Former CIA Officer Pleads Guilty to Sex Abuse Charges
A former CIA officer, Brian Jeffrey Raymond, has pleaded guilty to federal sex abuse charges after being accused of drugging and sexually assaulting at least two dozen women during his overseas postings. Prosecutors revealed that Raymond had kept nearly 500 videos and photographs of naked, unconscious women, some of which showed him opening their eyelids, groping or straddling them. These images date back to 2006 and span Raymond’s career, with victims identified in Mexico, Peru, and other countries.
This incident is another blow to the CIA, which has faced criticism in recent months over its handling of sexual misconduct claims within the agency. The Associated Press uncovered that at least two dozen women have come forward to authorities and Congress to report sexual assaults, unwanted touching, and alleged efforts by the CIA to silence them. In August, a CIA officer trainee was convicted of assault and battery for attempting to kiss a colleague after wrapping a scarf around her neck at the agency’s headquarters.
The CIA has publicly condemned Raymond’s actions, and CIA Director William Burns initiated a series of reforms in May to improve the handling of claims, support victims, and expedite disciplinary actions against those involved in misconduct. The agency stated, “As this case shows, we are committed to engaging with law enforcement to ensure that justice is served. In addition, we take any allegations of sexual assault or sexual harassment extremely seriously and have taken significant steps to ensure we maintain a safe, inclusive, and respectful environment for our workforce.”
Raymond’s defense attorney has not provided any comments regarding the case. Prosecutors described him as an experienced sexual predator who maintained a detailed record of potential victims, categorizing them by name, ethnicity, and physical characteristics. Investigators discovered incriminating online search history on his devices, including searches for combinations of substances that induce unconsciousness. When arrested three years ago in Mexico City, Raymond had been using dating apps to meet women and invite them back to his embassy-leased apartment for drinks.
Raymond, a native of San Diego who is fluent in Spanish and Mandarin, was exposed in 2020 when a naked woman he met on Tinder screamed for help from his balcony, leading a concerned neighbor to alert the authorities. Further investigation by U.S. officials revealed additional victims who reported experiencing memory loss during their interactions with Raymond. The prosecution had intended to call up to 14 alleged victims to testify during the trial.
Last year, Raymond withdrew a previous guilty plea after successfully challenging the admissibility of certain photos that had been illegally seized from his mobile phones. However, images stored on his iCloud account were admitted as evidence. In the agreement announced on Tuesday, Raymond pleaded guilty to four of the 25 criminal counts, including sexual abuse, coercion, and transportation of obscene material. The most serious charge of aggravated sexual abuse was dismissed by prosecutors.
This article was reported by Mustian in New York and Goodman in Miami.