A Harvard grad testified in Manhattan court Monday that she was forced to wear diapers and suck on a pacifier thanks to accused Sarah Lawrence sex-cult leader Larry Ray.
Felicia Rosario, 39, told a federal jury that Ray’s abuse of her also included him binding her with zip ties and duct-taping her mouth — in addition to urging her to have sex with strangers and record the encounters for his pleasure.
“I felt completely humiliated, degraded, debased – like I was nothing. Like I was dumb-looking, worthless,” Rosario told jurors about her relationship with Ray, under questioning by federal prosecutor Mollie Bracewell.
Rosario — whose brother testified earlier this month that Ray forced him to wear diapers, too — said she was drawn under the older man’s influence after being introduced to him by her brother in the fall of 2011 while she was working to finish her medical degree at Columbia University. She had already graduated from Harvard University.
Soon after, their relationship turned “romantic,” she said, and Rosario moved into Ray’s Upper East Side apartment, where her brother, Santos, and other Sarah Lawrence students were living with the accused cult leader.
At the apartment, Ray forced her to sleep nude with him and his alleged cohort, Isabella Pollok, she testified.
Ray also became physically and mentally abusive, at times binding her with zip ties, duct tape and beating her, Rosario said.
“He would tie me up with zip ties at my ankles and wrists … have someone else in the apartment watch over me to make sure I didn’t get up,” she told jurors.
“He punched me in the face. Slapped me. Pulled me by the hair. Punched me in the stomach. Choked me. Punched me in the head,” she added.
Ray asserted control over Rosario by convincing her that she owed him hundreds of thousands of dollars and threatening to have her and her siblings put in prison through his apparent contacts in law enforcement, she said.
He also infantilized and ridiculed Rosario, forcing her to wear a diaper on one occasion and ordering her to suck on a pacifier in the apartment, the witness testified.
“I had to use it. Put it in my mouth. Keep it in my mouth,” she said of the pacifier.
During their first several years together, Ray also ordered her to go out and meet strangers at bars in New York and have sex with them or perform oral sex on them, she said.
In some instances, Ray sent Pollok with Rosario so she could record the sexual encounters, Rosario told jurors.
When asked how the random sex with strangers made her feel, Rosario responded: “Disgusting, ashamed, embarrassed, not human, used, trash, small.”
Ray used the explicit recordings as collateral over Rosario, she testified.
“He would threaten me with them,” she said, alleging that he said he would distribute them to alumni of both Harvard and Columbia.
He said that “eventually, he would send it to the medical licensing board so I could never practice medicine,” she claimed.
He also ordered her to perform oral sex on Pollok and himself, she testified.
Ray is accused of racketeering and sex trafficking in a 17-count indictment brought by federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York.
Prosecutors allege Ray created a cult-like criminal enterprise after moving into his daughter’s on-campus dorm at Sarah Lawrence and asserting control over her friends and roommates. He has pleaded not guilty.
He faces a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted.
Pollok, a former Sarah Lawrence student, will face a separate trial in Manhattan federal court. She has also pleaded not guilty.
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