Jury deliberations begin in sex abuse and forced labor trial

NEW YORK (AP) — A jury began deliberating Tuesday on the fate of a man accused of exploiting college friends of his daughter for free work and millions of dollars after convincing them that they had poisoned or wronged him and had to take revenge.

The Manhattan federal court jury began weighing evidence of racketeering, sex trafficking, conspiracy, forced labor and other charges against Lawrence Ray after several hours of closing arguments over two days.

The jurors went home without reaching a verdict after deliberating for less than an hour.

Ray, 62, most often described as ‘Larry’ by trial witnesses over the past month, could face life in prison if convicted of physically and mentally abusing students to take control for what one prosecutor called a desire for power. , money and sex.

Although he did not testify, Ray maintained through his lawyers that he was not guilty of the charges of abusing several students he met after moving into his dorm. daughter at Sarah Lawrence College in the fall of 2010.

One testified that Ray had encouraged her into prostitution and paid him the proceeds of sex work as compensation for poisoning him. She said she paid Ray $2.5 million over a four-year period, giving him between $10,000 and $50,000 a week.

Closing arguments concluded on Tuesday before Judge Lewis J. Liman instructed jurors on the law they must follow during deliberations.

In a rebuttal summary, Assistant U.S. Attorney Danielle Sassoon slammed the defense for saying multiple victims lied on the witness stand about their experiences for the better part of a decade with Ray.

The judge warned jurors that prosecutors used ‘strong language’ in his rebuttal, but should keep in mind that defense attorney Marne Lenox and other attorneys did not act in a manner inappropriate in their pleadings. Lenox said the woman-turned-prostitute had “struggled for years” to tell the truth.

“Counsel’s tactics and methods in this case were appropriate,” he said. “Each lawyer was just doing their job.”

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