sent to the maximum-security prison in Cañon City.
He was paroled in January 1991 and skipped town a couple of days later. But the following year, he was arrested for robbery and sent back to prison, this time for good. He was deemed a habitual criminal and given three life terms.
Gray couldn't stay out of trouble, even behind bars. In November 1992 he was charged with killing another prisoner. The charge didn't keep prison officials from double-bunking Gray with other prisoners, however, and on July 19, 1993, Gray was given a new cellmate, a 27-year-old who was in on a contraband rap.
The next morning, the man reported he'd been beaten, knocked unconscious and raped. He wouldn't say who'd assaulted him, but he was put on a suicide watch and moved out of Gray's cell. On July 20, Gray got another new roommate. That man lasted less than a day; when he learned he was to bunk with Gray, he demanded to be moved.
So prison officials moved Maynard in.
A captain of the prison guards later admitted in a written statement that he knew Gray had a history as a sexual predator but he believed that moving another large weightlifter into a cell with him would "reduce the potential for another sex assault." The captain failed to mention that Gray outweighed Maynard by 120 pounds.
The trouble started soon after lights out, Maynard told Westword in a 1995 interview ("Hard Time," October 25, 1995). Gray started getting worked up over the necessity of forming "emotional bonds" while in prison. Part of that tie, he explained to Maynard, was physical bonding. At about 3 a.m., Maynard said, Gray attacked him, choking him into near-unconsciousness, then sexually assaulted him.
Maynard decided to hell with the convict code of silence, and he told a guard what had happened. Gray was slam-dunked into solitary, and the following day, after learning that he was locked up, the victim of the July 19 assault also named Gray as his attacker.
In 1993, Mervin had words with a corrections officer, and was reassigned to share a cell with Gray, a 300-pound man capable of bench-pressing 500 pounds. That was just days after another inmate had reported being raped by Gray and was removed from the cell.
Mervin was beaten and raped that night.
The way the prison culture works, prison rape victims keep quiet and keep getting raped, Mervin said.
"They are supposed to go to their corner to lick their wounds," he said.
Mervin bucked the system and sought an attorney.
The decision has haunted him ever since, he said.
He said Limon correctional officers told other inmates that he was a snitch and to retaliate against him for filing a lawsuit. Thereafter, he was often confronted by members of the "211 Gang," and the "Aryan Syndicate Gang," both white supremacist gangs.
He extended his arms out over a table in the Fremont prison visitor's room to show where inmates had slashed him with a shank, or prison knife. In an inventory of his injuries, he recounted a broken thumb, a broken ankle, a dislocated shoulder, a broken jaw and burns when an inmate threw boiling water on him.