Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Embassy intervened to stop arrest of ‘sexual predator:’ report

The United States Embassy in Mexico City intervened to stop the arrest of a former embassy employee who is accused of drugging and raping women, according to a report by the newspaper Milenio.

Brian Jeffrey Raymond was arrested in La Mesa, California, on October 9 and has been charged with coercion and enticement in the United States.

According to U.S. court documents, Raymond was an “experienced sexual predator,” with at least 22 victims in both Mexico and the United States.

The 44-year-old former diplomat left Mexico for the United States on June 1, the day after Mexico City police attended his embassy-owned apartment in the upscale Polanco neighborhood after a naked woman was seen shouting for help from a balcony.

According to Milenio, the Mexico City police were about to arrest Raymond on sexual assault charges when he showed them a document issued by Mexico’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs that identified him as the U.S. Embassy’s first secretary. The document reportedly provided Raymond with diplomatic immunity.

Milenio said that it obtained testimony that James Landis, a regional security officer with the U.S. Embassy, subsequently “rescued” Raymond.

The newspaper also said that Ricardo Lohora, head of the U.S. Embassy’s security office, called the Mexico City Security Ministry and demanded that Raymond not be taken into custody.

The woman he allegedly assaulted later filed a complaint with the Mexico City Attorney General’s Office, telling authorities that she met Raymond on Tinder and that she blacked out after drinking a glass of wine he gave her.

She said that she had no memory of having sex with Raymond but prosecutors said that she had injuries consistent with vaginal and anal penetration. Her body was also bruised and her mouth was cut, according to forensic reports.

Raymond denied rape allegations, telling authorities in the United States that he had consensual sex with the woman.

He remains in custody in the United States awaiting trial. A federal judge in California who last month ordered that he be held behind bars said that he was a “danger to the community and a flight risk.”

Roberto Velasco, head of the Foreign Ministry’s North America department, said on Twitter last Thursday that Mexican authorities cooperated with U.S. authorities on “the operation that led to the arrest of the first secretary of the United States Embassy in Mexico.”

He said that the aim was to secure justice in a case in which there was a “potential series of sexual abuses in both countries,” adding that “the Mexican government emphasizes its categorical rejection of any form of gender violence.”

Source: Milenio (sp), The New York Times (en)

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