Sex trafficker Larry Ray’s lawyer wants reduced sentence of 15 years as he 'suffered sexual abuse as a child'

Sex trafficker Larry Ray’s lawyer wants reduced sentence of 15 years as he 'suffered sexual abuse as a child'
Lawrence Ray was sentenced to 60 years in prison for sex trafficking, mentally manipulating and abusing a group of young people who were forced to work without being paid for nearly a decade (New York Police Department)

MANHATTAN, NEW YORK CITY: Lawrence "Larry" Ray, who was sentenced to 60 years in prison for sex trafficking, mentally manipulating and abusing a group of young people who were forced to work without being paid for nearly a decade, allegedly suffered from a traumatic childhood, according to his defense lawyer Marne Lenox. In her Sentencing Submission, Lenox wrote, "the physical, sexual, and psychological abuse Lawrence Ray suffered as a child and through his young adulthood bears a striking resemblance to the conduct underlying the offenses he now stands convicted of."

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Ray was found guilty in April 2022 of a number of offenses, including sex trafficking, tax evasion, forced labor, money laundering, and a racketeering conspiracy. After moving into his daughter's dorm in 2010, he was initially introduced to a group of young people who he would later physically and mentally assault. Some of the victims, who testified in court, mentioned how his sadistic actions had pushed them to despair so much so that some of them contemplated suicide. 

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While Judge Lewis Liman of the Manhattan Federal court described Ray's conduct as "particularly aggravating, heinous” and done for "his profit and sadistic pleasure," his lawyer, Lenox, requested his sentence be brought down to 15 years, citing a traumatic childhood that he allegedly experienced. In her Sentencing Submission, Lenox claimed that Ray’s trial "revealed the tortured labyrinth of his adulthood" and lamented at the court not learning anything about his childhood. 

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As per Lenox, Ray was verbally and physically abused by his grandmother after moving into his grandparents' house after his mother fell ill. "Larry was just six or seven years old when his grandmother first physically abused him. She struck him with a cat of nine tails, a whip intended for severe physical punishment. The lashings became routine," Lenox wrote in the memo.  As per Lenox's submission, Larry and his younger brother, Carl, lived primarily with their mother in a small Brooklyn apartment after their parents' separation.

At his grandparents' place, Lenox claimed, Ray was penetrated by his grandfather. “I remember the stairs going down to the basement had an oil tank behind them...I used to hide there," Ray was quoted as telling Lenox. Contending that the abuse Ray suffered as a child and observed in his early adulthood "maps onto the conduct underlying the offenses of conviction" having implications for his current physical and mental well-being, Lenox requested the court to sentence him to 180 months in prison.

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However, Judge Lewis J Liman, in his sentencing, agreed to the prosecutors' submission stating that "the evidence showed that the defendant took sadistic pleasure in their (victims') pain and enjoyed the fruits of their suffering." Requesting Ray be given a life sentence, prosecutors wrote, "Lawrence Ray’s crimes were heinous. Over a period of years, he intentionally inflicted brutal and lifelong harm on innocent victims that he groomed and abused into submission. Once he had established control over his victims, he exploited them for his own profit through extortion, sex trafficking, and forced labor. While delivering his sentence, Liman said, "He (Ray) sought to take any light from his victims' lives," adding, "It was sadism. Pure and simple." 

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