The prosecution’s case against a former CIA officer accused of sexually abusing more than 20 incapacitated women in Mexico City is at risk of collapsing because the Justice and State departments may have botched the execution of a warrant to seize the officer’s iPhones, court records show.
A federal judge is set to hear arguments Thursday about whether nearly 600 photos of the defendant allegedly abusing incapacitated women should be thrown out, in a dispute that could make new law on the question of what constitutes an improper search in the digital age.
The former CIA officer, Brian Jeffrey Raymond, has been held without bail in a Washington, D.C., jail for nearly three years. He made a deal to plead guilty to two counts of sexual abuse in July 2021, admitting in court to preying upon women he met in and outside the U.S. through dating sites even as he carried out his clandestine duties.
But the one-time spy withdrew his plea last year after members of his legal team realized there were significant problems with how the evidence in the case was obtained. In allowing Raymond to change his plea, the federal judge ruled that one of his former defense lawyers had been ineffective in noting major concerns about the manner in which investigators gained access to Raymond’s iPhones. The judge ruled that law enforcement agents may have violated Raymond’s rights under the Fourth Amendment, which guards against unreasonable search and seizure, and under the Fifth, which says a person can’t be forced to testify against himself.
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