courtroom drama

Larry Ray, Accused Cult Leader, Leaves Courthouse by Way of Ambulance

Larry Ray's mugshot.
Photo-Illustration: Intelligencer; Photo: Court for the Southern District of New York

Larry Ray was rushed from the federal courthouse in lower Manhattan yesterday after appearing to suffer a medical emergency.

Earlier in the morning on Tuesday, Ray’s attorney informed the court that Ray, the 62-year-old accused of psychologically, physically, and sexually abusing his daughter’s friends and Sarah Lawrence College roommates, had suffered a seizure at the federal jail in Brooklyn where he’s being held.

Still, he continued on to court. Ray’s next medical emergency took place shortly after Judge Lewis Liman dismissed the jury for a lunch break following the prosecution’s presentation of hours of evidence. This included a graphic video in which Ray held a young woman named Felicia Rosario by the neck before body-slamming her to the ground; he then pinned her with his knee on her back while Rosario cried, “Larry, please don’t leave me.” The prosecution then introduced an email in which Rosario told Ray she wanted to marry him.

Ray began moving his head; his attorney, Neil Kelly, came to his side. The judge called for medical services and cleared the court. Outside, a photographer for the New York Post captured an image of Ray, his eyes rolling back in his head and an oxygen mask strapped to his face, being loaded by EMS workers into an FDNY ambulance outside of the courthouse.

Back in the courtroom, Liman dismissed the jury for the day but not before instructing them that Ray’s condition had nothing to do with the facts of the case. (A frequent topic of testimony is Ray accusing people of poisoning him.)

Ray’s current medical condition is unknown.

This isn’t the first time Ray’s medical issues have factored into court proceedings. When Ray was on trial for his role in a pump-and-dump scheme in April 2000, Ray raised the issue of “brain fog” at his sentencing hearing. The judge then accused Ray of “manipulating” the court with “constant, constant adjournments” — “and it wasn’t as a result of brain fog,” the judge added. In 2012, Ray needed a multi-day break from testifying in a perjury case against Frank and Peter DiTommaso in the Bronx because he had the flu.

Today’s presentation was unrelenting. The prosecution also showed video of Claudia Drury, one of the students who was expected to begin to testify against Ray this afternoon, being interrogated by Ray, tears streaking her face as he berated her and threatened to leak the clip. “Say hello to all your Facebook friends,” Ray said as he filmed her crying. Ray asked Drury if she was jealous of his relationship with his daughter. He kept badgering her until she admitted she was driven by envy to waste his time even as she denied it between sobs.

Prosecutors also seemed to take aim Tuesday at Ray’s daughter, Talia, who is an unindicted co-conspirator in the case. In emails, Ray and his daughter — referring to each other as “honeyboy” and “honeygirl” — praised the “project” he’d undertaken to treat her suicidal roommates, with Talia writing that Ray “has very special expertise in matters of the mind, as he has become a very high level intel op in the DoD for many years.”

Other evidence showed Talia reprimanding her housemates. In a handwritten note addressed to “reckless disregarders, active hurters, and admirably evolved friends,” she accused her housemates of damaging her Pucci wallet by “idiotically (or cruelly)” placing items in her purse without her permission and bending the wallet’s bow. Ray’s own lawyers called the note “obnoxious” in court.

The government’s choice of evidence seemed to underline its point that Ray established a hierarchy within the group, with his daughter and another woman, Isabella Pollok, given positions of superiority above the others.

Prior to the start of jury selection, Ray’s attorneys had asked to be removed from the case. Their request was denied.

Accused Cult Leader Suffers Medical Emergency in Court