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Raymond's Lawyer Compares Matter to 1920s Lynching

Posted at: 11/14/2012 1:11 PM
Updated at: 11/14/2012 10:59 PM
By: Brittany Falkers

The attorney of local businessman and UMD Fitness and Wellness coordinator, Rod Raymond, is fighting back against those who, he says, are unfairly judging his client. 

Two more complaints came against Rod Raymond earlier this month. Now his attorney, Lindsay R.M. Jones, has sent an open letter to UMD's student newspaper, the Statesman.  It asks the UMD community to pause it's judgment, and urges patience to allow for due process in the matter. 

In the letter, Jones writes, "Justice is not served by condemning a person based on unsubstantiated allegations, rumors and innuendos."

In the letter, Jones also notes his client's good standing before his, "good name and reputation was dragged through the mud."  He mentions Raymond's work at UMD and personal history.

Jones then compares Raymond to the 1920 lynching of three black men in Duluth who were accused of rape, and then publicly hung before they could stand a fair trial.  Before making the comparison in the letter, Jones states, "I know how serious a miscarriage of justice can be when finger pointing is combined with prejudice and ignorance of the distinction between allegation and fact."

Raymond was investigated and reprimanded in 2009 for allegedly sexually harassing two UMD students.

Judith Karon, Human Resources Director at UMD, said she could not release the nature of November's two additional investigations, but she did say that Raymond is on voluntary leave without pay from the university.

Jones told Eyewitness News today that he sent the letter to the UMD community because Raymond cannot speak out publicly on the issue, and that the complaints are only allegations.

Karon declined to comment on the letter.  She said she had not yet read the whole letter and would not comment on anything a "paid advocate" had to say on the matter.