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Jerry Gappens, NHMS vice president and general manager, charged with lewdness

Last modified: 1/31/2015 12:32:51 AM
Jerry Gappens, the gregarious executive vice president and general manager of New Hampshire Motor Speedway, was arrested last week and charged with lewdness after the police observed him and a 19-year-old woman in a vehicle in a downtown Manchester parking lot, the police said last night in a press release.

Gapppens, 53, and Kendra Johnson, who was also charged with lewdness, were arrested Jan. 21, the police said. Detectives from the Manchester Police Street Crime Unit were monitoring illicit activities at 5:45 p.m. around Lincoln and Manchester streets when they said they spotted a woman enter the passenger side of an SUV, which then drove toward Hanover Street, the police said.

The police followed.

“Detective (Richard) Valenti 
. . . watched the vehicle pull into a parking lot where they allegedly observed an act of lewdness take place in the vehicle,” the press release said.

Gappens, who lives in Bedford, did not return a message left on his cell phone last night.

Two news reports quoted Gappens’s attorney, named Tom Reid in one report, saying that Gappens was sorry for his behavior and the effect it had on his family.

Reid, according to the reports, also defended his client, saying Gappens “did not . . . engage in conduct that violates the referenced statute or any other criminal law.”

Gappens, who was hired by speedway owner Bruton Smith in 2008, is the public face and ambassador of the largest sports facility in New England.

He regularly holds media interviews and greets fans all over the track, including the thousands who camp in RVs on the speedway’s grassy lots during the summer’s two major NASCAR races.

Gappens is responsible for 2,000 staffers during those race weekends and supervises 40 employees year-round. Previously, he worked as the senior vice president of events and marketing at Charlotte Motor Speedway, and has earned the reputation as a creative public-relations strategist.

He is scheduled to appear in court Feb. 25. Johnson’s hearing is scheduled for the next day.

(Ray Duckler can be reached at 369-3304 or rduckler@cmonitor.com or on Twitter 


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