Former Iowa Social Worker Enters Plea Deal in Disturbing Case
A former Iowa social services worker has submitted an Alford plea in a case that caused four children to be removed from their parents in 2017. An Alford plea "is a guilty plea in criminal court,[whereby a defendant in a criminal case does not admit to the criminal act and asserts innocence."
Chelsie Gray of Lawler, Iowa, who is a former employee of the Iowa Department of Human Services, submitted the proposed plea agreement for a felony charge of perjury last week. If the plea is accepted, two other charges of perjury would be dismissed and a deferred judgment would be recommended. That would remove the charge from Gray's record if she stays out of trouble in the future.
Gray, 30, allegedly lied 10 different times about everything from how many times she'd visited the family to saying that teachers had "expressed grave concerns about troubling behavior displayed by the youngsters." The teachers said they had never even been contacted by Gray.
The December 2017 hearing resulted in four children being taken away from their parents. When Gray's alleged lies were uncovered months later, the family was reunited.
A plea and sentencing hearing for Gray is scheduled for December 3.