‘Unable to stand’: Christian academy headmaster under investigation for child abuse arrested again

Daily Kos [Berkeley, CA]

May 10, 2022

By Aysha Qamar

One arrest doesn’t seem to be enough for certain people to learn a lesson. Accused of juvenile cruelty for a second time, Pastor John Raymond, a one-time Survivor contestant and former Republican candidate for the Louisiana House, was arrested for a second time on Monday. His latest arrest is once again related to an incident at Lakeside Christian Academy, a kindergarten-12th grade school that he founded and ran as headmaster.

According to local news outlets, Monday’s arrest is connected to practices that occurred six years ago. Raymond was initially arrested last month and the Slidell Police Department said in a press release that parents and faculty members came forward to report additional incidents after Raymond’s first arrest, including some dating back to 2017.

Raymond was arrested in April and charged with three counts of cruelty to juveniles after taping children’s mouths shut for talking too much in class, Daily Kos reported. Similar to his demeanor now, he defended his actions then, claiming they were “disciplinary” and not abuse. In that incident, at least three of the victims were 13 years old.

But the incidents related to this latest arrest involve children as young as 4 years old. According to the press release, in at least one incident Raymond aggressively covered the mouth of a 4-year-old boy who would sometimes sit on the ground and kick and scream.

“Due to the boy crying and screaming, Raymond allegedly placed his hand over the boy’s nose and mouth (preventing him from breathing) to the point of him going ‘limp.’ A staff member told Raymond to stop, and then observed the boy ‘out of it and lethargic,’ and ‘unable to stand,'” the release said.

It doesn’t end there. According to officials, in a separate incident, Raymond allegedly dragged the same child across the floor by his ankles when he refused to leave the room him. He then proceeded to whip him.

“In another incident, Raymond allegedly held the boy upside down by his ankles and repeatedly ‘whipped him on the buttocks,'” police said.

According to the release, additional witnesses are being interviewed as more incidents are reported.

Following his arrest, Raymond told a New Orleans television station that he will be taking a voluntary leave of absence from his post as headmaster. He also released a letter acknowledging the arrest and charges.