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Horrific Testimony Of Rape And Torture Continues In Larry Ray Sex Cult Trial

Sarah Lawrence College is a private liberal arts college in Yonkers, New York. It sits amongst an idyllic landscape with buildings and a campus that look as if they were picked up off of the set of the popular British drama Downton Abby and set down in this area less about 50 miles from the heart of Manhattan. 

Who could have guessed that such a tranquil and picturesque setting would become ground zero for a brutal “sex cult” led by Larry Ray, the father of one of the students there!

Ray, 62, has been incarcerated since his early 2020 arrest on extortion and sex trafficking charges which allege that he exploited several college students who were roommates of his daughter to obtain money, power, and sex for himself. The “sex cult” thrived for about a decade.

As witness after witness comes forward in his ongoing trial in New York, they weave a sordid tale of torture, rape, and abuse.

Ray allegedly tortured one of his victims for hours, suffocating her with a plastic bag after binding her to a hotel chair — and at one point, he stopped to have burgers and fries with his top lieutenant during the abuse, a witness testified. 

The alleged victim, Claudia Drury, 31, detailed the horrific, seven-hour torture session under questioning by a federal prosecutor at Ray’s racketeering and sex-trafficking trial currently underway in Manhattan federal court. 

Drury said Ray became enraged at her in October 2018 after she told one of her “main clients,” whom she identified as a man named Stuart Piltch, that Ray published his name on a website associated with her work as a prostitute. 

When he found out Drury told Piltch about the website, Ray and his alleged accomplice, Isabella Pollok, came to the Gregory Hotel in Midtown, where she was living and meeting clients, and began to torture her, she told jurors.

In the room, Ray told Drury to strip naked, then cuffed her hands and legs to a chair with handcuffs that she had to use as props with her johns, she said in court. 

Over the next seven hours, Ray repeatedly suffocated her with plastic bags, dumped water on her naked body and pushed her near the room’s air conditioner, and smothered her with a pillow. 

“I was suffocating. I was terrified. I was trembling. You can’t breathe. You want to breathe a lot. That just makes it much worse. It was terrifying,” she told jurors of the alleged sadistic abuse. 

At one point during the torture session, Ray put a collar on Drury’s neck and tightened it with a leash until she nearly passed out, she said. 

Pollok allegedly taunted Drury during the abuse, telling her that she was a “faker” and that the water Ray poured over her to lower her body temperature was “room temperature.” 

At some point during the alleged torture session, Ray and Pollok stopped and ate dinner, Drury said. 

“They ordered burgers and fries from a diner nearby, the Starlight Diner,” she said.  

During her testimony, Drury described the list of her “main clients” that was supposed to be filed under seal at trial but was inadvertently published by the US Attorney’s Office. 

Drury said she compiled the list after asking her clients to email her from professional emails, so she could verify their identities. 

Larry wanted the list so he could have leverage over the men and threaten to inform their wives, Drury testified.

Diapers, Pacifiers, and Sex!

Meanwhile, in other graphic testimony, another one of Ray’s victims said that he forced her to wear diapers and suck on a pacifier. Felicia Rosario, 39, told the federal jury that Ray’s abuse of her also included him binding her with zip ties and duct-taping her mouth — in addition to urging her to have sex with strangers and record the encounters for his pleasure. 

“I felt completely humiliated, degraded, debased – like I was nothing. Like I was dumb-looking, worthless,” Rosario told jurors about her relationship with Ray, under questioning by federal prosecutor Mollie Bracewell. 

Rosario — whose brother testified earlier in March that Ray forced him to wear diapers, too — said she was drawn under the older man’s influence after being introduced to him by her brother in the fall of 2011 while she was working to finish her medical degree at Columbia University. She had already graduated from Harvard University.

Soon after, their relationship turned “romantic,” and Rosario moved into Ray’s Upper East Side apartment, where her brother, Santos, and other Sarah Lawrence students were living with the accused cult leader.

At the apartment, Ray forced her to sleep nude with him and his alleged cohort, Isabella Pollok, she testified.

Ray also became physically and mentally abusive, at times binding her with zip ties, duct tape, and beating her, Rosario said. 

“He would tie me up with zip ties at my ankles and wrists … have someone else in the apartment watch over me to make sure I didn’t get up,” she told jurors. 

“He punched me in the face. Slapped me. Pulled me by the hair. Punched me in the stomach. Choked me. Punched me in the head,” she added.

During their first several years together, Ray also ordered her to go out and meet strangers at bars in New York and have sex with them or perform oral sex on them, she said. 

In some instances, Ray sent Pollok with Rosario so she could record the sexual encounters, Rosario told jurors. 

Ray used the explicit recordings as collateral over Rosario, she testified. 

“He would threaten me with them,” she said, alleging that he said he would distribute them to alumni of both Harvard and Columbia.

He said that “eventually, he would send it to the medical licensing board so I could never practice medicine,” she claimed. 

Ray is accused of racketeering and sex trafficking in a 17-count indictment brought by federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York. 

Prosecutors allege Ray created a cult-like criminal enterprise after moving into his daughter’s on-campus dorm at Sarah Lawrence and asserting control over her friends and roommates. He has pleaded not guilty. 

He faces a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted.