October 23, 2021

Rape suspect: No deal

Raymond C. Cole rules out plea; bail set at $100K

Kevin Conlon/city editor

Raymond C. Cole Jr., center, and his lawyer Luke Fenchel look at Cortland County Assistant District Attorney Jessica Weyant Thursday during Cole’s arraignment in Cortland County Court. Cole was arraigned on 18 felony charges and four misdemeanors.

Raymond C. Cole Jr. shook his head no Thursday as his lawyer Luke Fenchel told the court that Cole would not accept a plea deal in a case where he is accused of holding a women hostage for days, drugging her and raping her repeatedly.

Cole appeared in Cortland County Court where Judge Julie Campbell set bail at $100,000 cash or $200,000 bond after pleading not guilty to 18 felonies and four misdemeanors.

A grand jury indicted Cole on July 19 Cole on these felonies:
• Three counts of first-degree rape.
• Six counts of second-degree assault.
• Five counts of third-degree criminal possession of a weapon.
• Four counts of first-degree unlawful imprisonment.

He was also arraigned on four counts of second-degree unlawful imprisonment, a misdemeanor.

However, Fenchel made note in court that the grand jury did not indict Cole on one count of first-degree rape or one count of first-degree unlawful imprisonment.

Fenchel said he had “serious concerns about the prosecutor’s case. There are and have been significant changes to the accusations.”

Cortland County Assistant District Attorney Jessica Weyant said Cortland City Court Judge Elizabeth Burns determined at a preliminary hearing that there was enough evidence to suggest Cole had committed at least one felony.

The 34-year-old victim told police Cole held her captive from May 30 to June 3, locked her in a basement closet, injected her about 30 times with a kind of “bath salts” drug called Molly and raped her daily at his house at 13 Brown Ave., Cortland.

Two counts of first-degree rape accuse Cole of having sex with the victim by forcible compulsion and the third accuses him of having sex “with another person who was incapable of consent by reason of being physically helpless.”

Five of the six counts of second-degree assault allege Cole administered a drug for purposes other than medical treatment, which caused stupor, unconsciousness or other physical impairment or injury. The sixth alleges Cole intended to cause injury to the victim by “means of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument.”

Cole denied the allegations in a statement to police, stating they had been in a relationship for about a year and a half.

The victim testified in early June at a preliminary hearing in Cortland City Court that she had known Cole for about two years and had believed they were friends, after having had a sexual relationship that had ended before the incident.

She said she went to Cole’s house on May 30 to get personal items Cole had been watching over for her while she was in jail. While she was getting the items out of the basement she said Cole injected her with drugs and raped her. She then said after he had sex with her she was told to get into a closet in the basement.

However, she also testified that she did not stay in the closet for the entire four days. She said she left the residence to get a bike and to get shoes with her grandmother, although she said she wasn’t sure of the days that occurred.

She said she was told to get in the closet six or seven times for between a half-hour to 45 minutes.

Both the prosecution and the defense noted Cole has a criminal history.

Cole, 58, has been through the criminal justice system 30 times.

He has faced a total of 12 felonies, two of which were violent and 19 misdemeanors.

He was convicted four times, once for a violent felony involving a weapon.

He has also had at least one parole and one probation revocation and previous adjudication as a youthful offender.

He has been in Cortland County Jail since June 4.