‘Sarah Lawrence Dorm Dad’ Who Exploited Her Daughter’s Former Roommates Is Sentenced
NEW YORK (AP) — An ex-con who made millions of dollars by subjecting his daughter’s former roommates to forced labor and prostitution was sentenced Friday to 60 years in prison by a judge who called him a “evil genius” who used sadism and psychological torture to control every aspect of his victims’ lives.
Lawrence “Larry” Ray, 63, was sentenced in Manhattan federal court by Judge Lewis J. Liman.
“There’s no reason to believe that Mr. Ray will grow old because of criminal behavior,” Liman said, noting that the crimes began when Ray moved into his daughter’s on-campus housing in late 2010. Sarah Lawrence College, a small liberal arts institution in New York. school.
The judge said Ray charmed his victims with his “inflated sense of self” and intelligence before “robbing them of their relationships, their self-esteem, their memories, and then their bodies” after convincing them that they had poisoned him and were indebted to him.
“Through psychological terror and manipulation, he convinced them that what they knew to be true was in fact false,” Liman said. “He beat his victims. He tortured them and sometimes he starved them. He degraded them sexually to the point where they lost all self-esteem.
Once his vulnerable victims were diminished, Ray extorted them, coerced them into engaging in labor and sex trafficking a woman, Liman said.
“He had the evil genius to take people who were young, not minors, and he broke them (…) then he used them for his diabolical needs,” the judge said.
Liman announced the sentence after Assistant US Attorney Mollie Bracewell sought a life sentence, citing Ray’s “indescribable cruelty”.
Given the chance to speak, Ray expressed no remorse but spoke out about his prison conditions and physical ailments.
“Being in jail was horrible,” he said, noting that his father and both of his in-laws recently died in the same week.
Defense attorney Marne Lenox argued against a life sentence, saying the mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years was sufficient, particularly because Ray endured harsh conditions in federal prisons.
She said her client still believed he was innocent and that his victims had poisoned him.
Ray was found guilty in a trial last April of racketeering, conspiracy, forced labor and sex trafficking charges.
During the trial, a woman testified that she became a sex worker in an attempt to pay reparations to Ray after she was convinced she had poisoned him. She said that, over four years, she gave Ray $2.5 million in installments averaging between $10,000 and $50,000 a week.
In a statement read aloud during sentencing on Friday by a lawyer, the woman said she was subjected to ‘relentless sadistic torture’ by a man who offered a ‘twisted, empty and broken version of life’ .
“My experiences of being a victim of sex trafficking haunt me today,” her statement said. She said Ray made us “hold his hurt for him. … Every time we tried to knock him down, he brutalized us.
A victim who spoke out said he was living a happy and exciting life as a sophomore in college when he met Ray “and it all went up in smoke”. He said he had attempted suicide more than once.
Another victim told the court he feared Ray would find a way to harm him from prison.
During Ray’s trial, several students testified that they were drawn into Ray’s world as he told them stories about his past influence in New York politics, including his role in bringing down the career of former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik after being best man at his wedding years earlier.
Ray had, in fact, been a figure in a corruption probe that derailed President George Bush’s 2004 nomination of Kerik to head the US Department of Homeland Security.
Ray was arrested in February 2020. At the time, then-US attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said an investigation was launched after a 2019 article appeared in New York magazine .
At sentencing, Liman credited victims willing to testify with bringing justice for the “hard to detect and hard to prosecute” type of crimes.
“This case shows the strength of the human spirit and the dedication of law enforcement,” Liman said.
The judge said Ray’s attempt to “extinguish lives” had failed and the sentence he announced will ensure that Ray never hurts anyone else again.
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