A New York woman sentenced to over four years of prison for aiding a decade-long plot by an ex-convict to extort, molest and sexually abuse the Sarah Lawrence College classmates of his daughter was called critical to his plan by a judge on Wednesday.
Isabella Pollok, who failed to rebel against Lawrence Ray’s crimes, must report to prison on April 25.
The judge stated that Pollok was involved in “extreme, sadistic violence”, committing “extremely grave” crimes after she was recruited at the age of 19 and vulnerable.
“Your role was critical,” he said. He noted that she took steps to stop a former classmate from escaping prostitution for years, which had produced millions of dollars in income for Ray. “You were by no means innocent.”
Ray, 63 years old, was sentenced to 60 years of prison last month after his conviction in a trial where his victims described his convincing them that they poisoned him and then forcing them to make reparations by working for him, following his commands, and paying him money.
Pollok, who pleaded to a conspiracy charge of money laundering last September, stood in between her lawyers, sobbing as she spoke briefly before being sentenced.
“I believed and supported someone I could not understand who controlled me in ways that I cannot comprehend.” “I will have to live with my guilt forever,” she said, through her tears. “I deeply regret and am ashamed that I hurt my friends. “I am deeply sorry.”
Pollok, who is 31 and graduated from the Westchester County high school where Ray met many of his victims, faces up to five years behind bars.
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Her lawyers, who requested that she not serve any prison time or receive a home detention alternative, accused Ray of manipulating their client, after meeting her at a time when she was close to suicide after a childhood spent with a drug-addicted mother and a father in prison and a brother in prison.
Liman said that the sentence he gave was partly due to Pollok’s cruelty towards a woman Ray had forced into prostitution. The judge said that she “gleefully participated” in an assault against the woman in a room at a hotel where, among other things she was choked with a plastic bag and suffocated.
Assistant U.S. attorney Lindsey Keenan stated that Pollok played an “active” role in Ray’s sadistic acts. This included “handing him a plastic bag to suffocate his college friend.”
Keenan said Pollok kept a catalog of video recordings on her computer that showed her former classmates in compromising sexual poses or supposedly confessing they had harmed Ray, so she could retrieve “collateral” should Ray want to discipline anyone.
The prosecutor claimed that Pollok had once written to the woman Ray forced into prostitution, “The next time you see me, you will be wearing a jumpsuit.”
David Bertan, the defense attorney, said that Pollok was brainwashed by Ray and had no way to escape.
He noted that Pollok had been granted leniency by the judge in response to a letter written by the woman who was forced into prostitution.
Bertan said Pollok rebuilt her life in part through working at an Amazon warehouse.
He said: “I don’t think a victim of a cult should be sent to jail just because they were in a group.”
Bertan expressed his disappointment in the sentence outside court.