A man from New York who was lured into the Sarah Lawrence College cult and allowed the group’s mind to use his apartment for five years, speaks out.
Lawrence Ray, 60, moved to his daughter Sarah Lawrence College’s dormitory in Bronzeville, New York in 2010 after being released from prison and sexually manipulated and exploited her roommates, creating a cult that lasted about ten years.
On Tuesday, Ray was accused of physical and psychological threats and coercion, extortion, forced labor, sex trafficking, and money laundering to lead the group, which was unveiled in April 2019 by The Cut.
Lee Chen, 53, from New York, announced on Tuesday that Ray used his apartment on the Upper East Side as a meeting place for the cult from 2011 to 2016, where the cult leader forced him to look at students who had sex.
Lee Chen, 53 years old from New York, revealed Tuesday that Sarah Lawrence cult leader Lawrence Ray, 60, used his apartment from 2011 to 2016 and was often surrounded by his group followers
Chen and Ray met in 2005 at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn.
Chen served about 80 days for violating his controlled release due to a suspected hacking-related offense and Ray was there for a dispute over child custody.
Then the two became friends and Ray crashed into Chen’s apartment on the Upper East Side on East 93rd Street before he used it as a meeting room for his cult in 2011.
Chen was first introduced to the cult when Ray grabbed him from his room and told him to see two students having sex.
“I was shocked” by the sex scene, Chen told the New York Post. He said that Ray told him to see that the couple had sex more than once.
“I thought he would be upset, and when I looked at him, he smiled broadly and looked at me,” Chen revealed.
Chen was eventually sucked into the cult under the influence of Ray. Ray tried to influence Chen by asking him about his childhood traumas.
Ray moved to his daughter Sarah Lawrence College’s dormitory in Bronzeville, New York in 2010, after being released from prison and sexually manipulated and exploited her roommates, creating a cult that lasted about ten years. Campus pictured above
The group of students was second-year student when Ray moved in with them in their shared apartment on campus at Sarah Lawrence College (above) in 2010
“Unfortunately, accident by accident, this man grabbed me, and stupidly, I’m trying to interfere with my own affairs and he says,” Oh, your parents … you didn’t have enough love when you were younger, “Chen said. “That was the approach he took to suck me in.”
Chen, who has not been sued in the case, said that he “absolutely” thought that Ray had a strange relationship with the students and that he was “very upset” when he asked him to watch sex sessions more than once.
But he says he couldn’t kick Ray away because of his convincing personality.
“It’s hard for me to convey his compulsive abilities to you unless you’ve experienced it yourself,” he said. “He has an unusual mannerism. He is in the habit of not only changing the subject, but talking about death. ”
“I realize it sounds strange, but I complained about it every time [his involvement with the students]”He just outspoken me because I was in a bad mood and had a negative impact on the children,” Chen explained.
“And stupid, as it happened, I thought,” This guy makes sense, maybe I shouldn’t get mad.
On Tuesday, Ray was accused of physical and psychological threats and coercion, extortion, forced labor, sex trade, and money laundering for the group’s exposure, which was exposed in April 2019
Chen said that when he told Ray to get the students out of the apartment, Ray would bend over and start talking about Chen’s childhood.
“If you are in the middle of it … it is extremely difficult to pull yourself away from this and see the complete absurdity of it all,” he said.
“I mean, I don’t make excuses. … I could have been more responsible and take the responsibility to get up and say, “No more.” I mean, in the end I did that, but too late. Because all these other people were also adversely affected, “he added.
Authorities say Ray’s cult was first started in his daughter’s dormitory after being released from prison in 2010.
He is said to have sexually manipulated his daughter’s roommates and friends.
Prosecutors say that Ray has subjected at least seven victims to fake “therapy sessions” where he “picked up intimate details about their private lives, vulnerabilities, and mental health problems.” In some cases, he took false confessions out of them and used those confessions to extort them.
Authorities say he has managed to extort $ 1 million from five families of the victims for nearly a decade.
$ 500,000 of that money came from forcing one of the girls into prostitution. He also instructed another student to withdraw $ 200,000 from their parents’ savings account and told others to open credit lines for him or borrow from people they knew.