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'He thought he was going to die' | New London man accused of torturing 10-year-old stepson

Michael Gregor, 41, is charged with strangulation, assault, unlawful restraint, and reckless endangerment.

NEW LONDON, Conn. — Michael Gregor, 41, faced a judge Friday at Superior Court in New London on allegations he tortured his 10-year-old stepson who was supposed to be homeschooled but instead the boy became so malnourished he required treatment at two separate hospitals. 

Police began investigating abuse allegations in January when they said the child’s mom escaped and called police from a local restaurant to report abuse taking place at home. 

According to court documents, the child was severely malnourished, had been locked in a closet, and beaten for months.

“He was locked inside a room that only had a plastic sheet on the ground and one blanket. There was a deadlock on that door not allowing him out,” prosecutors said.

The boy is now in the care of his aunt, who describes him as, “the sweetest little boy.” 

Prosecutors describe the case as “horrific,” which a judge said was an understatement on Friday.

Police said they found the boy locked in a room he could not escape with “bruises, appeared malnourished and had hair loss. The victim also had trauma to his ears,” documents state.

After a two-month, multi-agency investigation, police arrested Gregor Thursday in East Lyme.

“Our thoughts and prayers go to the victim in this case and we hope that this victim can recover from the ordeal that they were subjected to and that the individual involved is held accountable for his actions,” said Capt. Matt Galante of the New London Police Department. 

The boy told police he was “hog-tied” with his hands and feet bound, kicked in his back…and if he behaved well, he would be allowed to move from closet to a room—both with outside deadbolts so he couldn’t escape.

“That he had his head stomped on in the closet that’s why there was blood splatter found in the closet by police,” prosecutors said.

The boy was malnourished, walking with a limp, and had a broken finger when he was treated at Lawrence and Memorial and then transferred to Yale New Haven Hospital. The boy told police Gregor would hold him by his neck and he couldn’t breathe. 

“He thought he was going to die,” court documents state.

The Department of Children and Families told FOX61 it had no prior involvement with the family. 

According to the boy’s aunt, two other children in the home are safe and did not suffer similar treatment.

Meanwhile, Gregor, who grew up in Connecticut and relocated back to the shoreline in 2020, will remain behind bars with bail set at $750 thousand dollars.

“Anybody capable of subjecting an individual to this kind of abuse represents a substantial danger to the community,” the judge said.

The boy’s aunt said his body mass index was 6 percent when he went into the hospital but in the seven weeks since he was placed in the care of loved ones, he has gained 28 pounds. 

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In a prepared statement, DCF said:

"These extremely concerning allegations were brought to the Department's attention by the New London Police Department in January 2023 and a joint investigation immediately commenced with both agencies.

While we adhere to state law regarding the disclosure of case-specific information as outlined in Conn. Gen. Stat. 17a-28 and federal law, we can confirm all the children who were residing in this home are currently safe and receiving appropriate supports to address the significant trauma they have experienced and as discovered during the course of our investigation.

This is the first allegation of physical abuse received regarding the individual who has been subsequently arrested.

Protecting children takes the collective efforts of all members of our community - professionals, family members, and concerned citizens.

Community-based supports are available throughout Connecticut and can be located by dialing 211. Information for families seeking behavioral health services can be accessed at: www.connectingtocarect.org

A reasonable suspicion of child maltreatment can be made to the Child Abuse and Neglect Careline by dialing 1-800-842-2288. The Careline is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Callers to the Careline can remain anonymous.”

Gregor is due back in court on April 10.

Samaia Hernandez is a reporter for FOX61 News. She can be reached at shernandez@fox61.com. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


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