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Accused sex cult leader Lawrence Ray was rushed out of court Tuesday on a stretcher after his attorney said the 62-year-old had suffered a seizure earlier that morning.
Ray was wheeled out of the Manhattan federal court around 1:40 p.m. and loaded into an awaiting ambulance by two FDNY medics, according to The New York Post.
Ray’s defense attorney Marne Lenox had told the court he “suffered a seizure” earlier that morning at a Brooklyn jail, where he’s being held, The Daily Beast reports.
Lenox initially believed Ray didn't need to be hospitalized and the trial continued after a two-hour delay that morning. but as the day progressed, it appeared that the Ray's symptoms deteriorated.
Just before 1 p.m., Lenox asked for a break in the proceedings to address her client’s declining health and the judge closed the courtroom, citing the “medical issue.”
Less than an hour later, Ray was wheeled out of the courtroom on a stretcher, wearing an oxygen mask.
Forensic psychologist Dawn Hughes had been on the stand during the brief time court was in session Tuesday.
Ray is facing 16 counts of racketeering, sex trafficking, extortion, forced labor, money laundering and other charges after prosecutors say he used “violence, fear, sex and manipulation” to control his victims and extort millions from them after moving into his daughter’s college dorm room in 2010, according to The New York Times.
He's pleaded not guilty in the case.
Ray quickly befriended his daughter’s friends at Sarah Lawrence College, wooing them with stories about meeting Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev and his friendship with former NYPD Commissioner Bernard Kerik, gaining their trust and admiration.
But, according to prosecutors, his influence over them began to grow, with toxic results. Ray would hold therapy sessions with the students to extract information on their secrets and insecurities, which he'd later allegedly use to control them.
Ray also allegedly began accusing the students of plotting against him. During hours-long interrogation sessions, Ray coerced the students into making false confessions about poisoning him or damaging his property, which he would later use to extort them for money, according to an indictment in the case.
One of the alleged victims, Santos Rosario, testified that he was berated and abused by Ray for years before he finally broke with the group, known as “The Ray Family” in 2015.
“He would hit me, slap me, held a knife to my throat,” Rosario testified, according to Law & Crime. “He hit me with a hammer. He held a knife to my genitals. He put me in a chokehold and put me to sleep.”
In one particularly humiliating alleged incident, Rosario said he and his sister Felicia—who had also been lured into the group—were forced to wear diapers around Ray’s Upper East Side apartment after Ray accused them of “acting like children.”
Ray is also accused of forcing another female victim into prostitution.
His attorneys argued in opening statements of the trial that the students, including some who they say suffered from mental illness, were “a group of storytellers” who concocted a "fantastic conspiracy" centered around Ray, according to The New York Times.
“You’re going to hear some outlandish things,” Allegra Glashausser, one of his lawyers, told the jury, urging them to "go through the looking glass, through the magic mirror" in order to get to the truth of the case.
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