A financial fraudster and predator who lured students at an elite New York liberal arts college into a cult-like world of sexual, physical, and emotional abuse was sentenced on Friday to 60 years in federal prison.
Lawrence Ray was convicted in April 2022 on several charges, including racketeering, violent assault, extortion, sex trafficking, and forced labor, according to the Department of Justice. Ray had moved into his daughter’s dormitory in 2010, where he “tortured” and “terrorized” a group of college students at Sarah Lawrence College.
The federal judge referred to Ray’s crimes as “sadism, pure and simple,” according to ABC7. Ray forced the students into prostitution and unpaid labor and physically abused them, according to the statements.
A friend of Claudia Drury, one of the victims, read that Drury was “forced” into “abject desperation.” The statement recalled one specific incident in which Ray “stripped me naked, bound me to a chair, and suffocated me with a plastic bag over and over again until I begged for my life,” ABC7 reported.
From the archive: Florida Man Arrested For Going “Nuts” On Olaf Inside Of A Target Location
Daniel Levin, another victim, reportedly said that Ray physically tortured him and his friends by brandishing a knife over Levin while others put plastic over the bathtub to catch the blood. Levin recalled that Levin forced him to choke on a dildo and hit him with a sledgehammer while pulling out his tongue with pliers.
Santos Rosario reportedly said he considered suicide daily because of Ray’s torture and said he was “physically abused, degraded, and blackmailed.”
“Larry Ray is a monster. For years, he inflicted brutal and lifelong harm on innocent victims,” Damien Williams, United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, said in a statement on Friday. “Students who had their lives ahead of them. He groomed them and abused them into submission for his own gain. Through physical and psychological abuse, he took control over his victims’ minds and bodies and then extracted millions of dollars from them. The sentence imposed today will ensure that Ray will never harm victims again.”
In the news: Florida Man Has Conviction Upheld In Illegal Laundering Of Alligator Eggs
Defense attorney Marne Lenox sought a maximum of 15 years and reportedly said that Ray “has been punished” and “will continue to be punished,” according to ABC 7. Ray was arrested in 2020 and reportedly recently lost his father, stepfather, and stepmother.
Ray said in a statement that he is in ill health and that “it’s frightening to feel this bad,” but did not mention the victims, ABC 7 reported.