Accused acolyte of Sarah Lawrence sex cult leader served as his madam: feds

New York Daily News/February 1, 2022

By Noah Goldberg

A devotee of a Sarah Lawrence College cult leader recorded him beating a victim in a Manhattan hotel and served as a madam in his sick sex ring, prosecutors charge in new court papers.

The role of Isabella Pollok — who was indicted alongside Lawrence Ray in 2021 for serving as his “trusted lieutenant” in the creepy cult — was thrown into sharp relief in a Manhattan Federal Court letter filed Monday. Prosecutors wrote that Pollok stood apart from other young victims, giving the most detailed description yet of her alleged participation in Ray’s scheme.

“In contrast with the other college roommates who became the defendant’s victims, Pollok became his trusted lieutenant within the Enterprise, acting as his lead agent in carrying out extortion, sex trafficking and money laundering for the benefit of the Enterprise,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Danielle Sassoon wrote.

Pollok, 30, was so committed to Ray that she arranged prostitution dates for one of his victims — and then reveled in Ray’s beating of that same victim, prosecutors wrote.

“Pollok communicated about client appointments, hotel addresses, and transferring profits,” Sassoon wrote.

Sometimes the funds earned from the victim’s prostitution were directly deposited into Pollok’s bank account, the feds said. She used the money to pay for expensive meals, purchases at luxury stores and nights at five-star hotels, according to court papers.

Pollok and Ray, 62, also forced the victim to record sex with the johns, prosecutors said.

“They required her to record these sexual activities and then provide (Ray) with the recordings, which the defendant would threaten to post and disseminate when he was unhappy with (her),” Sassoon wrote. “The defendant often would lock (her) out of their residence and not allow her to come back inside until and unless she provided a recording showing that she had had sex with a stranger.”

In one disturbing episode, Ray allegedly assaulted the same victim at a Midtown hotel on Oct. 16, 2018, prosecutors said.

“Pollok was not only present, but recorded a portion of the incident, mocked [the victim’s] suffering and gleefully recounted the incident later that morning,” the prosecutor wrote.

Prosecutors did not disclose further details about the alleged assault, which they seek to introduce at trial.

The new details are the most shocking examples yet of how Ray allegedly manipulated a small group of brainwashed students he met through his daughter’s college friends. Prosecutors say Ray maintained a stash of compromising information on his followers to keep them in his orbit.

In a bizarre twist, Ray served as best man at former NYPD Commissioner Bernie Kerik’s 1998 wedding. The two have since had a falling out.

Ray’s attorneys argued that none of the forced prostitution allegations should be admitted at trial because they are not relevant to any of the charges.

“Without any connection to a count, the evidence serves merely to try to portray Mr. Ray as a generally bad guy,” Ray’s defense team wrote.

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