A stepfather and mother face numerous felony charges after Connecticut cops responded to a residence and allegedly found evidence that a bruised and malnourished 10-year-old boy with “hair loss” was locked inside an empty room and closet during months of abuse.
As detailed in the probable cause affidavits against 41-year-old Michael Gregor and 38-year-old Melissa Gregor, the case initially began with the girlfriend accusing the boyfriend of abusing her. Though the investigation initially appeared to focus solely on Michael Gregor, a May 11 update from New London Police said that Melissa Gregor, the boy’s mother, also faces several conspiracy charges for her alleged role in protracted child abuse.
On the morning of Jan. 29, New London Police responded to Jake’s Diner after receiving a domestic disturbance call from Melissa Gregor, who claimed she was assaulted by Michael Gregor.
Once inside a New London residence, investigators said, the 10-year-old boy was found “living in squalor, inhumane conditions” and was deemed the “subject of abuse for a duration of time.” The boy was allegedly kept in a room with a “dead bolt lock on the exterior, allowing it to be secured from the outside.” The victim said he was locked inside that room for hours a day and that he slept in the room, the affidavit said.
“The room was empty with only a layer of plastic on the floor and a blanket,” documents noted.
“The officers observed the JV Victim to have numerous bruises, appeared malnourished and had hair loss,” the affidavit continued. “The victim also had trauma to his ears” and “appeared to be in discomfort and walking with a limp.”
According to cops, the boy said he hadn’t changed his clothes or showered in weeks. The 10-year-old also said there was at least one occasion where he was “hog tied” and thought he was going to die, investigators said.
“The JV Victim stated there were no windows in the rooms he stayed in and he was bound in small spaces for several months. The JV Victim gave a detailed account of being placed into a cabinet and was what he called, ‘hog tied.’ The victim described being ‘hog tied’ as when both his hands and feet were bound together to limit movement,” documents said. “The JV Victim stated he remembers when he was grabbed by the neck and hoisted into the air by Michael Gregor, he believed he was going to die, because he could not breathe and passed out and his feet were uncontrollably kicking.”
The victim told investigators in February that the abuse began months before when he was living with his stepdad, mom, and with two brothers at a Norwich residence, cops said. The “first incident of physical abuse” that the victim described was Michael Gregor hitting him “repeatedly on the side of his head” after the boy “lied about taking some food.” The 10-year-old told investigators he “used to weigh around 90 pounds, but has lost a lot of weight,” according to documents.
The victim recalled being placed in a “wooden box” and allegedly told cops he was “unsure why he was being treated so badly, but [said] most of his communication with Michael Gregor was about using the bathroom.”
The boy directed a police officer to a small closet down the hall in the apartment of horrors, where the victim had in the past been locked inside all day for a month and “could only come out to use the bathroom,” the affidavit continued. The boy allegedly said he would be “asked if he needed to use the bathroom after not receiving water for multiple days,” that he was “kicked, stomped on, and hit” if he “did not have to urinate or did not urinate enough,” and that he would not be changed for multiple days after urinating on himself while locked in the closet.
According to investigators, the victim said his mom’s boyfriend would “kick him in his back repeatedly causing him to stop breathing and would just leave him in there” inside the closet, where holes from the defendant’s kicking were visible “in the sheet rock at the base of the closet.” Michael Gregor “continuously stomped on [the victim’s] head while he was bound in the closet,” which is why there was blood spatter in the closet, authorities said.
Investigators noted the boy’s “cauliflower ear” was “still swollen” at the time he was interviewed.
A doctor at Yale Children’s Hospital said that the victim “suffered multiple traumas throughout his body and had broken finger,” but that “undernourishment was [the doctor’s] major concern,” court documents said.
The boy allegedly said that he would be “beaten” if he tried to sneak out of the closet for food, but when he did eat in the lightless closet that his diet would consist of pop tarts, mac & cheese bowls, and peanut butter sandwiches.
“The JV Victim could not provide how much food he would consume per day because he had no sense of time in a closet where there was no light,” the affidavit said.
The victim apparently made one statement saying that his mom had “no choice but to help [Michael] Gregor” or else she would also face abuse.
“The JV Victim further stated his mother had no choice but to help Gregor because if she said anything about what was going on, Gregor would hit both of them for it,” the affidavit said.
The boy later said, however, that Melissa Gregor “stuffed her socks into his mouth at least one time,” cops said. Melissa Gregor was allegedly aware that her son was being abused over an extended period of time: She pulled him out of school to homeschool him instead. She allegedly admitted the boy was removed from school to hide evidence of his injuries.
Cops further said that Melissa Gregor only ever contacted them to report that she was abused.
“Melissa Gregor contacted Police on 1/29/2023 for the abuse she received from Michael Gregor but never notified Police about the continued assaults the Victim received from Michael Gregor,” the affidavit said. “During the months of abuse to the JV Victim, Melissa Gregor worked in the restaurant industry and was able to travel to and from work without duress.”
Michael allegedly told cops after his March 23 arrest that Melissa worked nights and was home with the boy during the day.
Melissa Gregor turned herself in last Thursday evening after being served an arrest warrant at a residence on East Haddam Rd. in Moodus.
Court records say the while she is out of custody on a $250,000 bond, Michael Gregor remains behind bars on a $750,000 bond.
Michael Gregor faces charges of first-degree strangulation, second-degree assault, unlawful restaurant, reckless endangerment, and cruelty to persons. Melissa Gregor is accused of conspiracy to commit each of those offenses. Both suspects are charged with risk of injury to minor; the reckless endangerment charges are the only ones listed as misdemeanors in court records.
The Department of Children and Families reportedly said in a statement that there had not been a previous allegation of physical abuse in the home.
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