NYC dad ran school cult for ‘cash, intercourse and energy:’ prosecutors

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Accused NYC intercourse cult chief Lawrence Ray preyed on his daughter’s classmates at Sarah Lawrence College, utilizing psychological torture and bodily violence to lure them into his net and exploit them, a federal prosecutor mentioned Thursday at his trial.

Assistant United States Legal professional Lindsey Keenan advised jurors in opening statements that Ray compelled one lady into prostitution when she was 19, making her earn $2 million for him in two years. 

SARAH LAWRENCE COLLEGE DAD ARRESTED FOR RUNNING SEX CULT OUT OF DAUGHTER’S DORM ROOM, POLICE SAY

Ray and one other lady who served as his “trusted lieutenant” discovered the sufferer at a Manhattan lodge in October 2018 and allegedly tortured her for hours to make sure she saved working, the prosecutor mentioned, describing the ordeal in disturbing element.

Accused sex cult leader Lawrence Ray who is charged with extorting and sex trafficking students at Sarah Lawrence College. (U.S. Attorney's office via AP)

Accused intercourse cult chief Lawrence Ray who’s charged with extorting and intercourse trafficking college students at Sarah Lawrence School. (U.S. Legal professional’s workplace by way of AP)

As soon as within the room, Ray allegedly pushed her right into a chair and handcuffed her, holding her there for hours earlier than suffocating her with a plastic bag.

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“She was helpless,” Keenan advised jurors in Manhattan federal courtroom, as Ray watched from the protection desk, carrying a cream-colored sweated over a blue shirt.

ELECTRONICS SEIZED FROM HOME OF SARAH LAWRENCE COLLEGE DAD ACCUSED OF RUNNING SEX CULT OUT OF DAUGHTER’S DORM ROOM

“Within hours, this woman was back into prostitution, making money for the defendant,” Keenan mentioned. “[Ray] used violence, fear, sex and manipulation to get what he wanted: power and money.”

Ray is charged in a 17-count indictment that features fees of racketeering, intercourse trafficking and conspiracy for conduct associated to no less than 5 victims. If convicted of all counts, he faces life in jail.

Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York.

Sarah Lawrence School in Bronxville, New York.
(Getty Photographs)

The NXIVM-like cult started in 2010 when Ray’s daughter was a sophomore at Sarah Lawrence School, and he started dwelling in her dormitory about half-hour north of Manhattan. He persuaded his daughter’s associates to stick with him the next summer season in New York Metropolis, studying their secrets and techniques and fears to regulate them, Keenan mentioned.

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He satisfied a number of ladies and no less than one man that they owed him cash for damaging his belongings, making an attempt to poison them after which had their false confessions videotaped.

In the event that they didn’t do as he mentioned, he’d threaten to launch the humiliating footage to their family and friends.  Ray used this technique to steer his victims to empty their mother and father’ financial savings and coerce them into doing guide labor for him, based on prosecutors.

“When shame and embarrassment weren’t enough, he relied on violence,” Keenan mentioned. “The victims had no choice. They lived in fear of the defendant.”

Former U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman points to a photo showing Lawrence Ray during a news conference, Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020, in New York.   College.

Former U.S. Legal professional Geoffrey Berman factors to a photograph displaying Lawrence Ray throughout a information convention, Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020, in New York.   School.
( AP Photograph/Jim Mustian)

A male sufferer nervously took the stand Thursday and testified towards Ray as he prevented trying in his route. He was a sophomore when he met Ray and was relationship his daughter. All of them started hanging out, and the sufferer thought Ray was “very cool, very smart” and “very inspirational.”

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The abuse started in 2011 with name-calling and shortly escalated to bodily violence. Jurors have been proven a video that these within the gallery might solely hear.

Ray may very well be heard berating the sufferer and hitting him. The witness mentioned on different events, Ray had struck him with a hammer, threatened him with a knife and put him in a choke-hold.

The defendant, who as soon as served as the very best man at former New York Police Commissioner Bernie Kerik‘s wedding ceremony, was arrested in February 2020 and has been jailed ever since.

Protection lawyer Allegra Glashausser mentioned in opening statements that her consumer impressed his daughter’s school associates with tales about hanging out with Soviet Union President Mikhail Gorbachev, Kerik and U.S. army generals. They, in flip, shared their very own adventures with him.

“This was a group of storytellers,” she advised jurors.

“I’m not saying Larry Ray is a saint, but these things are not federal crimes,” she added. “At the end of this story, you will see Larry Ray is not guilty.”

The Related Press contributed to this report

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