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Prosecutors call ex-embassy worker ‘experienced sexual predator’

A former employee of the United States Embassy in Mexico, described by prosecutors as an “experienced sexual predator”, was arrested this month in San Diego and charged with filming and photographing a woman as she was partially naked and unconscious.

Former employee Brian Jeffrey Raymond has been charged with one count of coercion and seduction of the woman, which prosecutors said they met on Tinder in Virginia in 2017. If found guilty, he could face up to 20 years in prison.

But prosecutors said the government investigation, which revealed hundreds of photos, videos and online chats, revealed at least 21 additional victims dating back to at least 2011 whose cases could lead to additional charges.

On Thursday, the State Department referred questions to the Justice Department, which said it could only confirm that Mr. Raymond had been a federal employee and no longer worked in Mexico. Court documents indicated that he had traveled and worked in many countries and had extensive experience living abroad. He speaks Spanish and Chinese.

Roberto Velasco Álvarez, Director General of Public Affairs of the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said on Twitter Thursday that Mexican authorities had cooperated with US law enforcement in the operation that led to the arrest of Mr. Raymond. He said Mr. Raymond had served as the first secretary of the United States Embassy and that the investigation was into potential sexual abuse in both countries.

The State Department and the FBI began investigating Mr. Raymond in May after police in Mexico responded to his embassy rented apartment for reporting “naked hysterical woman crying desperately for help. From the balcony, prosecutors said.

The Diplomatic Security Service reported that the woman was “physically unstable and needed help walking, appeared very drunk” and was seen crying in the back of an ambulance, prosecutors said.

The woman told authorities she met Mr. Raymond on Tinder and passed out after drinking from a glass of wine he gave her. She did not recall having sex with Mr. Raymond but had injuries consistent with vaginal and anal penetration, prosecutors said.

After the meeting, Mr. Raymond returned to the United States, where he told U.S. investigators he had sex with the woman, but said it was consensual, prosecutors said.

Federal agents arrested Mr. Raymond on October 9 in San Diego and charged him in connection with the previous meeting in Virginia in 2017. At that meeting, prosecutors said, Mr. Raymond met a woman on Tinder, then photographed and filmed her while she was lying on her bed, unconscious and partially naked.

The woman later told authorities that she felt “dizzy” and that her legs gave way after Mr. Raymond filled his glass with wine. The last thing she remembered, she said, was telling Mr. Raymond that she was not feeling well and needed to lie down.

The woman said she did not consent to the removal of her clothes or the photograph.

Prosecutors said searches of Mr. Raymond’s phones and his iCloud account uncovered around 400 photographs and videos, as well as dozens of chats with women online.

Mr. Raymond’s research history also showed that he had researched “black girl passed out”, “deep sleep”, “Ambien”, “dissolve” and “Ambien and alcohol and pass out,” said prosecutors.

Mr. Raymond “is an experienced sexual predator who poses a significant threat to women in the community,” prosecutors wrote in court documents.

Three attorneys listed for Raymond in court records did not immediately respond to requests for comment Thursday evening. One of them, John David Kirby, said in court documents that before Mr Raymond was charged, he had a “spotless” 23-year career in public service for the federal government.

In a petition arguing that Mr Raymond should not be detained, Mr Kirby said Mr Raymond had taken more than 10 polygraph tests and passed each of them, including a recent one, which focused on the allegations brought against him.

Mr Kirby said Mr Raymond has a deep connection to San Diego, where both his parents and his only brother live. He also owns rental property in Las Vegas.

Linda Lopez, a federal trial judge in the United States District Court for the Southern District of California, said this month that Mr. Raymond posed “a danger to the community and a risk of absconding” and ordered his detention, pending trial.

She said prosecutors presented evidence that he continued to meet with women, even though he knew he was under investigation. One of the women told investigators that she had sex with Mr. Raymond after having had several dates with him in September, during which she became “very intoxicated”.

“From all appearances, he led an exemplary life,” Judge Lopez wrote. But allegations that he photographed women while they were unconscious, she said, suggest he had “a unique ability to portray a very different public face.”

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