FBI raids home of Piscataway man accused of sex trafficking, extorting daughter’s college classmates

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The FBI conducted a raid in a quiet Middlesex County neighborhood Tuesday morning and arrested a town resident for allegedly sexually abusing and exploiting college students for nearly a decade.

Neighbors tell News 12 New Jersey that 60-year-old Lawrence Ray, of Piscataway, and one of his alleged victims were taken out of the home on Holly Lane.

“I saw a bunch of cars with some FBI agents and my neighbor actually getting locked up,” says Quinn Bolivar.

Neighbors say that the home has been under construction for years.

“Every month they got a new project going on…always been wondering and I’ve lived here about four years now,” Bolivar says.

Ray is accused of sex trafficking, forced labor and extortion. U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman announced the charges at a news conference in Manhattan.

At one point, Ray lived in on-campus housing at Sarah Lawrence College with his daughter and her male and female roommates. He allegedly used physical and psychological threats and coercion to indoctrinate and exploit a group of college students. According to the charges, he extorted $1 million from at least five victims and forced at least one victim to engage in commercial sex acts.

"Ray tied this victim to a chair, placed a plastic bag over her head and almost suffocated her,” Berman said.

Prosecutors say they started investigating after an article about this in New York Magazine last year.

A spokesperson for Sarah Lawrence College says that the school also investigated after the article, but found nothing.

“At that time, 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. We have not been contacted by the Southern District of New York, but will, of course, cooperate in their investigation to the full extent of the law if invited to do so,” spokesperson Patricia Pasquale said in a statement.

Ray has previously denied the allegations. He faces up to life in prison if he is convicted.

 
User: U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York To: link

 Read the Indictment:  

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