December 5, 2021

Police say woman was held, raped

Suspect with history of drugs and violence denies the charges

Shenandoah Briere/contributing photographer

Raymond Cole, Jr., left, leaves Cortland City Court following his arraignment on charges that he held a woman in a closet and raped her repeatedly over four days. File photo from June 2019.

A 34-year-old woman told police that Raymond C. Cole Jr. held her captive for four days, locked up in a basement closet, shot her up with a kind of bath salts called Molly and raped her daily.

Cole, 58, of 13 Brown Ave., Cortland, was arraigned Tuesday in Cortland City Court on charges of first-degree rape and first-degree unlawful imprisonment, felonies. He was also arraigned on three counts of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, a misdemeanor. Cole denied the allegations in a statement to police, stating they had been in a relationship for around a year and half.

“I have heard what people are saying, that I have held her against her will and that is not true,” he told police. “She does whatever she wants to, in fact she rules the house.”

He also said she missed court on Friday and knew she would have a warrant out for her arrest. He said the last time he had sex with her was on Thursday, the night she got out of jail.

However, the woman told police their last sexual contact before the rape was in April. In a statement, the woman said after being released from jail Thursday, she went to retrieve items she had left in Cole’s care at his residence, but took only one of the four bags she left because people in the residence were using drugs.

She returned on Friday to get the other bags, which were in the basement, she said. Cole followed her into the basement, where he told her he wanted to get her high and she responded she didn’t want to do drugs.

“Ray grabbed me and had a syringe in his hand. Ray threatened me and said, ‘We can do this the easy way or we can do it the hard way,’” her statement said.

The woman said she knew from previous domestic violence relationships that she couldn’t fight Cole because she didn’t want to get beaten. She told police Cole gave her drugs and took her to a tent he had set up in the basement, removed her clothes and had sex with her.

“I was so messed up on bath salts that I couldn’t really fight him,” she said in the statement.

Afterward, she said, he padlocked her in a basement closet, opening it to rape her daily, give her a Popsicle, water or bite of a sandwich a few times daily or get her high
on drugs.

The woman said she was held captive in the closet for four days and injected with drugs at least 30 times during that period.

She said Cole released her Monday and told her to head out the back door after hearing police were coming to his residence.

Cortland police responded at 12:45 p.m. Monday to 13 Brown Ave. to check on the woman after someone reported they believed a woman at that location was in danger.

When police arrived, Cole refused to let them in. However, officers said they saw the woman emerge out the back door. The woman was taken to the Guthrie Cortland Medical Center and placed in the intensive care unit, where she remained this morning. The hospital declined to comment on her condition.

A witness, Roger L. Morgan Jr., told police Cole was often in the basement with women for a couple of days. Cole would promise them gifts, get them high, then have sex with them, he said.

Roger also said Cole had cameras downstairs, which he alleges Cole used to film himself having sex with women. He also said there was a closet in the basement.

“Ray would open it up, move the shelves around and force (the woman) to crawl in there,” he said in the statement. “Ray would make (her) go in there if she didn’t want to have sex with him.”

Rogers told police Sunday he went to Cole’s house to look for the woman, but didn’t hear anything when he called her name and said Cole wouldn’t let him go in the basement and came at him with a baseball bat before he left.

“I knew she was down there, but Ray wouldn’t let me go down there,” he told police. “Ray is a dangerous person when he gets high.”

Cole has a history of being arrested and convicted of drug and violent offenses, including a 2007 conviction for attempted criminal sale of a controlled substance, a 2010 probation violation, and several other arrests.

He was convicted in a 2004 incident in which he was charged with kidnapping and holding a woman against her will, and possessing a weapon. During that case, police said Cole knocked his then girlfriend to the ground, dragged her inside his apartment and held her captive for nine hours, during which time he punched her, kicked her and threatened her with a knife.

Cole has been sent to Cortland County Jail without bail, pending an appearance Thursday in Cortland City Court.