In September 2010, Talia Ray told her college roommates that her father, who had just been released from prison following a custody dispute, needed a place to stay.
At the time, Talia’s group of friends were relatively unfazed.
After all, Talia had always described her father as a charming, good man. There was no reason to believe anything else.
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Within just days of his release, Lawrence “Larry” Ray moved into the shared college dorm at Sarah Lawrence College, planting himself in the common area and sleeping on the couch or on an air mattress.
Before long, Larry became a prominent figure among the dorm. He began treating Talia and her seven housemates to lavish steak dinners and paying for expensive food deliveries – all while engaging the group in heavy discussions and opening up about his own personal history.
In the months that followed, however, Larry’s position in the college dorm evolved from a “dad figure” to an intimidating, master manipulator.
At the time Larry began living in the dorm, many of the students were already in a vulnerable position. While a number of the students were battling mental health issues, another student was questioning his sexuality.
Eventually, a number of the roommates moved out of their college dorm, moving in with Larry in an apartment in New York City.
The move came after Larry called one of the student’s families, to prevent her from returning home for the winter break.
According to student Isabella’s aunt, Larry claimed that Isabella had been sexually abused as a child by a family friend and wasn’t able to return home as she was “suicidal”.
“You let this happen to her,” Larry reportedly told Isabella’s mother.