Judge rules man accused of so-called ‘sex cult’ at Sarah Lawrence will stay behind bars

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A New York judge ruled Monday that the father accused of running a so-called "sex cult" out of Sarah Lawrence College will stay behind bars as his criminal case unfolds.

The decision happened in a Manhattan courtroom as Lawrence Ray's attorneys tried fighting for him to be released on bail.

The 60-year-old has been in federal custody for the last three weeks.

Ray’s father and stepmother both vouched for him to be released on bail, despite the long list of federal charges against their loved one, which includes sex trafficking and extortion.

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

Ray was arrested last month at his Piscataway home for allegedly sexually and physically abusing at least seven victims and extorting them.

Investigators say it began when Ray moved into his daughter's Sarah Lawrence dorm a decade ago, gaining the trust of the college students and then manipulating them.

The prosecution showed the judge on Monday financial spreadsheets found at the Piscataway home, alleging he earned $700,000 in 2017 and over $1 million in 2018 from prostitution proceeds.

His attorneys argued Ray has strong ties to the area because of his family, and said he only resides in New York and New Jersey and does not pose a flight risk. The prosecution pointed out that Ray has a criminal history and has failed to report to his probation officer and bail jumped. They say he also "used his daughter as a human shield" to resist arrest.

The judge Monday made his decision due to the violent nature of the charges.

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