Solicitor Scarlett A. Wilson announced that a Berkeley County jury found Gary Curtis Fraley guilty on Friday of crimes that terrorized a local family entertainment center and spanned over four hours and two crime scenes. Circuit Judge Kristi L. Harrington sentenced the defendant to the maximum on each of the ten indictments for a total of 90 years. The Solicitor’s office says he must serve 85% of his sentence before release.
Goose Creek Police Department say they first became alerted to a possible problem with Gary Fraley at about 4:00 p.m. on August 5th 2014. Fraley’s estranged wife came to the police station concerned over threats she had seen on Facebook directed toward her and her boss as well as a purchase made on the couple’s joint credit card account earlier that morning at a gun shop. Mrs. Fraley had previously complained about her husband; even obtaining a police escort one night after he threatened her at Royal Lanes Bowling Alley where she worked. Just a little over an hour later, while detectives were tracking down the Facebook evidence and interviewing witnesses about other threats, a call came out for “Shots fired” at the Royal Lanes Bowling Al-ley.
The S.W.A.T. team was deployed shortly after officers realized that Fraley had owner, Steven Tsafos trapped in his office at gunpoint. Employees reported that they had already heard one shot fired after hearing loud voices coming from the office.
The Solicitor’s office report states that Tsafos finally managed to escape the office unharmed but Gary Fraley barricaded himself behind a desk refusing to come out. After an hour and half standoff; S.W.A.T. team stormed the office. Officers pinned the defendant behind a desk and safely took Fraley’s fully-loaded revolver. Fraley was taken to headquarters where he complained of chest pains and was immediately taken to Trident Medical Center. Although he claimed later not to remember anything about the day, he told an officer at the hospital that he remembered having a friend of his daughter’s in his car and taking her to the Econolodge to use the restroom. The officer was unaware at the time that there was another victim in the case.
As the scene unfolded inside the bowling alley, an 11 year old girl exited Fraley’s vehicle and quietly asked a women in the parking lot if she could use her phone. After her father picked her up, the girl told her father that Fraley had raped her at the Econolodge earlier in the day.
Goose Creek Police detectives investigated and say Fraley had targeted several young girls in his neighborhood starting several days before he entered the Bowling Alley with a gun. He created a story about a surprise birthday party for his 12 year old daughter at Royal Lanes Bowling Alley and came to the homes of two families asking if their daughters could attend. Police say Fraley even went so far as to show parents some rocks he called “fossils” explaining they would use them as a craft activity at the party. When one family said their daughter could not attend; he offered to pay her to go to the party.
The report states that Fraley and the 11 year old victim and her family knew each other. When Fraley approached the victim’s family on August 5th at about 2:30 p.m., the parents allowed the victim to go with Fraley provided he had her home at 5:30 for another family event. The young girl had been friends with Fraley’s daughter and attended birthday parties for her in the past.
They say he then drove to Publix and purchased Nyquil and alcohol. He drove the child to the Econolodge where he had previously rented a room and told her that other party goers were meeting them there. Once inside the room, he showed her a handgun and said “don’t test me”. Over the course of the next couple of hours he drugged and raped her repeatedly before putting cartoons on the television and preparing to go to the Bowling Alley. The Solicitor’s office report states that at one point he told her, “My wife is cheating on me so I’m going to get back at her by having sex with you”.
The Solicitor’s office says that Gary Fraley testified on his own behalf claiming repeatedly that he didn’t remember anything about the crimes despite being confronted with statement after statement to the contrary on cross examination by Assistant Solicitor Dan Poulos. Fraley’s defense attorney argued he was insane at the time of the crimes.
Fraley was convicted of three counts of criminal sexual conduct in the second degree, one count of criminal sexual conduct in the third degree, two counts of kidnapping, two counts of possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime and one count of attempted murder for a total of 90 years.