A former American employee who worked at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City now risks being sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty to sexual abuse and admitting to "photographing and recording dozens of nude and partially nude women without their consent", the Justice Department says.
Brian Raymond, a 45-year-old from La Mesa, Calif., entered the guilty plea Friday following his arrest in October.
"Brian Raymond betrayed the trust granted to him as a U.S. government employee representing the United States abroad by engaging in years of predatory conduct sexually abusing, exploiting, and recording vulnerable women he targeted in the United States and around the world," Kenneth A. Polite Jr., the assistant attorney general of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, said in a statement.
"As demonstrated by Raymond’s prosecution and plea, the Department of Justice and its law enforcement partners will use all of the tools at our disposal to hold accountable those who victimize women," he added.
Prosecutors say they began an investigation into Raymond’s alleged behavior after an adult woman – who "reported she had no memory of events after consuming drinks and food provided by Raymond" – was "observed nude and screaming for help from [the] balcony" of his Mexico City residence in May last year.
"During the subsequent investigation, law enforcement agents recovered hundreds of photographs and videos depicting more than 20 unconscious and nude or partially nude women from Raymond’s cell phones, iCloud account, and other electronic devices," the Justice Department says. "Raymond created these materials starting at least as early as 2006 and continuing up until May 30, 2020."
In the images and videos, "Raymond’s hand is visible... manipulating his victims’ eyes, mouths, and limbs and fondling their breasts and buttocks," prosecutors allege.
"The women experienced memory loss during their time with Raymond and had no knowledge of the photographs, videos, or physical contact," they added. "Internet history recovered from Raymond’s devices revealed searches for unconscious women, as well as searches for the side effects of prescription drugs combined with alcohol, for example, ‘ambien and alcohol side effects’ ‘Ambien dissolve,’ ‘Ambien and alcohol pass out,’ and ‘passed out and carried.’"
The Justice Department says as part of a plea deal, Raymond admitted to engaging in sexual intercourse with two of the victims in the videos when they both were unable to consent. Both of those offenses allegedly happened at his embassy-leased property in Mexico City in March and May 2020.
"Additionally, Raymond admitted that over the course of 14 years he recorded and/or photographed at least 24 unconscious and nude or partially nude women and touched the breasts, buttocks, groin area and/or genitalia of numerous women while they were incapable of consent," the Justice Department also said.
Prosecutors also alleged that Raymond transferred "479 photographs and videos of 20 unconscious and nude or partially nude women" into the U.S. and then tried to delete the materials from his devices and internet accounts while under investigation.
In October following his arrest, the FBI described Raymond as a former U.S. government employee who has "traveled extensively overseas, including in Mexico and Peru.
"He speaks both Spanish and Mandarin Chinese," they added. "Raymond had been living in Mexico from August 2018 to May 2020."
His sentencing date is to be determined, but Raymond faces a maximum penalty of life in prison, a fine of $250,000, a supervised release term of five years and mandatory restitution, according to the Justice Department.