Dad Who Lived In Dorm Convicted For Abuse

Over a decade, a man abused and manipulated a group of individuals from what started as a Dad living with his daughter in a college dorm.

By Rick Gonzales | Published

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A man who moved into his daughter’s college dorm at Sarah Lawrence College was convicted on numerous counts of using threats and violence over a ten-year span to maintain control over a small group of students. During this time, he gained their trust, then their minds, and then near-total control. Eventually, he also got a whole lot of money from them as well.

U.S. Attorney’s Office, via Associated Press

To them, Lawrence Ray was a father figure. A mentor of sorts. A man who was a great listener, who offered good, sound advice. Ray came to the college dorm at the behest of his daughter, Talia. She had been telling amazing stories about her father, who at the time was just getting out of prison for securities fraud. When Talia presented the idea to her college dorm roommates, she said he just needed a place to stay for a while until he got on his feet. Talia’s roommates agreed to Ray setting up shop.

Sarah Lawrence College is located in New York and is a small liberal arts school. Talia and her roommate’s college dorm was a two-story brick building located in the middle of the campus. When Ray arrived, he immediately ingratiated himself with his daughters’ roommates. He would either sleep in his daughter’s room or on the couch in the common area.

Ray was a giver. He would often find himself cooking steak dinners in the college dorm for the roommates. He would order expensive food deliveries for them as well. While they sat around eating dinners, he would fill their heads with amazing stories of his exploits as a decorated government agent, or as an international CIA operative. He told them the story of how he recovered Stinger missiles off the black market. He even told them about the Kosovo cease-fire he engineered.

But Lawrence Ray was a master manipulator. The smoother he spoke, the deeper he dug in with the college dorm students. He played mind games with them. He began to isolate the students from their parents. It became almost like a cult. One of the students, Daniel, even referred to it as such.

Ray began to exert his dominance over the group. He preyed on their weaknesses, using numerous psychological tactics to keep them under his control. He eventually turned to sexual manipulation and violence. Daniel described one time when Talia missed an application deadline for Stanford Law School. Ray felt it was Daniel’s fault, that he intentionally sabotaged Talia by distracting her from getting the application in on time.

Daniel kept denying his part, but Ray didn’t believe it. So, Ray took some aluminum foil, crushed it into little balls, then wrapped them in Saran Wrap to form a necklace of aluminum lumps. In front of the college dorm students, Ray then ordered Daniel to wrap the “garrote” around his penis and testicles. Ray then began to twist it, cutting off circulation and biting into his flesh. This is how much sway Ray had developed over the students.

Over time, Ray took money from the college dorm kids. He would tell them they owed him money for things they ruined in the dorm or in an apartment they eventually shared. One of the college dorm students testified that she eventually became a sex worker to repay Ray when he had fully convinced her that she had tried to poison him. She claims that over a four-year period she handed over $2.5 million to him in installments that ranged between $10,000 and $50,000 a week.

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The sex work and money from it still wasn’t enough for Ray. He would constantly physically abuse the female student. The abuse culminated in Ray tying her to a chair naked, then choking her with a leash and causing her to fear for her life when he put a plastic bag over her head. All this from what started in a college dorm.

Ray was finally brought to justice after a lengthy and well-written piece in The Cut brought attention to authorities. The trial offered weeks of testimony that described in horrific detail all of Ray’s disgusting actions beginning inside the college dorm. The charges brought against him included conspiracy, racketeering, forced labor, obstruction of justice, and sex trafficking. 15 guilty verdicts were returned and when Ray receives sentencing, scheduled for September 16, he could face up to life in prison.

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said via NPR about Ray’s time at the college dorm and the aftermath, “For the next decade, he used violence, threats, and psychological abuse to try to control and destroy their lives.” Then he added, “He exploited them. He terrorized them. He tortured them. Let me be very clear. Larry Ray is a predator. An evil man who did evil things. Today’s verdict finally brings him to justice.”

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Ray did not testify during the trial. His lawyers claim he was a victim of former friends who lied when telling their stories about Ray. The trial was delayed twice as Ray was taken to the hospital by ambulance for unknown illnesses. This man is right where he belongs, in jail. Justice is being properly served. Hopefully, the college dorm students can somehow get over the years of terror Ray inflicted upon them.