Stolen Youth: Inside the Cult at Sarah Lawrence True Events Explained
Stolen Youth: Inside the Cult at Sarah Lawrence is an upcoming true crime three-episode mini-series created by Zachary Heinzerling with a shocking backstory. The mini-series will detail the events that led to the forming of a sex cult on the grounds of Sarah Lawrence College led by Lawrence V. “Larry” Ray, as well as the victim’s path to coping and recovering from the gruesome events.
When it comes to the true crime genre, there’s always more to the story than it meets the eye, and with the Stolen Youth scheduled to be released soon, we’ve decided to take this opportunity to explain the real events behind the cult led by Larry Ray as well as the events that led to his arrest and ultimately, the road to healing for his numerous victims.
What is Stolen Youth: Inside the Cult at Sarah Lawrence about?
The Stolen Youth mini-series is scheduled to be released on February 9. The true crime documentary was directed by Zachary Heinzerling, and it follows the true events that transpired in the shocking span of 10 years and involved students at Sarah Lawrence College and Lawrence V. “Larry” Ray. It was a highly publicized case of sexual and psychological abuse involving the Sarah Lawrence College community.
Larry Ray, the father of a student at the college, Talia Ray, was accused of using his influence over a group of students to control their lives and manipulate them for personal gain, including sexual exploitation. The case caused widespread outrage and resulted in an investigation by the college and law enforcement.
Ray was eventually arrested and sentenced to prison for his crimes. The scandal brought attention to the issue of abusive power dynamics in collegiate communities and the need for increased awareness and protection for students. Now that we’ve summed up the whole grim affair, it’s time to delve into the events in more detail. If you’re interested in more, stick with us.
Inside the Cult at Sarah Lawrence: Who is Larry Ray?
The story begins with Lawrence V. “Larry” Ray, a con man that allegedly had a background as a government agent, specifically as a former CIA operative who worked on an international level with a connection to some of the most powerful people you can imagine. Well, at least according to his daughter Talia Ray that attended Sarah Lawrence college. Larry Ray was just released from prison in 2010 following the dispute over custody of his children. Talia claimed that Larry simply attempted to save her and her sibling from their mother’s abuse.
When Talia presented the idea to her roommates that her father would be living with them for a short time, no one truly objected. They had no reason to doubt such a determined man which such rich history.
Part of the problem lies in the fact that the group of young adults was easily influenced. As soon as Larry Ray moved in with the group, he asserted himself as the head of their small circle. He knew how to talk and knew how to deal with the hardships of youth. He offered them advice at every turn, gathered them for family dinners, and even chose their entertainment.
For anyone looking at this from a third-party perspective, a grown man sharing dorm housing with a group of barely adults might seem weird and would definitely raise some eyebrows related to the true motives behind the cohabitations. But to Talia’s group of friends- including her boyfriend Santos Rosario, he seemed like a role model they needed in their lives as he offered them a way to combat the plethora of mental issues each of them carried.
Larry Ray slowly but steadily started inserting himself into every aspect of their lives. He hijacked the attention of every female member of the group and managed to gain “respect” from every male member of the group due to his “masculinity.”
Things took a turn for the worse when Larry Ray decided to leave the college dorm and move into a New York apartment with Daniel Levin, Talia Ray, Claudia, Isabella Pollack, and Santos Rosario.
Leaving the dorm gave Larry further inspiration to brainwash and influence the youth. He seemed to be getting stricter and stricter when it came to “punishing” small behavior. He began accusing them of trying to undermine his the “success program” he envisioned for each of them. The punishment was nothing big at first, but it eventually snowballed into food restriction and sleep deprivation until eventually getting even worse.
Family members who managed to establish contact with their children were shocked by the words they would hear. It was mostly the parroting of the same old phrases that were implanted in their behavior by Larry.
Eventually, Santos’ siblings, Felicia and Yalitza, joined their apartment.
What happened over the next decade?
Almost a decade would pass before Larry’s victims will free themselves. Over the long course of years, Larry was sexually, mentally, and physically abusive toward his victims. Manipulating almost every aspect of their lives. He turned their cohabitation deal into a sex cult and abused their bodies and psyche. He would often record his victims in their most vulnerable states, and allegedly he planned on using the tapes as “evidence” that the victims attempted to harm him in some way.
Larry would often interrogate them, accusing them of poisoning him with mercury and the like. Tapes, which are also used in the mini-series, also show Larry’s unbound violence toward his victims, not only mental but physical, as well as he is seen striking Levin in the stomach with a hammer or throwing a hysterical Felicia to the ground.
The gruesome ordeal came to an end in February 2020. Larry Ray was charged in February 2020 with a series of crimes, including conspiracy, extortion, sex trafficking, forced labor, and related offenses, based on allegations of misconduct with students and former students over a nearly 10-year period. He was arrested while in bed with one of his victims and was later denied bail. He was convicted on all counts in April 2022 and sentenced to 60 years in prison on January 20, 2023.
The viewers will have the opportunity to see the mini-series and follow the shocking events on February 9, when Stolen Youth: Inside the Cult at Sarah Lawrence release on Hulu.