Sarah Lawrence father charged with sex trafficking and extortion

Sarah Lawrence father charged with sex trafficking

Bronxville, New York — A father accused of targeting a group of his daughter's college friends is now facing federal charges including extortion and sex trafficking. Lawrence Ray, also known as Larry Grecco, left jail in 2010 and moved into his daughter's on-campus housing at Sarah Lawrence College in Westchester, New York.

According to the indictment, he began to use "verbal and physical abuse" to control his young victims, especially once they moved to a New York City apartment a short time later.

"Ray directed his victims to obtain money for him by other means, by draining their parents' savings and worse, forced labor and prostitution," said Geoffrey Berman, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York. 

Ray is facing nine counts, including sex trafficking, extortion, and money laundering. The indictment says Ray demanded taped confessions from his victims for supposed crimes they committed. In one video uploaded in 2017, an apparently disorientated young woman says she tried to poison Ray, an unsubstantiated claim. Prosecutors said Ray would use these videos to extort his victims.  

US Attorney For Southern District Of NY Geoffrey Berman Announces Major Indictment Involving Sex Trafficking Of Sarah Lawrence College Students
United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Geoffrey Berman announces the indictment against Lawrence Ray aka "Lawrence Grecco" on February 11, 2020 in New York City.  Getty Images

Ray will be arraigned on Wednesday and faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.

An article in New York Magazine published in April of 2019 initially detailed the allegations against Ray. Sarah Lawrence released a statement Tuesday, calling the charges "serious, wide-ranging, disturbing, and upsetting." 

The statement goes on to say that after the article was published last year, the college undertook "an internal investigation regarding the specific activities alleged in the article to have occurred on our campus in 2011; the investigation did not substantiate those specific claims." But the school said if contacted by authorities, it will cooperate with the investigation.