A New York woman who admitted helping an ex-con blackmail and sexually assault his daughter's schoolmates at Sarah Lawrence College was sentenced Wednesday to more than four years in prison by a judge who called her critical. to your schematic.
Isabella Pollok must report to prison by April 25 to begin serving a four-and-a-half-year sentence that US District Judge Lewis J. Liman said was for failing to rebel against Lawrence Ray's crimes.
The judge said Pollok engaged in "extreme and sadistic violence" by committing "extremely serious" crimes after being recruited when she was 19 and vulnerable.
“However, her role was critical,” he said, noting that she took steps to prevent a former schoolmate from escaping years of prostitution that netted Ray millions of dollars. "You were by no means innocent."
Ray, 63, was sentenced last month to 60 years in prison following his conviction following a trial in which his victims described how he convinced them they had poisoned him before forcing them to make amends by working for him, obeying his orders and paying him in cash.
Pollok, who pleaded guilty of one count of money laundering conspiracy last September, she stepped between her lawyers and sobbed as she spoke briefly before being sentenced.
“I believed in and supported someone who was controlling me in ways I can't understand. I will live with the guilt forever,” she said through tears. “I seriously hurt my friends and I am ashamed and deeply sorry. I'm really sorry."
Pollok, 31, who graduated from the Westchester County School where Ray met most of his victims, faced up to five years in prison.
Asking him not to serve prison time or to receive house arrest as an alternative, his lawyers blamed Ray for manipulating their client after meeting her when she was on the brink of suicide after a childhood with a drug-addicted mother and a father and brother in prison. .
Liman said the sentence he imposed was in part for Pollok's cruelty to a woman Ray had forced into prostitution. The judge said that she "joyfully" participated in an assault on the woman in a hotel room where, among other things, she was strangled and suffocated with a plastic bag.
Assistant US Attorney Lindsey Keenan said Pollok had played an "active role" in Ray's sadistic acts, including handing over "a plastic bag so she could suffocate her college friend."
Keenan said Pollok also kept a catalog on his computer of video recordings of his former schoolmates in compromising sexual positions or allegedly admitting to hurting Ray so he could get the "collateral" back if Ray wanted to discipline someone.
"Next time I see you, you'll be in overalls," the prosecutor said Pollok once wrote to the woman Ray had forced into prostitution.
Defense attorney David Bertan said Pollok did not have a lifeline when he met Ray, who brainwashed him.
He noted that the woman forced into prostitution had written to the judge requesting clemency for Pollok.
Bertan said Pollok was partly rebuilding his life by working in an Amazon warehouse.
“I don't see that a cult victim should go to jail for being in a cult,” he said.
Outside of court, Bertan said he was disappointed by the sentence.