Man Found Guilty Of Sex Trafficking, Extortion Of Daughter's Dormmates
By Jason Hall
April 7, 2022
A New York man was found guilty in relation to a nearly 10-year scheme in which he moved into his daughter's dorm and abused students at Sarah Lawrence College.
Lawrence Ray, 62, was convicted on charges of extortion, sex trafficking, forced labor, money laundering and other incidents totaling 15 counts while facing a Manhattan jury on Wednesday (April 7), NBC New York reports.
An indictment accused Ray of targeting students at the elite school after he moved into his daughter's on-campus dormitory with her roommates during their sophomore year in 2010.
Prosecutors said Ray presented himself as a father figure and underwent "therapy" sessions with some of the students with the false pretenses of helping them deal with psychological issues.
A woman testified that she became a sex worker in order to pay back Ray after he falsely convinced her that she'd poisoned him, which included payments of $2.5 million during a four-year span ranging from $10,000 to $50,000 weekly.
Several other victims testified that Ray's past influence in New York City politics -- which included having ruined the career of former New York Police Department Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik after previously serving as the best man at his wedding -- also played a factor in drawing them into the scheme.
Ray was a key figure in the corruption investigation that stopped Kerik's nomination to lead the U.S. Department of Homeland Security by former President George W. Bush in 2004.
Some of the students said they agreed to live with Ray in a one-bedroom Manhattan apartment in the summer of 2011 and noted that his sinister side began to show after he'd claimed that they'd poisoned and caused other harm to him.
The victims said they'd comply with his requests to make amends, which included turning over money.
Ray was arrested in 2020 and returned to custody after the guilty verdict on Wednesday.
The 62-year-old faces a possible life sentence and is scheduled for sentencing on September 16.