The father of a former college student in Westchester has been charged with running an alleged sex cult out of his daughter’s dorm room for nearly a decade.
Lawrence Ray , 60, who was the subject of a cover story for New York Magazine, has been charged with sex trafficking, extortion, forced labor, and other offenses, officials announced on Tuesday, Feb. 11.
Ray was released from prison in 2010 and moved into the co-ed dorm of his daughter at Sarah Lawrence College near the border of Yonkers and Bronxville.
It is alleged that Ray subjected “his victims to sexual and psychological manipulation and physical abuse,” and laundering about $1 million from one victim under the guise of self-help.
Ray would allegedly cook fancy meals, and share stories about working for the CIA and being a Marine. What was to be a short arrangement led to “Ray taking charge of the kids’ lives and then whisking them away to a private apartment in New York for a summer,”
Prosecutors said that while manipulating the students and conducting “therapy sessions,” he learned “intimate details about their private lives, vulnerabilities, and mental health struggles under the pretense of helping them.
Ray alienated several of the victims from their parents and convinced several of the victims that they were ‘broken’ and in need of fixing by Ray.”
One of the students also allegedly engaged in prostitution for Ray’s financial benefit.
- Earlier report: Mark Wahlberg To Adapt Story On Students Falling Under Spell Of Sarah Lawrence Classmate's Father
It is alleged that Ray used sleep deprivation, psychological and sexual humiliation, verbal abuse, physical violence, and threats of legal action to extract information from his victims.
“Ray ultimately extracted false confessions from at least seven victims that they had intentionally damaged Ray’s and his family members’ and other associates’ property,” the indictment states, noting that erroneous confessions included that they had “poisoned Ray and his family members.”
“Larry was of average height and overweight, yet he could be intimidating. He had a clean-shaven head and favored polo shirts cut to make his 50-year-old frame look hulking. His machismo was out of place on the liberal-arts campus,” the New York Magazine article stated. “He could also be charming. He was a good listener and engaged the group on heady concepts like truth and justice.”
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