Lawrence Ray, a convicted sex cult leader who terrorised Sarah Lawrence University students, was sentenced to 60 years in prison on Friday by a Manhattan Federal Court judge who called him an unredeemable “sadistic” abuser.
Ray, who in April was found guilty on 17 counts of racketeering for physically and mentally abusing his daughter’s classmates at the elite Westchester County school between 2010 and 2020, exhibited no emotion during the trial other than to lament his incarceration.
U.S. District Judge Lewis Liman imposed an effective life sentence on Ray after describing him as “evil” and stating that his “distinctive” actions were committed with “special cruelty and ingenuity.” Liman stated that he wants to guarantee the 63-year-old “is never released” and serves out the remainder of his years in jail.
The judge remarked, “He sexually humiliated them to the point where they lost any feeling of self worth.” “For his profit and cruel and sick sexual pleasure, he extorted them, he forced one of them to perform labour, and he sex trafficked one of them.”
Sadism was involved. Simply put,” the judge said.
Three of Ray’s victims pleaded with the judge to keep Ray incarcerated as long as possible. During the one-month trial, they were among the witnesses who testified in front of the jury. Under the pretence of counselling, Ray gained their trust before subjecting them to abuse and coercing them into having intercourse, which he frequently made them record.
When Talia Ray was a sophomore at the local liberal arts college where the father moved into the dorm, Ray met many victims through her. He coerced members of his so-called “Ray Family” cult to tape fabrications of their wrongdoings against him. Trial testimony revealed that he afterwards utilised those statements as a form of blackmail if they ever thought about straying from his orbit.
He frequently expressed the danger of using his ties with the police to his victims’ detriment. They had a falling out after he testified against the former top officer in a federal tax fraud prosecution in 2016, decades after he was the best man at the wedding of former NYPD Commissioner Bernie Kerik in 1998.
The Justice Department made the error of publishing a list of wealthy individuals who paid to have sex with Ray’s supporters on the same day that Ray experienced a medical episode during his trial and was removed from the courthouse in a stretcher.
A retired New York judge, a hedge fund manager, a celebrity dating coach, and an executive at Gap and her husband were all on the list that Ray’s victim Claudia Drury created in 2018.
According to the prosecution, Ray obtained millions from Drury through extortion and the sale of sex.
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