The father who sexually and psychologically manipulated a group of college students for years after moving into his daughter’s college dorm room in New York was sentenced to 60 years in prison Friday, according to the US Department of Justice.
Lawrence Ray, 63, was convicted in April on racketeering conspiracy, violent crime in aid of racketeering, extortion, sex trafficking, forced labor, tax evasion, and money laundering offenses, according to a news release from the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York.
Authorities have said that as early as 2010, Ray subjected college students and other victims to sexual and psychological manipulation and physical abuse using tactics including “sleep deprivation, psychological and sexual humiliation, verbal abuse, threats of physical violence, physical violence, threats of criminal legal action, alienating the victims from their families, and exploiting the victims’ mental health vulnerabilities.”
“Larry Ray is a monster,” US Attorney Damian Williams said in the Friday news release. “For years, he inflicted brutal and lifelong harm on innocent victims. Students who had their lives ahead of them. He groomed them and abused them into submission for his own gain.”
Ray, who lived in his daughter’s room at Sarah Lawrence College, forced one woman to engage in commercial sex acts – defined by the government as any sex act on account of which anything of value is given to or received by any person – to pay damages that she didn’t owe, prosecutors said.
Ray collected sexually explicit photos of the victim, which he used to coerce her into continued commercial sex acts, authorities said.
He also used violence, according to the government’s news release. Prosecutors said Ray once tied the victim to a chair and nearly suffocated her by placing a plastic bag over her head.
“The victims made payments to Ray by draining their parents’ savings, opening credit lines, soliciting contributions from acquaintances, selling real estate ownership, and at Ray’s direction, performing unpaid labor for Ray and earning money through prostitution,” officials said in the news release. Williams said they paid him millions of dollars.
In addition to the 60-year sentence Ray was sentenced to a lifetime of supervised release.
Ray was also ordered to forfeit $2,444,349, the proceeds from the sale of his GoDaddy portfolio, and a home in Pinehurst, North Carolina. The court has not yet ruled how much the victims will get in restitution.
In April, Williams thanked the victims who spoke in court, noting the verdict wouldn’t have been possible without their testimony. “We are in awe of their bravery in the face of incredible trauma,” he added.
Prosecutors said in 2020 that the investigation was prompted by an April 2019 magazine article titled “The Stolen Kids of Sarah Lawrence,” published on New York magazine’s The Cut. The private liberal arts college has about 1,700 students and is located in Yonkers.