Alleged ‘sex cult’ leader forced giant dildo into victim’s mouth to prove he wasn’t gay
Jurors have been shown footage of Larry Ray, accused of running a sex cult out of a dorm room at Sarah Lawrence College, threatening to garrotte the testicles of a male victim he tormented over his sexuality.
Ray, 61, is currently facing trial, accused of running a sex cult in New York with Sarah Lawrence students and former students as members. He has been indicted on 17 counts including sex trafficking, forced labor, racketeering, extortion, money laundering and tax evasion. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
On Friday (25 March), Claudia Drury, 31, one of Larry Ray’s daughter’s closest friends and a former member of his “sex cult”, told jurors at Manhattan Federal Court about another of Ray’s alleged victims, Daniel Levin.
As a student, Levin was exploring his sexuality and was living with the group of students in the Sarah Lawrence dorm when Ray moved in.
But Drury said that Ray soon became obsessed with proving that Levin was not gay, according to the Daily Mail.
On one occasion, at Ray’s Upper East Side apartment, Drury told the court that Ray forced Levin to go and collect his mail wearing a dress.
Drury said: “From there it escalated to Larry telling Isabella to go get her bag of sex toys and dildos and to get the biggest one, and he [Ray] showed me a picture of Dan trying to fit it in his mouth… This was all framed as something Dan wanted – that was helpful and clarifying for Dan.”
In the photo, Drury said Levin looked “panicked and questioning and scared”.
“It’s not a look I’ve actually ever seen on anyone’s face again,” she added.
On another occasion, Drury said that Ray made a tinfoil garotte and forced Levin to put it around his testicles while being interrogated.
On Thursday (24 March), the jury was shown video evidence referencing this incident. In the footage, Levin can be seen having pliers forced into his mouth by Ray, who also held a hammer to his neck.
Ray can be heard saying: “I’ll bust your face right now… Don’t f**k about. The next thing that’s going to be out is your d**k and balls.”
He adds: “Did you like that the other night when your balls were getting strangulated?”
Larry Ray is accused of keeping Sarah Lawrence College students in his ‘sex cult’ for a decade
In 2010, Ray was released from New Jersey’s Northern State Prison after serving time of fraud charges, and moved into his daughter’s dorm room at Sarah Lawrence.
He began to form relationships with other students in her building, making them expensive dinners, doing all of the cleaning, and telling stories in the common room, claiming that he used to be an international CIA operative. Eventually, he convinced five of them to move into an apartment with him.
This is when he began allegedly using cult tactics on the students, beginning a reign of control and abuse which would last for a decade.
He isolated them from friends and family, and allegedly deprived them of sleep, forcing them to stay awake to discuss philosophy and conspiracy theories, according to New York Magazine.
Ray managed to convince multiple students that they owed him money, accusing them of poisoning him and damaging his things. Some students, he convinced to borrow hundreds of thousands of dollars from their parents, and other he allegedly forced into sex work before stealing their earnings.
Following an exposé in New York Magazine, Ray was investigated and was finally arrested on 11 February, 2020.
As more evidence surfaced, Isabella Pollok, 29, a former Sarah Lawrence student and member of Ray’s “sex cult” was later accused of helping him, and charged with racketeering, extortion and sex trafficking conspiracies.
Last week, Talia Ray, the daughter of Larry Ray, was named as a co-conspirator.
The trial continues.