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Jan 29, 2015 6:46 PM

New Hampshire Motor Speedway executive charged with lewdness


MANCHESTER - The general manager of New Hampshire Motor Speedway has been charged with lewdness.

Jerry Gappens, 53, of Bedford, was arrested Jan. 21 after police said they were monitoring "illicit activities" around Lincoln and Manchester streets.

Police said they observed a Toyota Sequoia in the area and watched a female get into the SUV.

Police followed the vehicle toward Hanover Street where they said they saw an act of lewdness take place in the vehicle in a parking lot.

Kendra Johnson, 19, of Manchester also was arrested and charged with lewdness.

Gappens' attorney Tom Reid issued an apology from the executive.

"Mr. Gappens acknowledges using poor judgment that has resulted in a misdemeanor charge that is both embarrassing and devastating to him and his family, and for that he sincerely apologizes," Reid wrote in a statement. "He regrets his actions. While he made a bad decision, he did not, in my opinion, engage in conduct that violates the referenced statute or any other criminal law. Mr. Gappens cooperated fully with the police and we hope to have this difficult situation resolved soon."

SMI Chairman Bruton Smith promoted Gappens to executive vice president and general manager of the speedway in 2008, according to the Speedway's website. Gappens has worked in the industry for 25 years, according to his bio.

Gappens is scheduled to appear in Manchester district court on Feb. 25. Johnson is scheduled to appear on Feb. 26.

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