All the Bombshells Revealed About the Sarah Lawrence Scandal – NBC Los Angeles

There’s so much more to Larry Ray than meets the eye.

The convicted conman who authorities said “acted like a cult leader” according to The New York Times is at the center of Peacock’s “Sex Lies and the College Cult.” Per the streamer, the true crime documentary tells the story of how Ray “brainwashed students of Sarah Lawrence College into an abusive sex cult that upended their lives and the lives of their families.”

Many first learned of the story in 2019 when New York Magazine published an article titled “The Stolen Kids of Sarah Lawrence,” a feature recounting how Ray moved into his daughter Talia’s dorm room at the New York-based college and began sexually and psychologically abusing a group of her fellow students.

“Sex, Lies and the College Cult” goes deep into Ray’s scheme, revealing new details about his time with the former students and what came after the publication of Ezra Marcus and James D. Walsh’s NY Mag piece. This includes Ray’s arrest in Feb. 2020, when he was charged with sex trafficking, money laundering and several other offenses, as well as his April 2022 conviction: guilty on all counts.

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Told in some of the victims’ own words, there’s no shortage of shocking revelations made in “Sex, Lies and the College Cult.” Read on for the most surprising.

Friends in High Places

Ray had connections with several notable figures, including former New York City police Commissioner Bernard Kerik. He participated in the documentary and made several revelations, including that Ray once brokered an introduction between former President of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, and then-NYC mayor Rudy Giuliani.

Ray and Kerik’s friendship was short-lived, though. Despite serving as the best man at Kerik’s wedding, Ray–still years away from being arrested himself–went on to become a federal informant whose information helped lead to Kerik’s arrest. Kerik plead guilty to eight federal felony charges in 2009 and was sentenced to four years in prison; however, he received a full pardon from former President Donald Trump in 2020.

Putting Everything on the Record

Ray was constantly filming himself and the young adults who lived with him (which, overtime, would come to include daughter Talia Ray, Isabella Pollok, Daniel Levin, Claudia Drury, Iban Goicoechea and siblings Santos, Felicia and Yalitza Rosario). Home videos featured in the documentary showed him carrying out physical torture, coercing false confessions from the young adults that they had caused him harm and more. The details of these offenses and others are laid out in Ray’s indictment.

Intense Blackmail

Ray made sure that should any of the students stop complying with his demands, he’d be able to threaten them with the tapes he recorded of them–namely, those with false confessions. In one such video shown in the documentary and mentioned in the indictment, Ray pressed Claudia to falsely claim she had poisoned him.

A Years-Long Legal Battle

Then friends with Ray–who was ready to relocate from his daughter’s dorm room at Sarah Lawrence–Lee Chen said in “Sex, Lies and the College Cult” that he allowed Ray to stay in his Manhattan apartment, since he frequently traveled for work. It didn’t take long for Ray to completely take over the place, stationing himself in Chen’s bedroom and having the many students who lived with him attempt to renovate (and ultimately damage) the apartment.

But when Chen said he gave Ray a 10-day notice to leave, Ray simply changed the locks and ignored him. It ultimately took six years–three of which were spent just trying to get a judgement–for authorities to actually evict Ray.

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Cruelty Beyond Measure

As Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman put it in a 2020 press conference, Ray “exploited and abused” the students “emotionally, physically and sexually for his own financial gain.”

While testifying–as shown in the documentary–Drury recalled Ray approaching her and suddenly grabbing himself while talking about orgasms. He then suggested Drury and Levin have sex right there, and Drury revealed, “When he left, we did. Iban was next to us.”

The way Marcus saw it, “I think a lot of it for Larry it was about using sex as sort of a tool to destabilize them, make them uncomfortable. It was a tactic.”

Levin was certainly subject to this tactic, especially after telling Ray he was struggling with his sexuality. During one particularly cruel exercise, as Drury testified, Ray made Levin stand in front of the group in a dress. What came next, explained Marcus, was that “Larry asked Isabella to bring out a sex toy and then told Daniel to try and put that into himself in front of the whole group. They all stood around making fun of him for this.”

Self-Inflicted Torture

Ray had the students torture themselves in other ways. Santos, for example, could be seen in one video shown in the documentary (which was also introduced during Ray’s trial) slapping himself in the face over and over again for an entire hour.

The Rosario Siblings

Ray managed to recruit three people from the same family to come live with him under the guise of bettering their lives and helping them reach their full potential. Santos was the first, and then Ray set his sights on Felicia, a Harvard graduate doing her medical residency in California. Over the course of several months and many phone calls, Ray and Felicia became romantically involved and as she later testified during his trial, he often asked her to do things she did not want to do, like have sex with other people, film it and send the footage to him.

Wanting Felicia to join him in New York, Ray later told her that his role as an informant put everyone who he cared about in danger. According to “Sex, Lies and the College Cult”– and Felicia herself, as Marcus interviewed her for the infamous NY Mag story — Felicia became extremely paranoid and eventually complied, leaving her medical residency behind. Yalitza was subsequently coerced into moving in with Larry.

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The Move to North Carolina

Taking his scheme to the next level, Larry relocated several of the young adults to North Carolina where they worked hours upon hours trying to restore a decrepit house. That was, until Larry accused them of damaging his machinery and subsequently owing him hundreds of thousands of dollars, prosecutors stated in court. Unable to pay Larry back, the students turned to their family and friends, telling them they had done something wrong and desperately needed help.

“They’d become profit centers,” former FBI special agent Frank Figliuzzi said. “He has them drain the bank accounts of their parents–in some cases, their life savings because they convinced their parents, ‘I have done this kind of damage, I owe this guy this kind of money, I’m in big trouble.'”

Claudia Drury’s Forced Sex Work

Not everybody’s parents were able to help them alleviate their imaginary debt, though. This rang true for Drury. As she testified in court, she turned to sex work after Larry convinced her that was the only way she could pay him back. For four years straight, Drury saw up to five clients a day–and all of the money went to Ray. Pollok, meanwhile, was the “bookkeeper for Drury’s prostitution,” Figliuzzi said. Prosecutors would later describe her as Ray’s “trusted lieutenant,” and she was indicted alongside him in 2021.

Theorizing about Pollok’s involvement, cult expert Dr. Janja Lalich said in the documentary, “Everyone in a cult to some degree becomes a perpetrator. In Isabella’s case, she sort of become the right hand person to Larry.”

A Great Escape

Fed up with Ray’s abuse, Drury confided in one of her clients in hopes that she’d finally be able to get away from him. Unfortunately, Ray found out she had talked, so he and Pollok “tortured her over the course of a horrific night of abuse,” Marcus said.

Drury, according to Washington Post reporter Shayna Jacobs–who reported on Ray’s trial and was interviewed for the documentary–was “repeatedly suffocated her with a plastic bag. It was relentless and it was painful and it was terrifying.”

She wasn’t ready to give up, though. Later, Drury once again asked a client for help, and this time, he was able to safely get her out of the city, she testified. This, Jacobs said, was “the beginning of the end” for Ray.

An Attempted Rescue

The infamous New York Magazine article detailing Larry’s abuse was published in April 2019. Once Pollok and Felicia’s families–more specifically, Pollok’s mom Cindy and aunt Liz, as well as Felicia’s mom Maritza–learned what had been happening, they said they traveled to Ray’s latest residence in New Jersey with plans to retrieve them.

However, according to the documentary and the women’s interview with New York Magazine, the girls refused, all while Ray apparently hid in the back of the house until the family members left.

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A Tragic End for Iban Goicoechea

Goicoechea began seeking help from Ray during a particularly vulnerable period in his life as he was struggling with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder after serving overseas. According to his fellow Marine John Williams, Goicoechea soon became extremely paranoid because of “the thoughts Larry put in his head that someone was always out to get him.”

By the time Williams persuaded Goicoechea to come stay with him in Oregon, he had “no passion for anything” and there was “nothing he wanted to do.” Tragically, according to John, Iban died by suicide shortly after Larry’s arrest, something that Williams attributes to Goicoechea being so devoted to Ray. He added, “I absolutely blame Larry 100 percent for Iban’s death.”

Per the documentary and court testimony, Felicia and Yalitza both attempted suicide during their time with the group as well.

Isabella Pollok Gets Her Day in Court

Pollok was charged with conspiring to engage in sex trafficking, money laundering and more in 2021. The following year, she pleaded guilty to conspiracy to launder money as part of a plea agreement and faces a maximum of five years in prison at her Feb. 2023 sentencing. Prosecutors specified that the illegal activities supporting her plea were sex trafficking and extortion–something that a U.S. District Judge asked her to acknowledge during a hearing. She did, also stating, “I know that what I was doing was wrong and against the law.”

A Convenient Medical Emergency

When Ray finally stood trial, Drury decided to testify against him. But during her testimony, Ray appeared to suffer from some sort of seizure and was carried out on a stretcher. The way Kerik saw it, he was “trying to influence the jury” and “trying to create this self pity thing.”

If that was the case, it didn’t work. He was found guilty of 15 counts and faces up to 120 years in prison.

“Sex, Lies and the College Cult” is now streaming on Peacock.

(E! and Peacock are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)

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Jersey Shore Report for Fri 9/30


HIGH RISK OF RIP CURRENTS. Dangerous and potentially life threatening conditions exist for all people entering the surf.

SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY in effect until 6 p.m. Friday

At the Shore

Current conditions and forecast as of Fri morning

Rip Current Risk High
Waves 2 – 6 feet
Winds From the Northeast
16 – 23 mph (Gust 30 mph)
13 – 20 knots (Gust 26 knots)
Ocean Temperature 67° – 73°
(Normal 66° – 70°)
Air Temperature 65° – 68°
Sunrise/Sunset 6:51am – 6:44pm
UV Index 3 (Moderate)

Tide Times

Sandy Hook Bay
Fri 5:10a
Fri 11:30a
Fri 6:02p
Fri 11:57p
Atlantic Ocean
Fri 11:04a
Fri 5:26p
Fri 11:31p
Sat 5:20a
Atlantic Ocean
Fri 11:18a
Fri 5:38p
Fri 11:45p
Sat 5:32a
Atlantic Ocean
Fri 11:00a
Fri 5:30p
Fri 11:27p
Sat 5:24a
Barnegat Bay
Fri 9:15a
Fri 3:10p
Fri 10:07p
Sat 3:37a
Barnegat Bay
Fri 5:04a
Fri 11:24a
Fri 6:07p
Fri 11:51p
Manahawkin Bay
Fri 8:49a
Fri 2:17p
Fri 9:41p
Sat 2:44a
Great Bay
Fri 5:39a
Fri 12:17p
Fri 6:41p
Sat 12:42a
Atlantic Ocean
Fri 11:04a
Fri 5:37p
Fri 11:24p
Sat 5:31a
Townsends Inlet
Fri 5:07a
Fri 11:46a
Fri 6:06p
Sat 12:01a
Atlantic Ocean
Fri 11:13a
Fri 5:42p
Fri 11:38p
Sat 5:39a
Delaware Bay
Fri 5:48a
Fri 12:20p
Fri 6:36p
Sat 12:45a

Marine Forecast

From the National Weather Service, Mt. Holly

TODAY: NE winds 15 to 20 kt. Seas 4 to 6 ft. E swell 3 to 6 ft at 7 seconds. Light swells. A slight chance of rain late.

TONIGHT: E winds 15 to 20 kt, becoming NE 20 to 25 kt after midnight. Seas 4 to 7 ft. E swell 3 to 7 ft at 7 seconds. Light swells. A chance of rain in the evening, then rain likely after midnight.

SAT: NE winds 20 to 25 kt with gusts up to 30 kt. Seas 5 to 8 ft. E swell 4 to 8 ft at 7 seconds. Light swells. Rain.

SAT NIGHT: NE winds 20 to 25 kt with gusts up to 30 kt. Seas 5 to 8 ft. NE swell 3 to 5 ft at 6 seconds. Light swells. A chance of tstms in the evening. Rain likely.

SUN: NE winds 25 to 30 kt with gusts up to 40 kt. Seas 7 to 10 ft. NE swell 4 to 9 ft at 7 seconds. Light swells. Rain likely.

SUN NIGHT: NE winds 25 to 30 kt with gusts up to 40 kt. Seas 8 to 11 ft. E swell 6 to 11 ft at 8 seconds. Light swells. Rain likely, mainly in the evening.

MON: NE winds 25 to 30 kt, diminishing to 15 to 20 kt. Seas 8 to 11 ft, subsiding to 7 to 9 ft. A chance of rain.

TUE: N winds 15 to 20 kt. Seas 7 to 9 ft. A chance of rain. Winds and seas higher in and near tstms.

Plan Your Trip

Data on this page amalgamated from several sources, including the National Weather Service (weather), National Ocean Service (tides), U.S. Naval Observatory (sun), and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (UV index).

Dan Zarrow is Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. The Shore Report is generated semi-automatically daily at 5 a.m. from mid-May to late September. Follow Dan’s weather blog, Facebook page, and Twitter feed for your latest forecast and realtime weather updates.

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Highlights from Week 3, latest Top 25 rankings

The Big North Freedom division is perhaps the strongest girls cross-country division in New Jersey even with the shift of Indian Hills to the Patriot division this year.

The top three teams in the division going into the league championships on Oct. 4, Ridgewood, Ramapo and Northern Highlands each enjoyed great success at tune-up meets last weekend, with Ridgewood finishing third at the Bowdoin XC classic and Ramapo and Northern Highlands scoring strong victories at races at the Wild Safari Invitational and Garret Invitational meets.

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Sarah Michelle Gellar Cries After Watching Selma Blair Compete on ‘Dancing With the Stars’ – NBC Los Angeles

Week two of “Dancing With the Stars” had the contestants all shook up.

The Sept. 26 episode of the ballroom competition welcomed viewers to Elvis Night, which had some celebrities and their partners feeling the burning love — while others were forced to check into the Heartbreak Hotel.

The night was split into three different sections: Elvis in his younger years, Elvis in Hollywood and Elvis in Las Vegas.

After getting engaged on the Sept. 20 season finale of “The Bachelorette,” Gabby Windey and partner Val Chmerkovskiy waltzed their way into a first place tie with their routine to “Can’t Help Falling In Love,” which ended with a kiss to fiancé Erich Schwer.

They were joined by last week’s top couple, Charli D’Amelio and partner Mark Ballas, and Wayne Brady and his partner Witney Carson. All three couples earned a score of 32 points.

For the second consecutive week, the night’s most emotional moment was saved for Selma Blair and her partner Sasha Farber, whose energetic jive routine to “Jailhouse Rock” brought the ballroom crowd to its feet and Blair’s “Cruel Intentions” co-star Sarah Michelle Gellar to tears.

The routine featured Blair — who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2018 — doing a cartwheel and the splits, and earned them a total of 28 points, good enough to earn a tie for sixth place.

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The worst news of the week was saved for “Real Housewives of New Jersey” star Teresa Giudice and her partner Pasha Pashkov and “Charlie’s Angels” star Cheryl Ladd and her partner Louis van Amstel, as both pairs landed in the bottom two after judges’ scores were combined with the fan vote.

Derek Hough and Bruno Tonioli voted to save Giudice, while Carrie Ann Inaba voted to save Ladd — meaning it was all left in the hands of senior judge Len Goodman, who ultimately voted to save Ladd and send Giudice back to the Garden State.

Find out who gets sent packing next when “Dancing With the Stars” returns live for James Bond Night Oct. 3 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on Disney+.

Selma Blair is gracing the “Dancing with the Stars” stage this season and brought the judges to tears following her first performance with her dance partner Sasha Farber. Selma and her son Arthur spoke to Access Hollywood after the show and the 11-year-old gushed over her.

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