January 20, 2022

Rape cases has no extra jurors

S.N. Briere/staff reporter

Luke Fenchel, second from left, the attorney for Raymond C. Cole Jr., shown at left, are shown here in Court March 17

Court for a man charged with drugging, raping and holding a woman captive over four days last year continued Monday afternoon with no alternate jurors.

Cortland County court was called into session around 8:30 a.m. By about 9 a.m. an older male juror had been let go after notifying the court he had shingles and alternate one took his place.

“I greatly apologize,” the juror said.

That juror was replaced by alternate juror one.

Judge Julie Campbell told the man to get better. It was also brought to the court’s attention that alternate juror two had not shown up because she was not feeling well either.

“She left a message saying she was up all night vomiting,” said Jessica Wyant, an assistant district attorney.

The jurors are taking part in case of Raymond C. Cole Jr., 59, who is accused of locking a woman in basement at his residence on 13 Brown Ave. in Cortland between May 30 and June 3, injecting her often — up to 30 times — with a narcotic “bath salt” know as Molly and repeatedly raping her. The drugs eventually sent her to the hospital for days.

A grand jury indicted Cole on July 19 on these felony charges:

  • 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.

The harshest of the charges carries a maximum 25-year sentence. Cole is also charged with five counts of second-degree unlawful imprisonment, a misdemeanor.

Campbell had recessed court until around 11 a.m. Monday to reach the other alternate juror and then recess again until 1 p.m. By 1 p.m. the alternate had not shown up.

“I have held off as long as I can,” Campbell said.

She said the chief clerk of the court and the commissioner of the jurors had reached out to alternate juror two.

“The chief clerk of court spoke to alternate juror number 2 who indicated in voicemail, as well as in person, that she was suffering from a stomach bug causing vomiting,” Campbell said, noting she did not sound well and even had to be asked to speak up.

She advised the alternate juror to seek medical attention immediately to get documentation to provide to the court. That documentation had not been provided and the court did not hear from the juror.

Cole’s attorney, Luke Fenchel, did raise an objection. However, he could not be reached to clarify what that objection was in relation to the jury.

Campbell decided to move the trial forward with a jury of 12 and no alternates.
The prosecution called witnesses Monday related to the chain of evidence and the testing of evidence.

District Attorney Patrick Perfetti said this morning that he anticipated continuing with witness testimony today.