Lawrence Ray Is the Latest Defendant To Be Convicted Before He Goes to Trial

Lawrence Ray at his arraignment

To some extent, it’s always been this way: prosecutors like to get as much media coverage as possible when they announce arrests and indictments – especially if the defendant is well known or the alleged crime is especially abhorrent.

But with the advent of 24/7 news and the spread of social media, the reality is that many cases are now being adjudicated in the court of public opinion long before they show up in the court of law.

Lawrence Ray – the man who allegedly forced at least one of his daughter’s friends from Sarah Lawrence College into prostitution – is the latest example of this rapidly increasing phenomenon.

According to Geoffrey Berman, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York (SDNY), Ray was arrested on February 10th at his home in Piscataway, NJ – and charged with sex trafficking, forced labor, and extortion.

Photo from Press Conference at which Lawrence Ray’s arrest was announced

At the time of his arrest, Ray was in bed with one of his daughter’s former college roommates – a woman for whom he had been named guardian (I plan to do more research on that situation).

According to Berman, Ray had groomed the woman to be a prostitute – and had kept most of the money she earned from her trysts.


Alleged Prostitute’s Earnings Are Extraordinary

At Ray’s arraignment on February 11th, Assistant U.S. Attorney Danielle Sassoon described ledgers that were confiscated from Ray’s home at the time of his arrest.

According to Sassoon, those ledgers indicated that Ray’s alleged victim generated $700,000 in earnings in 2017 – and $1,000,000 in 2018.

Let’s just take a look at those numbers to see if they make any sense.

If the alleged victim was charging an average of $500 per hookup, that would mean that she had 1,400 hookups in 2017 – and 2,000 hookups in 2018.

That’s somewhere between 27 and 39 per week – or between 4 and 5 per day – with no days off.

And even if the alleged victim was somehow able to charge an average of $1,000 per hookup – which seems somewhat unlikely – that would mean she had more than 900 hookups in 2017 and at least 1,000 in 2018.

While all of the cited figures are mathematically and physically possible, they nevertheless seem extraordinary and almost unimaginable.

And should they prove to be true, they will likely cause a lot of coeds at Sarah Lawrence College and elsewhere to reconsider their career options.


The Whole Story Is Somewhat Unimaginable

According to prosecutors, the exploitation began in 2010 when Ray moved into an on-campus dorm with his daughter and several of her sophomore classmates at the college.

As outlined in his indictment, “Ray began ‘therapy’ sessions with some roommates purportedly to help them with their psychological problems, and presented himself as a father figure to the roommates”.

The indictment further alleges that Ray spent almost a decade physically, psychologically and sexually abusing his victims.

Some of his alleged victims were required to perform unpaid labor at Ray’s behest – while others were forced to drain money from their personal bank accounts and those of their parents.

Prosecutors indicated that the alleged crimes involved as many as five victims – and that they took place in Westchester County, Manhattan, and North Carolina.

Ray has been charged with a total of nine felony counts – and could be facing more than 100 years in federal prison if he were to be found guilty of all of them.


Allegations First Emerged in 2019

Adding to the story’s unbelievability is the fact that in April 2019, New York magazine published a story that included many of the same accusations that are set forth in the indictment.

According to a statement that was released by Sarah Lawrence College at the time of Ray’s arrest, it undertook an “internal investigation” of the specific activities that were described in the New York magazine article but did not substantiate any of those claims.

In that same statement, the college indicated that “We have not been contacted by the Southern District of New York, but will, of course, cooperate in their investigation to the full extent of the law if invited to do so”.

Why the SDNY investigators would not have discussed the matter with college officials is just one of the many mysteries surrounding this case.


This May Be Another Case Where the Results Are OK but Not the Process

Maybe Lawrence Ray is a total scumbag who deserves to spend the rest of his life in prison.

But the way in which this case has been handled thus far – with the salacious claims made by the U.D. Attorney for the SDNY at the press conference it held to announce Ray’s arrest and the subsequent leaks to the media concerning the materials that were seized at Ray’s home – it’s starting to look a lot like the script that’s been followed in other recent high-profile prosecutions.

What the hell has happened to due process – and the presumption of innocence before someone is found guilty?

Why do prosecutors feel its necessary to try their cases in the court of public opinion before they go to trial?

How is it possible to select objective jurors who have not formed an opinion about cases like this when everyone who watches TV and/or who has an internet connection is bombarded for months with news about the case before it goes to trial?

Have we reached a point where trials are no longer necessary – and we’re ready to just let prosecutors decide who’s guilty of committing a crime?

Is this really what the founders of America had in mind when they were drafting the U.S. Constitution?

About the author

K.R. Claviger


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  • The US Constitution provides for a Fair Trial, not a Perfect Trial.
    And as for Mr. Ray, when I first read about the case in the New York Times a few weeks ago, the story described Mr. Ray as a real piece of crap.

    The Bizarre Life of the Man Accused in the Sarah Lawrence Sex Case

    “For the last 19 years, he has been in and out of legal trouble for everything from involvement in a mob stock pump-and-dump scheme to custody issues involving his children.

    For decades, Lawrence V. Ray, 60, who was charged by federal law enforcement on Tuesday in a bizarre scheme that included extortion, forced prostitution and forced labor involving a group of students he met while he was living with his daughter at Sarah Lawrence College, has been described by some as a master manipulator.”

    ““Larry Ray is a psychotic con man who has victimized every friend he’s ever had,” Bernard Kerik, former New York City Police Commissioner.
    (Kerik himself has been convicted of a crime.)

    Ties to reputed mobsters, fears of a hit man

    “Mr. Ray began serving as an informant in a federal investigation related to a wide-ranging securities fraud scheme involving the pumping and dumping of stocks. He ended up being indicted himself, along with 18 others, for a role in the scheme.”

    “In 2000, federal investigators charged Mr. Ray with agreeing to pay a $100,000 bribe to a bond brokerage firm executive, according to a 2004 federal court filing. He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit security fraud”
    The Stolen Kids of Sarah Lawrence What happened to the group of bright college students who fell under the sway of a classmate’s father?

    (In this story from The Cut Lawrence Ray is referred to as “Larry”.)

    Anyone who spent time with Talia Ray during her first year at Sarah Lawrence College heard her talk about her father. He was a truth teller, she’d explain, who’d been silenced by a group of powerful, vindictive men. He’d been sent to prison for his heroic efforts to save her and her younger sister from their abusive mother, and his incarceration was the result of deep-seated government corruption. Talia, who had grown up in New Jersey, was old for a freshman and had become the de facto leader of her group of friends, organizing their housing for the next year at Slonim Woods 9, a drab two-story brick dorm in the middle of campus. So in late September 2010, at the beginning of sophomore year, when Talia told her housemates that her father was getting out of prison and needed to crash with them for a while, they were mostly unfazed.

    Within days of his release, Larry Ray moved onto Sarah Lawrence’s campus. He planted himself in the common area, cooking steak dinners and ordering expensive delivery for Talia and her seven housemates. While they ate, he told them stories in a nasal Brooklyn accent about his long and decorated history as a government agent, his former work as an international CIA operative, how he recovered Stinger missiles off the black market and engineered a cease-fire in Kosovo. He loved to preach the values of the Marine Corps and dropped references to his relationships with high-ranking American military officers.

    Larry would sometimes tell the kids they had come together in part because of a shared obsession with taking their own lives.

    That December, the night before Isabella was to return home for winter break, Larry called her family. According to Isabella’s aunt, Larry told her mother that Isabella had been sexually abused as a child by a family friend and that if Isabella were to go home for break, she might commit suicide. Isabella’s mother was taken aback. She had been very close to her daughter and had never heard her say anything about an assault. “You let this happen to her,” Larry told Isabella’s mom, according to her aunt.”

    You can read the rest of the story at the Cut

    Interesting Side Note.
    Lawrence Ray was born in Brooklyn in 1959.
    Keith Raniere was born in Brooklyn in 1960.

    • Thank you for so eloquently making the point of just how influential pre-trial media coverage can be. Your reaction to what you read in The New York Times about Lawrence Ray is exactly why I think we need to severely limit what’s written about defendants before they stand trial.

      • Well, KR, if the Democrats have their way, the nation’s immigration laws will be rewritten to make it very difficult to deport criminal aliens or even keep them out of the country in the first place.
        It’s called “The New Way Forward Act” and 44 House Democrats support it.
        It will help alien rapists, child molesters, racketeers and mobsters to enter America without the fear of being deported.

        Would the New Way Forward Act Protect Criminals from Deportation?

        There will be so many sex traffickers that Lawrence Ray will be lost in the crowd.

        • If you actually look at that link, it wouldn’t change immigration requirements for entry – and would only prevent low-level offenders from being deported (which, given what we now know about the high rate of false charges and convictions, is not entirely unreasonable):

          “What’s True
          The bill would remove low-level drug crimes as deportable offenses and would require that certain criminal convictions come with a prison sentence of at least five years in order to form the basis of a deportation order. The bill would also allow immigration judges to decline, on humanitarian grounds, to issue a deportation order for an immigrant who has a criminal conviction.

          What’s False
          The headline of Carlson’s article risked giving some readers the mistaken impression that the New Way Forward Act would entirely protect immigrants who violate U.S. criminal law from deportation, which was not the case.”

          You’re as credulous and uncritical as Allison Mack.

          • America should use its desirability as a destination as a means of only attracting the best immigrants, not the very worst.
            Immigration should benefit the host country.
            How does America benefit from bringing in rapists, sex traffickers, child molesters, drug traffickers and gangsters?

            Years ago, when I was in college, I met a woman who had emigrated from Scotland.
            She asked me what “moral turpitude” meant.
            She had been asked that question when she emigrated from Scotland years before.
            I told her unless she had committed a really horrible crime, she had nothing to worry about.

            But I want a country that is choosy about who it allows to enter.
            Not a stupid degenerate country like the Democrats want that says, “Come One, Come All!”

            America should choose the best immigrants, not the Scum of the Earth!

  • Poor Trumpist Frank Paralto.Tryning to gin up support for a Trump pardon. You may get one but you will still be just the criminal that took down a bigger criminal.

    • You know nothing of my case. I have not given one thought to a pardon since I am innocent and will be acquitted. As you shall soon see.

  • Don’t most of the sordid accusations have to come out in court when charged so that he is deemed a flight risk and not allowed bail?

    • There’s some validity to what you say but in this case, the U.S. Attorney for the SDNY released much of the inflammatory information at the press conference he held the day BEFORE the bail hearing. Perhaps we need to start holding bail hearings in the presiding judge’s chambers to reduce the amount of information and allegations that are released to the general public before the trial even starts. The reality is that in cases like this, the 24/7 news cycle – and the widespread use of social media – end up tainting the jury pool in ways that didn’t use to happen.

      • Frank is just preparing for his own conviction in a federal court by doing a Trump “it’s all crooked’ prior to conviction.

        • Frank has absolutely nothing to do with the posts I write. And I’m not facing any criminal charges that would shape the way I look at these issues.

  • The Law Suit is already being drafted.

    Sarah Lawrence College: Larry Ray Sex Abuse Victims
    You may be entitled to monetary compensation.

    Time is short. MAXIMIZE your compensation by calling an experienced sex abuse lawyer like Jordan Merson to help with your sex abuse claim.

    Call Merson Law’s Experienced Sex Assault Lawyers Today

    Merson Law Fights for Sexual Assault Survivors and is investigating Lawrence Ray and Sarah Lawrence College.
    Time is short. If you or a loved one were affected, you need to contact Merson Law now!
    Send Us A Quick, Confidential Message To Get Started!

    Lawrence Ray’s Sarah Lawrence College Sex Cult & Sex Abuse

    The scandal surrounding Lawrence Ray’s sex cult at Sarah Lawrence College has made headline news, as the #metoo movement continues to unveil high profile cases of sexual assault and sexual abuse.

    An untold number of young girls have suffered at the hands of this corrupt individual.

    Many of these sex abuse victims won’t get the full compensation they deserve unless they speak to the best sexual assault attorney in the country.

    Don’t suffer alone! Do not miss YOUR opportunity for justice & monetary compensation.

    Jordan Merson, Founder of Merson Law, New York’s top sex abuse law firm and winner of the largest sexual assault verdict in New York State History has helped numerous sexual abuse victims receive the justice & compensation they truly deserve.

    Attorney Jordan Merson has successfully litigated high profile child sex abuse cases, Catholic Church sex abuse cases, and other high profile cases – including his representation of girls abused by the US Olympics doctor & sex offender Larry Nassar and most recently, ultra-high profile sex ring trafficker Jeffrey Epstein.

    Jordan Merson and his firm, Merson Law, have been featured on many prominent media outlets such as Good Morning America for championing justice for sexual abuse victims.

    And now Merson Law is investigating Sarah Lawrence College & Lawrence Ray.

    The Sarah Lawrence College and Larry Ray Sex Scandal

    Who is Lawrence Ray & what did he do?
    Lawrence Ray – the father of a Sarah Lawrence College student – allegedly moved onto his daughter’s campus at Sarah Lawrence College and started an abusive sex cult. He has been arrested and was charged with moving into his daughter’s dormitory at Sarah Lawrence College and targeting her friends for sexual exploitation.

    Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States attorney in Manhattan, announced an indictment against Lawrence V. Ray on Tuesday, February 11th, 2020.

    Berman and William Sweeney, the head of the FBI office in New York, announced that Ray Lawrence was being charged with nine counts of sex trafficking, extortion, forced labor, and an array of other crimes.

    Prosecutors claim that Ray, 60, subjected his victims to “sexual and psychological manipulation and physical abuse” over the course of 10 years. Ray was arrested Tuesday morning at his home in New Jersey.

    Lawrence “Larry” Ray drew nationwide attention last year when an explosive New York magazine article detailed how he manipulated and allegedly abused his daughter’s classmates at Sarah Lawrence College.

    Ray ensnared many of his victims when they were teenagers — a time of particular vulnerability for the young people he preyed on. Ray used physical, sexual, and psychological abuse to make his victims confess to alleged wrongdoing, then agreed to make substantial payments to Ray, payments that these young students did not actually owe and could not actually afford.

  • Isn’t it normal for jurors to indicate whether they have heard of the case, and if they have, they are not allowed to be on the jury? Have you seen the “man (and woman) on the street” interviews? There are a LOT of people who don’t attention to these types of events. LOL

About the Author

Frank Parlato is an investigative journalist.

His work has been cited in hundreds of news outlets, like The New York Times, The Daily Mail, VICE News, CBS News, Fox News, New York Post, New York Daily News, Oxygen, Rolling Stone, People Magazine, The Sun, The Times of London, CBS Inside Edition, among many others in all five continents.

His work to expose and take down NXIVM is featured in books like “Captive” by Catherine Oxenberg, “Scarred” by Sarah Edmonson, “The Program” by Toni Natalie, and “NXIVM. La Secta Que Sedujo al Poder en México” by Juan Alberto Vasquez.

Parlato has been prominently featured on HBO’s docuseries “The Vow” and was the lead investigator and coordinating producer for Investigation Discovery’s “The Lost Women of NXIVM.” Parlato was also credited in the Starz docuseries "Seduced" for saving 'slave' women from being branded and escaping the sex-slave cult known as DOS.

Additionally, Parlato’s coverage of the group OneTaste, starting in 2018, helped spark an FBI investigation, which led to indictments of two of its leaders in 2023.

Parlato appeared on the Nancy Grace Show, Beyond the Headlines with Gretchen Carlson, Dr. Oz, American Greed, Dateline NBC, and NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, where Parlato conducted the first-ever interview with Keith Raniere after his arrest. This was ironic, as many credit Parlato as one of the primary architects of his arrest and the cratering of the cult he founded.

Parlato is a consulting producer and appears in TNT's The Heiress and the Sex Cult, which premiered on May 22, 2022. Most recently, he consulted and appeared on Tubi's "Branded and Brainwashed: Inside NXIVM," which aired January, 2023.

IMDb — Frank Parlato

Contact Frank with tips or for help.
Phone / Text: (305) 783-7083


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