Federal Jury Convicts Former El Paso Independent School District Employee on Kidnapping Charges
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Mexico
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Alexander M.M. Uballez, United States Attorney for the District of New Mexico, and Raul Bujanda, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Albuquerque Field Office, announced today that a federal jury returned guilty verdicts against Jeffrey Steven Clay. The jury convicted Clay, 51, of Anthony, New Mexico, on one count each of kidnapping and transportation for illegal sexual activity. United States District Judge Kenneth J. Gonzales presided over the trial.
A federal grand jury indicted Clay on Nov. 9, 2022. At the time, Clay 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.
According to the evidence at trial and other publicly available court records, 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.
The FBI is seeking other potential victims of Clay. Anyone with information is asked to contact the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI or report online to tips.fbi.gov.
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Updated May 8, 2023
Press Release Number: 23-102