January 18, 2022

Rape case hearing rescheduled for today

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.

The woman who police said was held and raped over four days was released from the hospital over the weekend and was ready to testify Monday in a preliminary hearing against defendant Raymond C. Cole Jr.

However, an adjournment led to the case being rescheduled for this morning.

Cole, 58, of Cortland is charged with first-degree rape, first-degree unlawful imprisonment, second-degree assault and third-degree criminal possession of a weapon.

He is also charged with three counts of seventhdegree criminal possession of a controlled substance, a misdemeanor.

Cole appeared Monday in Cortland City Court with his attorney Luke Fenchel, who requested that Judge Elizabeth Burns reschedule the hearing, waiving Cole’s right to be released, so Fenchel could have time to review all the evidence, including witness statements.

A judge at a preliminary hearing determines whether evidence is sufficient to bring the case to a grand jury. To make that determination, the judge must have reasonable cause to believe Cole committed a felony.

The 34-year-old woman told police that Cole held her captive for four days, locked in a basement closet, injected her 30 times with a kind of synthetic stimulant, bath salts known as Molly, and raped her daily.

Cole denied the allegations in a statement to police, stating he and the woman had been in a relationship for around a year and half.

He also said she missed court on Friday and knew she would have a warrant out for her arrest.

Cortland County District Attorney Patrick Perfetti said the woman was arrested June 3 on a bench warrant stemming from an unrelated matter. However, Perfetti said the warrant was issued after she failed to appear June 3 for Drug Treatment Court.

The woman told police she went to Cole’s house May 30 to get bags he had been watching for her while she was in jail and that is when he injected her with drugs and forced her to have sex. 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.

She said Cole released her June 3 and told her to head out the back door after hearing police were coming to his residence. When police arrived, they found the woman.

The victim was at Guthrie Cortland Medical Center in critical but stable condition until Monday after becoming “profoundly impaired by controlled substance,” according to court documents.