Jurors in the Sarah Lawrence sex cult dad case saw a disturbing video on Tuesday of the accused leader Lawrence ‘Larry’ Ray grab a coed by the neck and slam her to the ground and then kneel on her back to restrain her as she begs him release her.
‘Larry, get off of me,’ the woman screams as the two struggle on the kitchen floor.
Ray, 60, is on trial in Manhattan Federal court of sex trafficking his daughter’s friends from a dorm room on the campus of the expensive suburban liberal arts college.
In the video shown Tuesday, the fourth day of the trial, a young woman, who he called Felicia, appears to try to attack Ray in a kitchen, but is restrained by another woman.
Prosecutors say Ray held sway over the college student, forcing some of them into prostitution and making others wear diapers as punishment.
It’s unclear from the video why the young woman is upset, or when it was shot, but at one point Ray kicks her in the leg while she is being held back by another woman.
He grabs the woman by the throat forcing her backwards, telling her ‘Calm down. Put your hands down. Calm down. Be peaceful. Stay right there.’
He tells her that she’s destroyed to many things and she responds, ‘I’m a good person.’
When she says she wants to lay down, he forces her back toward a refrigerator then puts his arm around her neck an sends her crashing to the floor.
The woman threatens to kill herself then begs Ray not to leave her, saying ‘I love you, Larry. Please don’t leave. Please don’t leave.’
‘You know that I have to send you to the hospital,’ Ray tells her.
It’s unclear what the dispute is over, but the young woman woman appears to be in severe mental distress while being filmed.
In another video shown to the jury on Tuesday, Ray interrogates Claudia Drury, who he forced into prostitution, netting himself $2 million from her sex work, according to prosecutors.
‘Look at you crying,’ Ray taunts the woman. ‘Tell the world how you just want to feel sorry and sad. And how you just destroy things and damage everybody.’
Drury, who sports a chin-length bob and oversized sweatshirt, sits on a sofa with tears streaming down her face trying to keep her composure as Ray continues to mock her.
Accused sex cult leader Lawrence Ray, 60, collapsed in the courtroom during his federal sex trafficking trial, hours after suffering a seizure
‘Everyone out there in Facebookland, do you know Claudia as a truthful person or a liar,’ he asks. ‘Look at you how you feel sorry for yourself. You did something wrong. You know what’s shocking, astounding and disgusting? You do something wrong to someone else, you victimize someone and then you sit there and cry to yourself.’
It’s unclear in this video as well what Ray is grilling the young woman over, but witness Santos Rosario testified on Monday that his interrogations were familiar to everyone in the group.
In another recording made in September 2015 at the Hudson Hotel, Ray was seen getting thrashed by Frank DiTomasso, the owner of a construction firm, allegedly in retaliation for Ray’s decision to expose ties between DiTomasso and disgraced New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik.
Witness Santos Rosario (left) has testified at the federal sex-trafficking trial of suspected sex cult leader Lawrence Ray (right). Santos is pictured on the witness stand on March 14
Ray didn’t care much for the testimony on Tuesday and the trial was forced to halt for several hours for him to recover from a seizure in lockup earlier in the day that he had.
He was briefly seen to in an ambulance outside the courthouse and treated with oxygen, then brought back inside to resume testimony.
After Ray returned to court, his lawyer told the judge that he was well enough to continue with the trial, but that he may take ill again.
On Monday, Santos Rosario, a member of the cult testified that he too suffered under Ray’s withering interrogations.
Video is shown on the screen of Santos Rosario crying while Larry Ray (seated right) looks on
A sketch shows a shot from a video of Larry Ray getting punched by a construction firm owner at a hotel in 2015. The video was introduced into evidence on Tuesday
Santos claimed that on one occasion, Ray had his ‘lieutenant’ put diapers on him and one of his sisters because they were behaving like children
Santos was introduced to Ray in 2010 by his daughter, Talia (left), whom he was dating at the time
Ray, 60, is facing charges of sex-trafficking, extortion, money laundering, violent crime in aid of racketeering, racketeering conspiracy and forced labor
‘I don’t remember the context or what we were being blamed for this time,’ he told the jury.
‘But Larry said that me and my sister were supposedly acting like children and he had Isabella put diapers on us,’ Santos said, referring to Ray’s alleged ‘lieutenant’ and co-conspirator, Isabella Pollok, reported the New York Post.
Santos said Ray forced him and sister Felicia to sit in his apartment on the Upper East Side in Manhattan wearing nothing but the diapers.
‘We just waited there until Larry said we could take them off.’ Santos told the court, as the New York Daily News reported.
After that incident, Rosario left the cult, in which he had been a member for five years, and moved into a homeless shelter, rather than continue to be subjected to Ray’s increasingly terrifying ‘interrogations.’
‘I couldn’t take it anymore,’ Santos said of the alleged abuse. ‘These interrogations with Larry started getting scarier and longer. And I couldn’t articulate at the time but I was terrified to be there. So I just looked for an opportunity to run away.’
Santos is pictured with Ray’s daughter, Talia, in this photo that has been introduced into evidence by the prosecution
An exhibit seen in court shows Santos’ face after he repeatedly slapped himself on Ray’s orders
Santos (left) alleged that on three occasions, Ray made him have sex with his ‘lieutenant,’ Isabelle Pollok (right)
Santos also claimed that one time, Ray forced Claudia Drury (pictured) to perform a sex act on him while the alleged cult leader sat nearby and watched
Santos was introduced to Ray in 2010 by his daughter, Talia, whom he was dating at the time. Before long, he found himself under Ray’s control, along with his two sisters.
Santos testified that Ray struck him with a hammer, held a knife to his genitals, urged him to commit suicide, and called him ‘scum’ and ‘trash.’
Prosecutors played a video for the jury that showed Santos repeatedly slapping himself in the face at Ray’s direction.
The suspected sex cult leader also allegedly accused Santos of poisoning him and damaging his property as part of a plot to extort money out of the younger man.
Santos testified on Monday that on one occasion, when he accompanied Ray to a hotel to collect money that Drury had earned from the sex work, the accused cult leader made the woman perform a sex act on Santos while he sat next to them and watched.
Ray waves to his father in the front row before taking his seat at the defense table during the trial last week
‘He told Claudia to give me a b***job and for me to take off my pants,’ Santos testified.
On three separate occasion, Santos told the court that Ray also made him have sex with his aide, Isabella Pollock.
On cross-examination, the defense sought to portray Santos as an unreliable witness by dredging up his history of mental health struggles.
Santos said that after leaving the cult in 2015, he kept his distance from Ray for four years, until in 2019, when he was contacted by journalists from New York magazine who were working on a story about the sex cult.
Ray is accused of 17 counts including sex-trafficking, extortion, money laundering, violent crime in aid of racketeering, racketeering conspiracy
Santos said he reached out to Ray to talk about the article and ended up falling under his influence again.
In 2010, Ray – real name Lawrence Grecco – moved into his daughter Talia’s dorm room at college just north of New York City.
Fresh out of jail following charges related to a custody battle with his ex-wife, Ray slept on a dorm room couch and, prosecutors allege, set about dominating the lives of a group of his daughter’s friends.
Assistant US Attorney Lindsey Keenan began her opening statement last week with a description of a gruesome October 2018 alleged attack.
Keenan said Ray and another woman who served as his ‘trusted lieutenant’ found the victim they had ‘forced into a life of prostitution’ at a hotel, where Ray tortured her for hours to make sure she’d continue her sex work.
The prosecutor said Ray used ‘violence, fear, sex and manipulation’ to gain sex, power and money.
Ray’s lawyer told the jury that Ray committed no federal crimes as he encircled himself with college-age ‘storytellers’ who claimed to have poisoned him and arranged to have him physically attacked.
‘You’ll see that Larry Ray is not guilty,’ attorney Allegra Glashausser said.
Ray, who once served as the best man at a wedding of disgraced former New York City police Commissioner Bernard Kerik, has been incarcerated since his 2020 arrest.
Ray is a well-known New York scammer with a murky past. In addition to spending times behind bars for his role in a securities fraud scam, he has worked on Wall Street, owned nightclubs, been an FBI informant and inserted himself in into powerful networks by brokering meetings.
This is the student housing on the Sarah Lawrence College campus where Ray lived with his daughter and her roommates
After being released from prison in 2010 following a six month incarceration for breaching the terms of his custody agreement with his ex-wife, he moved in to his daughter Talia’s college apartment while she was studying at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York.
Over the next four years, he drove her and her friends apart by manipulating them into disturbing alleged scenarios which include multiple suicide attempts, lawsuits, sex in front of him and self-harming.
The allegations were laid out in a lengthy article by New York magazine’s The Cut in 2019, includes accounts from some of the purported cult members.
The issues began in September 2010 when Ray was released from prison after six months. He was jailed for contempt of court for disobeying a judge’s order regarding his custody agreement with his ex-wife.
He had previously been sentenced to five years of probation for his role in a securities fraud scam.
Ray moved in to the roommates’ home and at first charmed them by cooking meals and occasionally taking them out for dinner, paying for the outings with a wad of cash that he carried in a backpack.
‘He did all of our cleaning and definitely took on the dad role in the house,’ Juli Anna, said.
At first, he slept on an air mattress in Talia’s room but before long, he was sleeping in the same room as Isabella, his daughter’s 19-year-old best friend who was going through a break-up and was coaching her, claiming she ‘needed’ him.
Gradually, he began to exert control over the group, they said.
Ray, a well-known New York City scammer, has been in jail since 2020
According to some of the former roommates, Ray roped them all into what he framed to be a ‘self improvement’ program.
It soon involved them taking part in group ‘sessions’ in the living room where he would counsel them and tell them they had been brought together by their shared obsession with suicide, one recalled.
One involved them having to explain their past behavior and, at times, apologize to him for things he told them they had done to him.
It was such an effective form of brainwashing, they recalled, Daniel Barban Levin once agreed to have Ray tie a ‘garrote’ of aluminum foil around his penis and testicles and tighten it.
He forced Daniel, who was confused about his sexuality, to have sex with Isabella, in front of him on multiple occasions and once invited a friend to watch, Daniel claimed.
He convinced Drury that she was schizophrenic, they said, and made her obsessed with the Marines.
Santos had tried to kill himself once before meeting Ray but, according to those who spoke to The Cut, his problems worsened as a result of their contact.
Even when Daniel and Claudia traveled to England to study abroad, they would Skype Ray and, according to Daniel, have sex on camera for him.
According to Juli Anna, Claudia was initially suspicious of him but ‘snapped’ after they started meeting privately and became obsessed with the Marines.
She would start posting on Facebook about the military, according to friends, and spoke down to her parents whenever she visited them.
Over the course of their friendship with Ray, three of the women – Claudia, Isabella and Santos’ sister Yalitza tried to kill themselves.
They all swallowed bottles of Tylenol pills and said afterwards that they felt badly about how they had treated him.
Santos, whose parents say they gave Larry $200,000 over the course of three years, went to a mental health facility and has also spent time in a homeless shelter.
Claudia was one of the worst affected. Over the course of their years-long relationship, she became convinced by Ray that she owed him money and even started working as a prostitute to repay him, according to The Cut.
Ray did not deny it, telling The Cut that she gave him her escort earnings and said he was ‘pleased’ she had started paying him back.
She also seems to have been convinced by him that she poisoned him, Talia, Isabella and Felicia and even made a video ‘confession’ where she said, after being prompted by him, that she had tried to kill them.