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What are charges against Larry Ray? Sarah Lawrence sex cult leader who abused students gets 60 yrs prison

Larry Ray forced a group of students into unpaid labor, mentally manipulated and sex trafficked them for nearly a decade
UPDATED JAN 21, 2023
 The judge said that Larry Ray had the evil genius to manipulate his victims and mentally break them (New York Police Department)
The judge said that Larry Ray had the evil genius to manipulate his victims and mentally break them (New York Police Department)

MANHATTAN, NEW YORK CITY: Lawrence 'Larry' Ray, the Sarah Lawrence sex cult leader has been sentenced to 60 years behind bars on Friday, January 20 for sex trafficking, mentally manipulating and abusing a group of young people who were forced to work without being paid, for nearly a decade. Before announcing the jail term, Judge Lewis Liman of the Manhattan Federal court said “Mr Ray’s conduct, in this case, was particularly aggravating, his crimes particularly heinous.” 

On Friday, the judge said that the cult leader had the evil genius to manipulate his victims and mentally break them. Talking about Ray's torture inflicted on one of the victims, Liman said, “It was sadism pure and simple.” On learning the jail sentence with no parole, the 63-year-old cult leader stood unmoved. During the sentencing hearing, many of his victims made their statements in court. Claudia Drury, a victim of Ray who was forced into prostitution for years had her representative at the court. “I barely have the energy to exist day to day. He destroyed my life. I have nightmares almost every night. Everything exhausts me,” read a statement by Drury who talked about the horrifying abuse she suffered, according to New York Post.


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Charges against Larry Ray

In April 2022, Larry Ray was convicted of a row of charges including sex trafficking, tax evasion, forced labor, money laundering, and racketeering conspiracy. The group of young people whom he abused physically and mentally were first introduced to him in 2010 after he moved into his daughter's on-campus dormitory.

Ray drew attention from the group by telling them stories about his life where he allegedly talked about him being involved in military operations, meeting world leaders, and even having a dispute with Bernard Kerik, the former NYPD Commissioner. Ray manipulated the young people and exerted control over them as he convinced many of them that they have poisoned him or caused damage to his property. The cult leader threatened his victims with footage of them confessing as he forced them to make false confessions, reports New York Post

Talking about the alleged brutal abuse, Drury told the jurors, “I was suffocating. I was terrified. I was trembling. You can’t breathe. You want to breathe a lot. That just makes it much worse. It was terrifying." Months after the fiend's horrific crimes were exposed in 2019, the FBI arrested him at a home in New Jersey. In September 2022, Isabella Pollok, an ex-student of Sarah Lawrence pled guilty to aiding Ray in money laundering.

At the court, the cult leader told Judge Liman that since his arrest in 2019, he has been through severe conditions and harsh times when he has been locked up while he was at the two federal prisons. However, he still has not apologized to his victims and did not show any remorse. He said, “Being in jail has been horrible, especially the lockdowns." He told the judge that while he was in prison, his father, mother, and stepfather had all died. He choked up while concluding his brief statement.