Sarah Lawrence Parent Accused of Sex Trafficking and Abusing Students


In the summer of 2011, the indictment said, some of the Sarah Lawrence students moved with Mr. Ray into a one-bedroom apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, where he continued to exploit them.

The indictment also charged that Mr. Ray subjected his daughter’s friends to interrogation sessions that often lasted hours at a time and escalated into verbal and physical abuse. He would falsely accuse them of damaging his apartment and property and of harming him and his family, the indictment said.

Around 2013, the indictment said, Mr. Ray took some of his victims to Pinehurst, N.C., where he forced them to perform manual labor on his family’s property, including the installation of an irrigation system, purportedly to repay money he claimed they owed him.

He forced one woman to work as a prostitute from 2014 to 2018, and took more than $500,000 from the money she earned, the authorities said. Mr. Ray was also physically violent with her, and once tied her to a chair, placed a plastic bag over her head and nearly suffocated her, the indictment charged.

The indictment also said that Mr. Ray extorted $1 million from five of his victims, which he shared with two unidentified associates. “Some victims drained hundreds of thousands of dollars from their parents’ savings accounts at Ray’s direction,” Mr. Berman said.

On the college campus on Tuesday, a number of students said they had been aware of the New York magazine article and felt relief at Mr. Ray’s arrest. But they expressed concern his actions had evaded the attention of the authorities for so long.

“It’s pretty shocking that it’s taken 10 years to get this guy charged,” said Wyatt Button, 20, a sophomore who is studying film.



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