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Who Is Larry Ray? About The Sex Cult Leader At In Sarah Lawrence Doc – Hollywood Life

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Larry Ray

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  • Larry is currently in prison.
  • Larry formed a cult that his daughter’s friends were a part of for years.
  • Larry was convicted of sex trafficking, extortion, and racketeering conspiracy.

The most disturbing docuseries of the year is Hulu’s Stolen Youth: Inside The Cult at Sarah Lawrence. The series dives into the origins of Larry Ray’s cult at Sarah Lawrence College in 2010, exposes his shocking influence over a group of young people, and how he was finally taken down.

So, who is Larry Ray? Where is he now? What did he do? HollywoodLife is breaking down everything you need to know about Larry Ray.

Larry Ray
Larry Ray is at the center of a new Hulu doc. (Hulu)

1. Larry started a cult that involved his daughter’s classmates.

Larry Ray, born Lawrence Grecco, crashed on the couch at his daughter Talia’s dorm where she lived with classmates at Sarah Lawrence College following his release from prison for a securities fraud sentence. He soon began living at the house full-time in 2010. He cooked meals for the house and began having in-depth, personal conversations with several of Talia’s housemates. Larry eventually moved into an Upper East Side apartment. Many students, including Daniel Barban Levin, Isabella Pollok, Claudia Drury, and Santos Rosario, began living at the apartment. Santos’ siblings, Yalitza and Felicia, soon found themselves in Larry’s orbit as well.

Larry implemented psychological tactics to control those in the cult he had created and constantly filmed them. He made his victims confess to things they never did and deprived them of food and sleep to keep them in a vulnerable state. Santos claimed in the docuseries that Larry would pit him and Felicia against each other to “erode any sense of trust” between them. Larry became fixated on Daniel’s sexual education at one point and watched Daniel have sex with Isabella during what he said were helpful sessions. Larry would often take part in these sexual encounters.

Larry also forced female roommates to have sex with him and strangers. He would record the sexual acts and threaten to post the videos online and send them to their families. Larry manipulated the women and claimed these encounters would help them overcome past sexual abuse he alleged they experienced. “He did this with everyone,” Felicia told PEOPLE. “He rewrote everyone’s childhood, and he said all kinds of horrible things happened to me. He had me saying that my dad had prostituted me and that I was sexually abused by him. All sorts of horrible things that just were not true.”

Claudia even “confessed” to poisoning Larry, Talia, and others in a disturbing video that was posted on a website. Turns out, she never poisoned anyone. Claudia’s friends also found her on an escort website under a different name. She was giving the money she earned to Larry for what he claimed was payment for poisoning him. Claudia said that she gave him $2.5 million over 4 years, according to CBS News.

Larry became violent with his cult members. In the exposé, Daniel revealed that Larry demanded that he wrap a “necklace of metal lumps” made of aluminum foil around his testicles and penis. Larry twisted the necklace and cut off circulation to Daniel’s genitals. Larry also threatened to dismember Santos after he allegedly damaged the oven and would put the college student in a sleeper hold until he was unconscious.

2. Larry is currently in prison.

Larry’s cult crimes were first revealed in a New York Magazine exposé that was published in 2019. Several months later in February 2020, he was arrested by the FBI in New Jersey. He was convicted in April 2022 of 15 counts including sex trafficking, extortion, and forced labor. In January 2023, Larry was sentenced to 60 years in prison for racketeering conspiracy, violent crime in aid of racketeering, extortion, sex trafficking, forced labor, tax evasion, and money laundering offenses, according to Newsweek.

“Twelve years ago, Larry Ray moved into his daughter’s dorm room at Sarah Lawrence College. And when he got there, he met a group of friends who had their whole lives ahead of them. For the next decade, he used violence, threats, and psychological abuse to try to control and destroy their lives,” U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said in a statement after Larry’s conviction. “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. This verdict would not have been possible without the victims who testified in court. We are in awe of their bravery in the face of incredible trauma.”

3. Larry was connected to an NYC police commissioner.

In the 1990s, Larry became friends with Bernie Kerik, who went on to become the commissioner of the NYPD. When Larry was on trial for a securities fraud scheme, he begged Bernie for help, but his friend wouldn’t interfere on his behalf. Bernie went on to be President Bush’s nominee for secretary of Homeland Security, but he had to withdraw his nomination after scandals emerged.

Larry became obsessed with the idea that Bernie was trying to take him down. He spread this conspiracy to his victims. He would come up with outlandish explanations for why Bernie would want to destroy him. Larry claimed that Bernie wanted to “silence Larry because he knew secrets about 9/11.”

When Larry was evicted from the Upper East Side apartment owned by his friend Lee Chen, they ended up facing off in court. Claudia testified that her family received money from Bernie and others working for him after she enrolled at Sarah Lawrence. She alleged that Bernie ordered her to poison Larry. “Larry Ray is a psychotic con man who has victimized every friend he’s ever had,” Bernie told The Cut when asked about Larry’s conspiracy. “It’s been close to 20 years since I last heard from him, yet his reign of terror continues.”

Larry Ray
Larry Ray formed a cult out of Sarah Lawrence College. (Hulu)

4. Larry has been diagnosed with personality disorders.

Larry was diagnosed with histrionic and narcissistic personality disorders, his defense team claimed, according to New York Magazine. The report also said Larry “has characteristics that are strongly suggestive of pseudologia fantastica, or Munchausen’s disorder.”

After a psychological evaluation during Larry’s custody battle with his ex-wife in 2005, an examiner claimed that Larry “is able to manipulate and control almost any situation in which he finds himself, including a psychological interview with a forensic examiner, no matter how experienced that examiner may be. Mr. Ray is very good at what he does … [Larry] can be utterly charming and one can be disarmed by his childlike simplicity and smile. But Mr. Ray is no child; he is a calculating, manipulative, and hostile man.”

5. Larry lied about his military service.

Larry regaled Talia’s friends and later cult members with tales of his time in the military and working with the CIA. Larry apparently served just 19 days in the United States Air Force, The Cut reported. Despite his claims, there are no records that Larry ever served in the Marines. He contracted with the CIA and insisted that he helped initiate a cease-fire in Kosovo. If anyone questioned him, Larry would provide a letter written on NATO letterhead. “I remember him being around,” Chris Donnelly, the NATO official who wrote the letter, said in the exposé. “He was connected and may have made some calls for us, as many other people did at the time. I wrote a letter for anyone who was involved.”

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