Along Came a Spider, Trafficking at an Elite Eastern College

Lawrence Ray a/k/a Lawrence Grecco and Isabelle Pollok have been charged in a sex trafficking and money laundering scheme involving Sarah Lawrence College students [1][2][3].  Amazingly enough, Ray was the parent of a student at the exclusive institution.  Pollok was a student there at the time.

Apparently, Ray presented himself as an advisor and confidante to his daughter’s classmates, extorting them after having gained their confidence.  Pollok allegedly abetted the scheme.  Both have pleaded not guilty.

A Father Figure

Against school policy, Ray moved into Sarah Lawrence’s townhouse style, on-campus housing with his daughter and her roommates during their sophomore year in late 2010.  No one, however, reported him to authorities.  According to the indictment, he then began “therapy” sessions with the roommates during which he assumed the role of a father figurre.

Blackmail, Extortion, and Prostitution

Over the course of a decade, Ray and Pollok are alleged to have manipulated students into providing explicit photos, embarrassing personal information, and false confessions.

Five students were then blackmailed, and pressured to perform manual labor.  At least one is said to have been forced into prostitution, with Ray collecting over $500,000 from her over the course of 4 years.  Physical abuse is, also, alleged.

A Cold-Blooded Scheme

This was a cruel and cold-blooded scheme, carried out for an extended period of time.  It exploited the vulnerability of young people, and is likely to have caused Ray’s own daughter serious distress.

Psychopaths are often charming, intelligent, and excellent at mimicking emotions [4A][5].  According to L. Michael Tompkins, EdD, a psychologist at Sacramento County Mental Health Treatment Center, they are “skilled actors whose sole mission is to manipulate people for personal gain [4B].”  But they lack empathy, and have no fear of consequences.

Psychopaths crave excitement and enjoy breaking rules.  Con men frequently fall into this category [6].  They lack ethics and experience no pangs of conscience, casually moving from one victim to the next.

Grooming

Without placing blame on these young people, one cannot help but wonder what may have been lacking in their lives.  If not to authorities, why did none of them mention the unusual living arrangement or “therapy” sessions to a parent?

This is, of course, the nature of grooming.  A predator gradually and insidiously gains the trust of his victim, just as a spider lures a fly into its web.  An expensive setting is no defense.

[1]  New York Magazine – The Cut, “The Stolen Kids of Sarah Lawrence – What happened to the group of bright college students who fell under the sway of a classmate’s father?” by Ezra Marcus and James Walsh, Updated 2/26/20, https://www.thecut.com/2020/02/larry-ray-sarah-lawrence-students.html#_ga=2.96650075.538906204.1581534365-1417565073.1564944428.

[2]  CNN, “Student’s dad arrested on sex trafficking charges after magazine’s revelations” by Kristina Sguelgia and Eric Levenson, 2/13/20, https://www.cnn.com/2020/02/11/us/sarah-lawrence-college-sex-trafficking/index.html.

[3]  CNN, “A woman once believed to be a victim in a college sex trafficking case has now been charged in it” by Madeline Holcomb and Anna Sturla, 3/2/21, https://www.cnn.com/2021/03/02/us/sarah-lawrence-trafficking-case-isabella-pollok/index.html.

[4A and 4B]  WebMD, “Sociopath v. Psychopath:  What’s the Difference?” by Kara Mayer Robinson, reviewed by Joseph Goldberg, MD 8/24/14,  https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/features/sociopath-psychopath-difference.

[5]  Wikipedia, “Psychopathy”, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychopathy.

[6]  Quora, “Are con artists psychopaths/sociopaths?” by Elinor Greenberg, PhD, https://www.quora.com/Are-con-artists-psychopaths-sociopaths.

A review by Husch, Blackwell has concluded Louisiana State University failed to provide a clear reporting path for complaints of sexual assault or harassment, while allowing athletic dept. officials undue influence over the handling of such complaints. 

Seehttps://avoicereclaimed.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=12610&action=edit&classic-editor.

FOR MORE OF MY ARTICLES ON POVERTY, POLITICS, AND MATTERS OF CONSCIENCE CHECK OUT MY BLOG A LAWYER’S PRAYERS AT: https://alawyersprayers.com

Along Came a Spider – Trafficking at an Elite Eastern College


VIDEO Hold On to Memories

Posted on  by Joe Rodriguez

Take the ones you love
And hold them close because there is little time
And don’t let it break your heart
I know it feels hopeless sometimes
But they’re never really gone
As long as there’s a memory in your mind

Hold On to Memories” – Song by Disturbed

Lighthouses were built to last. They were made to withstand the fiercest of storms. With the help of dedicated maintenance crews, many centuries-old lighthouses are still standing, but many have also succumbed to neglect and the inevitable calamities of nature such as erosions, earthquakes, and fires. But even so, their beauty can still be appreciated in photographs and/or paintings and the life-saving stories that made them famous can be relived through publications.

Memories! Memories are what keep not only the images but also the emotions of the things we care for alive long after they are gone. Sure, there may be memories of things we rather forget that pop up once in a while, but if we have truly repented/forgiven, accepted, and moved on, they shouldn’t hold us captive to feelings of guilt and/or regret. We must learn to focus more on the memories of things that put a smile on our face and perhaps even a couple of tears of joy and gratitude. God has allowed you and me to live and breathe up until this very moment. And wouldn’t you agree that His goodness and mercies have far exceeded the trials in our lives? If so, we can both echo David’s proclamation in Psalm 21.

“Surely you have granted [me] unending blessings and made [me] glad with the joy of your presence.”

Psalm 21:6 NIV

Better designed and even exact replicas of lighthouses have replaced those that once stood as beacons of hope and safety. Take the Cape St.George Lighthouse for example. After succumbing to erosion and collapsing into the sea, it was rebuilt to its original splendor at a nearby location.

Nothing or no one can ever replace the people and things that have been a loving part of our lives and are no longer present. But God has gifted us with something that will keep them close to our hearts for as long as we live and are cognitive, namely our memory. Among the many things to thank God for, do you thank Him for your mind? The mind is one of the most intricate parts of the human body [Read Fearfully and Wonderfully Designed]. It would behoove us to take care of it by eating right, getting enough rest, reading and meditating on God’s word, taking time to quietly enjoy nature, and by frequently reminiscing on the good ole days.

Granted, as we get older, not only do we start losing our hair, teeth, and skin elasticity [Read “Of Youth And Longevity”], but we also tend to lose our memory (short-term/long-term). Heck, I even forgot where I was going with a couple of thoughts while writing this devotion!

However, most of us will have no trouble remembering some of the fun times growing up (without today’s technology). Things like, jumping on puddles, our first love/set of wheels, and the birth of our first or only child are among the many things that have not only helped shape us into who we are today but whose memories have also served as gemstones that can still soothe mental stresses. And how about the memories of God’s faithfulness? We must acknowledge that without His past providence we certainly wouldn’t have been able to make it this far!

Nothing in this world lasts forever. Every day we welcome becomes a memory in a matter of seconds. Therefore, we should learn to appreciate every minute we are given. And while there are many hurtful memories we need to learn to let go, there are also wonderful ones that we must hold on to dearly. However, in order to hold on to good memories we need to willingly and intentionally make them. No matter the cost! Life is short, let us spend more time creating loving memories. Let us purpose in our hearts to live and not just exist.

Listen to the song below in its entirety. I believe it has a message that we all need to be reminded of regularly.

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for the life you have given me. In spite of the challenges and difficult times, you have been and remain faithful. Thank you for the good times and the bad times. May my mistakes and unforeseen trials serve as life lessons to make me stronger. I also ask that you guard my mind so that I can cherish and hold on to the memories of the people and things that have brought joy and peace into my life. But most of all, may I never forget the grace (unmerited favors) you have bestowed upon me. Amen!

RELATED SCRIPTURES
The memory of the righteous is a blessing, but the name of the wicked will rot.” – Proverbs 10:7 ESV

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” – Philippians 4:8 ESV

“Let all that I am praise the LORD; may I never forget the good things he does for me.” – Psalm 103:27 NLT

Hold On to Memories