Isabella Pollok, a former Sarah Lawrence College student, was sentenced to more than four years in prison on Wednesday, February 22, 2023.
Pollok, who was accused of acting as a henchman for cult leader Larry Ray, was given the sentence for her complicity in carrying out the abuse of a group of young women who were coerced into pr*stitution.
Trigger warning: This article contains mentions of s*xual assault, abuse, and forced pr*stitution. Discretion is advised.
Isabella Pollok was accused of conspiring with Larry Ray. In 2010, Ray moved into his daughter’s dorm room at Sarah Lawrence College, and started a s*x cult by manipulating his daughter’s friends through psychological abuse. Ray reportedly abused the young women and even forced them into pr*stitution for years.
Pollok, who was also a student at the school, was good friends with Ray's daughter. She fell under Ray's spell and began acting as his lieutenant by collecting money earned through pr*stitution from the young women in the cult.
Several reports also stated that Pollok participated in abusing one of the victims who was tortured by Ray after the latter began withdrawing from the cult.
Isabella Pollok's role in Sarah Lawrence cult explored as she's sentenced to prison
In September 2022, 31-year-old Isabella Pollok pleaded guilty to a single count of participating in a money laundering conspiracy with Larry Ray. For years, Ray had extorted millions of dollars from his victims after forcing them into pr*stitution.
The former Sarah Lawrence student was sentenced to 54 months in prison and three years of supervised release. However, prosecutors had asked that she be sentenced to a maximum of 60 months in prison. Prosecutors said that Pollok, after growing close to Ray, began exercising control over the other victims.
As Ray's lieutenant, Pollok took on a more active role in extorting money from the victims. She also allegedly disguised millions of dollars from illegal trafficking proceeds after Ray forced former student Claudia Durey into pr*stitution. Pollok was also involved in torturing Durey, who was suffocated with a plastic bag in a Manhattan hotel room.
However, prosecutors agreed that Pollok had also been victimized by Ray, who had subjected her to similar abuse as well. Prosecutors accused Pollock of getting close to Ray to inoculate herself from the abuse and instead offered up her services to exploit other victims.
According to prosecutors, Ray reportedly groomed Pollock and psychologically manipulated her to exercise control.
As per PEOPLE, before the sentencing, Pollok’s lawyers wrote a letter to the federal judge asking for leniency as their client was also victimized by Ray. They said that after moving into his daughter’s Sarah Lawrence dorm room, Ray "became a domineering and manipulative monster."
Part of the letter read:
"Ray groomed Isabella, at first by listening and paying attention to her. Ray then became her lover and convinced her of the need to explore her s*xuality…Isabella did whatever Ray directed.”
The letter stated that the former Sarah Lawrence student has since realized the gravity of her actions. It added that she has expressed tremendous contrition over the role she played in terrorizing the young women. It said:
"Now, she realizes the extent of his control — including what he made her do to the others — and she feels tremendous guilt and remorse. Isabella will live with this guilt for the rest of her life."
As per multiple reports, during the hearing, a tearful Pollock apologized to the victim and admitted her guilt in victimizing the former Sarah Lawrence student.
Ray was sentenced in January 2023 to 60 years in prison on multiple charges, including extortion, trafficking, and racketeering conspiracy.