October 21, 2021

Rape plea deal offer rejected

Judge reserves evidence decision in Raymond Cole Jr.’s case

Courtroom photo of Raymond Cole Jr.

Colin Spencer/staff reporter

Defense attorney Luke Fenchel, left, sits with Raymond Cole Jr. during an appearance Thursday at Cortland County Court.

A Cortland County Court judge has reserved decision on how much a prosecutor could cross-examine a man accused of locking a woman in his basement for four days and repeatedly drugging and raping her, should he testify on his own behalf at his trial.

Raymond Cole Jr., 58, was in Judge Julie A. Campbell’s court Thursday, rejecting a plea offer that would reduce the 18 felonies to a single count of second-degree sexual assault and one of first-degree unlawful imprisonment, felonies, in return for five years in prison and five of post-release supervision.

The harshest of the 18 charges against him carry a maximum 25-year sentence.

Cole was indicted July 19 in connection with the events from May 30 to June 3, accused of 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.

Additionally, he was charged with four counts of second-degree unlawful imprisonment, a misdemeanor.

Fenchel raised the concern about what evidence the prosecution may use as District Attorney Patrick Perfetti had represented Cole before being the DA and that prior information Perfetti may have might be used against Cole.

However, Assistant District Attorney Jessica Weyant responded that Fenchel was attempting to adjourn the trial.

“I don’t get what point Mr. Fenchel is trying to make,” she said.

A 34-year-old woman told police in June that Cole held her captive in house at 13 Brown Ave., Cortland from May 30 to June 3, police reported. During that time, she reported being locked in a basement closet, injected about 30 times with a “bath salt” type drug called Molly and being raped daily.

Cole denied the allegations, telling police the woman “does whatever she wants to,” court records show.

Cole has been through the justice system more than 30 times since 1982. He has faced a total of 12 felony cases, two of which were violent, and 19 misdemeanors. He was convicted four times, including a violent felony involving a weapon.

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