October 23, 2021

Injuries focus of rape trial

Colin Spencer/staff reporter

Cortland County District Attorney Patrick Perfetti points to an image Wednesday during testimony in the trial of Raymond Cole Jr. in Cortland County Court. Cole is accused of drugging, raping and holding a woman captive last year.

A nurse who examined the alleged victim of a man accused of drugging, raping and holding her captive was questioned Wednesday in Cortland County Court in regard to injuries the victim sustained.

Jill Haiens, a nurse at Guthrie Cortland Medical Center when the woman was brought to the hospital, answered questions about injuries she observed and assessed on the alleged victim, posed by both Cortland County District Attorney Patrick Perfetti and defense attorney Robert DeMarco in the trial of Raymond Cole Jr.

Cole was indicted July 19, accused of drugging, raping and holding a 34-year-old woman captive in his home at 13 Brown Ave., Cortland from May 30 to June 3.
He has been accused of the following 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 five counts of second-degree unlawful imprisonment, a misdemeanor.

Perfetti asked Haiens to explain pictures from her June 5 assessment of various injuries the victim sustained prior to arriving at Guthrie Cortland Medical Center. This included needle marks, cuts and scrapes.

Perfetti asked Haiens about a picture of the victim’s left forearm with visible marks from injections, questioning when they were observed.

Haiens said that they were on the victim prior to medical work done on her when she arrived at the hospital.

“Does that indicate any particular type needle of needle use from your experience?” Perfetti asked.

“Track marks” from people using needles to get high, Haiens replied.

Haiens was also asked to explain the swelling of the victim’s fingers on her left hand in one picture.

“In my experience as a nurse, at her age, I would say she does not have heart problems so the swelling could indicate dehydration and starvation,” she said.

Haiens did allude back to seeing that as a symptom of heart issues, though Perfetti asked, and Haiens confirmed, that those would be unlikely for someone to have at the victim’s age.

DeMarco questioned the origin of the injection marks as the defense had previously noted that the victim had a history of drug use.

“Would it be fair to say that they are self-inflicted?” DeMarco asked.

“It’s possible, yes,” Haiens said.

DeMarco also questioned whether the swelling on the victim’s hand could come from multiple injections.

“Possibly,” Haiens said.

Haiens’s testimony was scheduled to begin Wednesday morning but had to be delayed until the afternoon as the defense’s lead attorney, Luke Fenchel, had to be at home for a family medical emergency (Judge Julie A. Campbell assured the court that it was not related to the coronavirus).

She granted DeMarco to use the delay as time to prepare for questioning.

Cortland Police Officer Joseph Slater and Tammy Aiken, the director of critical care and emergency services at Guthrie Cortland Medical Center, were also questioned later Wednesday afternoon.