A U.S. embassy staffer accused of drugging and sexually assaulting at least 23 women over the past 10 years lured at least one of his victims across international borders to Mexico from the United States for a night of abuse she barely remembers, according to an FBI affidavit unsealed in federal court.
That’s among the new revelations in the case of Brian Jeffrey Raymond, a government employee stationed at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City who allegedly carried out a decade-long rape spree while on the federal payroll. Initially charged with a single count of coercion and enticement, Raymond now faces two additional counts of sexual abuse carried out within the “Special Maritime and Territorial Jurisdiction” of the U.S.—that is, his apartment in Mexico City’s tony Polanco neighborhood, which has been leased by the U.S. government since 2013 for use by diplomatic, consular, and military personnel.
As The Daily Beast was the first to report, Raymond, 44, was arrested Oct. 9 in La Mesa, California, where he had been staying with his parents after abruptly quitting his job. Court documents do not specify Raymond’s former position at the Mexico City embassy, where he had been posted since 2018, and his internet presence is almost nonexistent. Prosecutors noted that Raymond speaks both Spanish and Mandarin Chinese and had worked in at least six countries over more than two decades of federal service that Raymond’s defense team called “exemplary.”
The Department of State and Department of Justice have repeatedly declined to comment or provide further details about Raymond’s exact government role.
But prosecutors do say that beginning around 2011, Raymond “exerted power and control over unconscious women” he met primarily on dating apps. Investigators uncovered hundreds of photos and video footage of unconscious women in Raymond’s bed. In some, a naked man appearing to be Raymond holds open their eyelids, waves their limp arms and legs in the air, or inserts his fingers into their mouths to prove they are passed out, prosecutors said. At the same time, those who knew him were apparently caught totally unawares by his behavior, which authorities described as “evidence of his unique ability to portray a very different public face.”
The new charges Raymond now faces stem from additional communications FBI investigators have recovered from his electronic devices and iCloud account. In one conversation, Raymond convinced a California woman identified in court records only as “Adult Victim 2” to visit him in Mexico following their first date in the U.S.—during which she unexpectedly blacked out—according to the FBI affidavit.
Raymond and the unidentified woman began communicating in late 2017, and first got together in February 2018, in San Diego. She told investigators she blacked out at some point during the date, and couldn’t recall any details from much of the night. That September, court records say Raymond informed the woman that he had moved to Mexico City, and asked her to visit. He sent photographs of himself and his new apartment, told her about the neighborhood and the restaurants nearby, and suggested that Halloween would be a perfect time to visit.
Although the woman was ultimately unable to arrange a trip to Mexico City for Halloween, she was able to get there to visit Raymond in November. The two had dinner together one night, and lunch two days later, the woman told investigators. And while she said she remembered the lunch, she said she blacked out after the dinner and had little memory of the evening she spent with Raymond.
FBI agents say they found 77 disturbing images and videos on Raymond’s devices from both get-togethers that filled in numerous unsettling blanks. In them, the unnamed woman is nude and unconscious, according to the affidavit. A man’s hand, which investigators believe to be Raymond’s, can be seen pulling down the woman’s underwear, pulling up her bra, and opening her eyelids.
The woman told the FBI that she “was unaware of the existence of any photographs and videos and did not consent to them being taken,” nor did she consent “to Raymond touching her body while she was unconscious,” the affidavit says.
Other alleged victims told similar tales when confronted with the lewd images Raymond allegedly took of himself abusing them as recently as May 31, 2020. One, identified in court filings as “Adult Victim 9,” told investigators that she “lost all memory shortly after arriving at Raymond’s apartment, and the last thing she remembers is walking down a hallway with him. She does not recall having sex or consenting to sex. Nevertheless, she awoke naked in his bed, and her body felt as if she had been penetrated vaginally.”
Another, identified in court records as “Adult Victim 7,” also had little recollection of the night she spent with Raymond, and was completely unaware that her assault had been documented on film, prosecutors alleged. The woman said she only remembered going to Raymond’s apartment that night and kissing him, then vomiting at some point. She woke up in his bed fully nude but couldn’t recall taking off her clothes.
A third, whom prosecutors are calling “Adult Victim 6,” remembered going to Raymond’s apartment in Polanco and agreeing to have sex with him. However, she could only recall brief “flashes” of it, she told investigators. She also said she never consented to being touched while unconscious, or being photographed by Raymond.
Raymond first came to the attention of police this past May, when a naked woman was seen screaming for help from the balcony of Raymond’s apartment. She appeared to be extremely intoxicated, couldn’t walk on her own, and was taken by ambulance to the hospital. There, doctors found “injuries consistent with vaginal and anal penetration,” including lacerations to the woman’s rectum that were consistent with “the introduction of a hard object with blunt edges.”
The woman had no memory of any physical contact with Raymond, and couldn’t remember calling for help. She met Raymond on Tinder, the woman told investigators, and went on a date with him at an outdoor shopping center. Raymond brought a bottle of wine, which they drank out of coffee mugs, after which the two headed back to Raymond’s apartment. He offered her some snacks and another glass of wine. Then, she blacked out.
Raymond was detained by Mexican police, but returned to the U.S. the next day after claiming diplomatic immunity. The FBI seized Raymond’s personal and work phones, which yielded the photographic evidence. His laptop's online history included searches for such phrases as “passed out black girl,” “deep sleep,” “Ambien and alcohol and pass out,” “dissolve,” and “passed out and carried.” Raymond tried to wipe his devices of evidence, the feds say, but they were still able to extract much of what they needed to make their case.
The new FBI affidavit says laboratory testing provided conflicting accounts of the woman on the balcony’s level of intoxication the night Raymond was apprehended by Mexico City cops. Initial testing did not reveal the presence of any controlled substances in her system, it says. However, additional testing later conducted by the FBI apparently revealed the presence of cocaine and methamphetamine.
After Raymond’s October arrest, U.S. Magistrate Judge Linda Lopez denied Raymond bail, handing him over to the U.S. Marshals Service. Lopez struck down an argument from Raymond’s then-lawyer who claimed his client should be released due to his deep family ties, connections to the local community, and health issues that made him especially vulnerable to COVID-19 exposure in jail. Prosecutors argued back that Raymond had all but ignored his parents and only sister for periods up to a year and showed “no interest” in his nieces and nephews, and pointed out that Raymond’s behavior in recent months “suggests no such concern for contracting COVID.”
“There are photographs and videos of three unconscious women in his bed, two in late-March 2020 and one on May 30, 2020, at the height of the COVID crisis,” stated the government’s detention memo.
The FBI believes there are more victims to be found.