Man Who Lived in Daughter’s Sarah Lawrence Dorm Found Guilty of Sex Trafficking Students
One of the victims said she gave the man $2.5 million she made after he extorted her into becoming a sex worker.
A man was convicted Wednesday for abusing students in a nearly 10-year scheme that began after he moved into his daughter’s Sarah Lawrence College dorm room.
Lawrence Ray, 62, was found guilty on all charges, including extortion, sex trafficking, forced labor, money laundering, and tax evasion, reports NBC News.
“Twelve years ago, Larry Ray moved into his daughter’s dorm room at Sarah Lawrence College. And when he got there, he met a group of friends who had their whole lives ahead of them,” U.S. Attorney Damian Williams wrote in a statement following the verdict. “For the next decade, he used violence, threats, and psychological abuse to try to control and destroy their lives. He exploited them. He terrorized them. He tortured them. Let me be very clear. Larry Ray is a predator. An evil man who did evil things.”
Ray extorted payments from victims after getting them to make false confessions about causing damages to him, his family, and associates, according to the indictment. Some testified Ray made them believe they had poisoned him and needed to pay him back, according to NPR. Victims drained their parents’ savings, opened credit lines, and sold real estate ownership to pay him. Ray also forced the victims to do unpaid labor.
One of the victims, who met Ray while she was roommates with his daughter in 2011, testified that she became a sex worker to try to pay reparations to Ray. He groomed the college student and collected sexually explicit photos and other information to coerce her to commit more commercial sex acts, said the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Over four years, the victim said she gave Ray $2.5 million in installments that averaged between $10,000 and $50,000 per week.
The victim also testified that Ray physically abused her to keep her in line and convinced her to make false confessions as collateral.
Other victims testified about how Ray went from becoming a trusted father-like figure, allowing them to live at his apartment in Manhattan’s Upper East Side, to a manipulating cult leader, said The Insider.
Ray’s sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 16. He faces life in prison.
ORIGINAL ARTICLE POSTED 2/12/20
The father of a former Sarah Lawrence College student has been arrested for a sex trafficking and extortion scheme that originally began in his daughter’s dorm room a decade ago.
In 2010, Lawrence V. Ray, who was, at the time, a 50-year-old ex-con, moved into his daughter’s residence hall just after being released from prison. He needed a place to stay. The suspect lived in his daughter’s dorm room until 2011 when he moved to Manhattan’s Upper East Side, reports Yahoo News.
Shortly after moving into his daughter’s residence hall, he became a confidant, therapist and father figure to his daughter’s roommates, and he was able to convince them that he could help them with their problems.
That’s according to a New York Magazine cover story that ran in April of 2019. On Wednesday — 10 months after the story ran — Ray was charged with sex trafficking, extortion and forced labor, reports the Washington Post.
According to the indictment, Ray learned “intimate details about [the students’] private lives, vulnerabilities, and mental health struggles under the pretense of helping them.”
For 10 years, Ray behaved like a cult leader, persuading with threats and coercion the students he met at the school to confess to crimes they didn’t commit and then extort them, reports the New York Times. He forced some to work without pay, and he threatened others with knives. One woman was forced into prostitution, with Ray taking the hundreds of thousands of dollars she made selling sex. He ordered some to drain their parents’ savings accounts, open lines of credit and engage in real estate fraud.
Authorities say Ray used tactics like sleep deprivation, psychological and sexual humiliation, verbal and physical abuse, and threats of criminal legal action to extract confessions to crimes the students didn’t commit, such as property damage and poisoning.
He was arrested on Tuesday with one of the students identified in the indictment and one of his daughter’s roommates.
Ray has denied most of the allegations and faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.
Sarah Lawrence College said it conducted an investigation after the April 2019 New York Magazine article was published but “did not substantiate those specific claims.”