A former CIA officer accused of drugging and sexually assaulting at least two dozen women during several overseas postings pleaded guilty Tuesday to federal sexual assault charges.
Prosecutors say Brian Jeffrey Raymond kept nearly 500 videos and photographs he took of unconscious, naked women, including many where he could be seen opening their eyelids, groping them or walking on them. The photos date back to 2006 and trace most of Raymond’s career, with victims in Mexico, Peru and other countries.
The case was just the latest embarrassment for the CIA, which in recent months has seen a reckoning over its secretive and often antiquated handling of sexual misconduct allegations within the spy agency.
The Associated Press found that at least two dozen women have come forward to tell authorities and Congress about sexual assaults, unwanted touching and what they claim are CIA efforts to silence them. A CIA trainee officer was convicted in August of assault and battery for wrapping a scarf around a colleague’s neck and trying to kiss her inside a stairwell at the agency’s headquarters in Langley, Virginia.
The CIA has publicly condemned Raymond’s crimes, and agency director William Burns in May launched a series of reforms to streamline claims, support victims, and more quickly punish those involved in misconduct.
“As this case demonstrates, we are committed to engaging with law enforcement to ensure justice is served,” the CIA said in a statement. “In addition, we take any allegations of sexual assault or harassment very seriously and have taken important steps to ensure we maintain a safe, inclusive and respectful environment for our workforce.”
Raymond’s defense attorney did not respond to requests for comment.
Prosecutors described Raymond, 47, as an experienced sexual predator who kept a detailed log of potential victims organized by name, race and notes about their physical characteristics.
Investigators combing his devices found incriminating online search history for phrases such as “Ambien, alcohol, blackout” and “vodka, valium.” In one email to an online pharmacy, Raymond wrote: “Hi, do you have chloral hydrate for insomnia?”
When he was arrested three years ago, Raymond was stationed in Mexico City, where he was meeting women on dating apps and inviting them back to his embassy-rented apartment for drinks.
The San Diego native, who is fluent in Spanish and Mandarin, was only discovered in 2020 after a naked woman Raymond met on Tinder screamed for help from his balcony, prompting a concerned neighbor to call authorities. US officials searched Raymond’s electronic devices and began identifying the victims, all of whom described suffering some form of amnesia while with him. The prosecution had planned to call up to 14 alleged victims during the trial.
Raymond withdrew his previous guilty plea in the case last year, successfully challenging the admissibility of some photos that a judge ruled were illegally seized from his cellphones after agents forced him to give up his passcode. However, other photos stored on Raymond’s iCloud account were accepted.
As part of the agreement announced Tuesday, Raymond pleaded guilty to four of 25 felony charges, including sexual assault, coercion and transmitting obscene material. Prosecutors dismissed the most serious charge of aggravated sexual assault.