Along Came a Spider – Trafficking at an Elite Eastern College

Platycryptus undatus, jumping spider, found in Virginia, Author Kevincollins123 (CC BY-SA 3.0 Unported)

Lawrence Ray a/k/a Lawrence Grecco and Isabelle Pollok have been charged in a sex trafficking and money laundering scheme involving Sarah Lawrence College students [1][2][3].  Amazingly enough, Ray was the parent of a student at the exclusive institution.  Pollok was a student there at the time.

Apparently, Ray presented himself as an advisor and confidante to his daughter’s classmates, extorting them after having gained their confidence.  Pollok allegedly abetted the scheme.  Both have pleaded not guilty.

A Father Figure

Against school policy, Ray moved into Sarah Lawrence’s townhouse style, on-campus housing with his daughter and her roommates during their sophomore year in late 2010.  No one, however, reported him to authorities.  According to the indictment, he then began “therapy” sessions with the roommates during which he assumed the role of a father figurre.

Blackmail, Extortion, and Prostitution

Over the course of a decade, Ray and Pollok are alleged to have manipulated students into providing explicit photos, embarrassing personal information, and false confessions.

Five students were then blackmailed, and pressured to perform manual labor.  At least one is said to have been forced into prostitution, with Ray collecting over $500,000 from her over the course of 4 years.  Physical abuse is, also, alleged.

A Cold-Blooded Scheme

This was a cruel and cold-blooded scheme, carried out for an extended period of time.  It exploited the vulnerability of young people, and is likely to have caused Ray’s own daughter serious distress.

Psychopaths are often charming, intelligent, and excellent at mimicking emotions [4A][5].  According to L. Michael Tompkins, EdD, a psychologist at Sacramento County Mental Health Treatment Center, they are “skilled actors whose sole mission is to manipulate people for personal gain [4B].”  But they lack empathy, and have no fear of consequences.

Psychopaths crave excitement and enjoy breaking rules.  Con men frequently fall into this category [6].  They lack ethics and experience no pangs of conscience, casually moving from one victim to the next.

Grooming

Without placing blame on these young people, one cannot help but wonder what may have been lacking in their lives.  If not to authorities, why did none of them mention the unusual living arrangement or “therapy” sessions to a parent?

This is, of course, the nature of grooming.  A predator gradually and insidiously gains the trust of his victim, just as a spider lures a fly into its web.  An expensive setting is no defense.

[1]  New York Magazine – The Cut, “The Stolen Kids of Sarah Lawrence – What happened to the group of bright college students who fell under the sway of a classmate’s father?” by Ezra Marcus and James Walsh, Updated 2/26/20, https://www.thecut.com/2020/02/larry-ray-sarah-lawrence-students.html#_ga=2.96650075.538906204.1581534365-1417565073.1564944428.

[2]  CNN, “Student’s dad arrested on sex trafficking charges after magazine’s revelations” by Kristina Sguelgia and Eric Levenson, 2/13/20, https://www.cnn.com/2020/02/11/us/sarah-lawrence-college-sex-trafficking/index.html.

[3]  CNN, “A woman once believed to be a victim in a college sex trafficking case has now been charged in it” by Madeline Holcomb and Anna Sturla, 3/2/21, https://www.cnn.com/2021/03/02/us/sarah-lawrence-trafficking-case-isabella-pollok/index.html.

[4A and 4B]  WebMD, “Sociopath v. Psychopath:  What’s the Difference?” by Kara Mayer Robinson, reviewed by Joseph Goldberg, MD 8/24/14,  https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/features/sociopath-psychopath-difference.

[5]  Wikipedia, “Psychopathy”, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychopathy.

[6]  Quora, “Are con artists psychopaths/sociopaths?” by Elinor Greenberg, PhD, https://www.quora.com/Are-con-artists-psychopaths-sociopaths.

A review by Husch, Blackwell has concluded Louisiana State University failed to provide a clear reporting path for complaints of sexual assault or harassment, while allowing athletic dept. officials undue influence over the handling of such complaints. 

See, https://avoicereclaimed.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=12610&action=edit&classic-editor.

FOR MORE OF MY ARTICLES ON POVERTY, POLITICS, AND MATTERS OF CONSCIENCE CHECK OUT MY BLOG A LAWYER’S PRAYERS AT: https://alawyersprayers.com

9 Comments

Filed under Child Abuse, Child Molestation, Emotional Abuse, Neglect, Physical Abuse, Prostitution, sex trafficking, Sexual Abuse

9 responses to “Along Came a Spider – Trafficking at an Elite Eastern College

  1. This is heartbreaking.

    I was a victim of a psychopath when I was fifteen years old. He was charming, great at mimicking emotions. And he was evil.

    Thank God, he was reported to the police and arrested. When he could not lie and charm his way out of facing the legal consequences of his actions, he committed suicide.

  2. “Psychopaths are often charming, intelligent, and excellent at mimicking emotions ” This is why they are so dangerous and why we get duped. Our instinct is to trust people who appear to be trustworthy.

  3. Wonder too, why such behavior didn’t get mentioned to parents, or in idle gossip with other friends. Maybe we are expanding the realm of what our youth should consider in the realm of normal too broadly, such that they think questioning creepy behaviour to be unkind or unfair.

  4. Thank you for shining a light on this pure evil.

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