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Before arrest, FOX40 reporter Sabrina Rodriguez ranted about “liar” boyfriend online

Former KTXL reporter Sabrina Rodriguez, left, with former boyfriend Nicholas Gray, right, at a football game. (Photo: Sabrina Rodriguez via Instagram)
Former KTXL reporter Sabrina Rodriguez, left, with former boyfriend Nicholas Gray, right, at a football game. (Photo: Sabrina Rodriguez via Instagram)

Months before she allegedly took part in a grand theft scheme, former KTXL “FOX40 News” reporter Sabrina Rodriguez publicly questioned the character of her now-former fiancé and alleged co-conspirator, according to an online post uncovered by The Desk.

Sabrina Aiko Rodriguez was arrested last Thursday on three felony criminal charges related to a shoplifting incident at Coach outlet store in Folsom, California last year. According to court documents, she and her then-boyfriend Nicholas Drenkow Gray conspired to steal 10 designer wallets valued at over $2,400.

Rodriguez turned herself in to authorities on July 31 after learning that authorities had issued a warrant for her arrest last week. She took a voluntary leave of absence from KTXL one day later after a competing station publicized her arrest.

On Tuesday, Rodriguez announced her resignation from KTXL. Later in the day, Rodriguez said through a publicist that she had severed ties with Gray and planned to focus her attention on the criminal case and restoring her reputation.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that Ms. Rodriguez, with her stellar career and tremendous life choices she’s made up until that point, would not be in this kind of trouble if she had not been associated with this individual,” criminal defense attorney Mark Reichel, who has been retained by Rodriguez, told local news station KXTV.

Doug Elmets, a publicist hired by Rodriguez earlier this week, said the reporter was unaware of Gray’s criminal past, which includes drug possession, battery, stalking and arson.

But a blog post authored by Rodriguez and uncovered Wednesday by The Desk proves that the reporter had questions about Gray’s character when they began dating around August 2012.

In an entry titled “I Hate Liars,” (update: which has since been deleted by the author and re-published by The Desk here) Rodriguez opens up about a romantic interest who she claims has, at times, embellished his personal history in order to appear more attractive. The post was written under a pen name, Luna Noda, which Rodriguez is known to use on other social media accounts.

“I am dating a liar,” she wrote. “I’ve tried to deny it, but I am starting to finally accept that ugly truth.”

The post goes on to discuss at length an incident in which Rodriguez confronted her boyfriend when he claimed to have obtained a degree in business administration from “a certain California State University.” After calling the school, Rodriguez later learned that the man had not graduated from the school.

Rodriguez goes on to write:

This is where trust has been basically shattered, because unless I’ve caught him red-handed in the lie he is not going to admit to it. Now, the logical part of my brain is saying “Just walk away it’s not worth your time”. However, there is another part that’s questioning if I’m making too big a deal about this.

So to vent my frustration, I am writing and debating what I should do next. I’ve spoken to friends about this incident and they are 50-50 in their advice of “that’s bad” and “it’s bad, but it’s not that big a deal.”

Though Rodriguez does not directly identify Gray in the post, the two were dating at the time, several associates who knew the couple confirmed to The Desk on Wednesday.

Despite their problems, the relationship apparently blossomed. Over the course of their relationship, Gray accompanied Rodriguez to several public events, including station functions and television award shows. Photographs published on Rodriguez’s social media accounts reveal a happy, adventurous couple who enjoyed going to football games, marathons and the California state fair.

Gray proposed to Rodriguez in May of this year; two days after the engagement, the couple’s Sacramento home caught fire following an explosion that authorities say Gray caused.

Gray was arrested last month on an outstanding felony warrant. According to police, a forensic examination of Gray’s cell phone turned up text messages that implicated Rodriguez in the grand theft scheme.

Rodriguez is currently free on $10,000 bail. Her arraignment is scheduled for August 29 in Sacramento.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).