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In Sex Cult Case Larry Ray Opposing Severing Isabella Pollok Who Wants No GPS for Amazon

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SDNY COURTHOUSE, Oct 18 – When Larry Ray was arraigned on charges of sexual exploitation, prostitution, forced labor and money laundering on February 12, 2020 he was wearing prison blues and still had a Federal Defender, but no financial affidavit to have FD appointed. Twitter theadette; More on Patreon here. 

  On April 28, 2021, there was a suppression hearing about his arrest and questioning. Inner City Press live tweeted it here and below.

 On September 10, there was another proceeding including counsel for two Jane Does. They would be allowed to object at trial, under their privilege (which the US Attorney's Office cannot waive for them - they mentioned one John Doe, too). Reference was made near the end to Ray making an advise of counsel defense, claiming that counsel blessed his actions. Judge Liman promised to rule quickly on the motion to quash subpoenas.

On September 20 Ray's Federal Defenders asked Judge Liman for permission to serve Rule 17(c) subpoenas for medical records for John Doe 1 and Jane Doe 3.

On September 27, Isabella Pollak moved for a continuance (delay) or for severance, noting the third team of lawyers and this volume of discovery: 516,169 images, 1,462 documents, 1043 spreadsheets, 320 audio files, 256 video files and 277 internet files.

On October 8, the US Attorney's Office wrote to Judge Liman that "the Government objects to adjourning the joint trial for the lengthy period of time requested by Pollok [but] does not object to severing Pollok's trial from Ray's, keeping the trial of Ray scheduled for February 2022 and scheduling Pollok's trial for a later date."

But Ray opposes severing Pollok's case. On October 15 Pollok's Hastings on Hudson-based lawyer insisted on severance: "As Judge Learned Hand succinctly stated, '[n]o accused person has any recognizable legal interest in being tried with another, accused with him.' US v. Bronson, 145 F.2d 939, 943 (2d Cir. 1944 (L. Hand, J.)"

On October 18 Pollok's counsel wrote to Judge Liman asking to modify her conditions of release, so she can work overtime at Amazon, which no longer with permit any electronic devices (like GPS bracelets) on the warehouse floor. The US consents to this change. Watch this site.

Back on July 20, the US Attorney's Office wrote to Judge Liman in support of non-party Jane Doe's motion to quash Ray's subpoenas, citing the psychotherapist - patient privilege. The letter argues that "The Court should reject the defendant's efforts to gain access to information that his victims would never have voluntarily disclosed to him had they not be [sic] in his thrall."

Now on August 18, Jane Doe through counsel has opposed even "in camera" review of her records, saying she and her counsel should do the review. The US Attorney's Office supports this, saying the threshhold for in camera review has not been met. Ray through Federal Defenders disagrees. Watch this site.

On May 26 in a 72-page Order Judge Liman denied Ray's and Federal Defenders' motions to dismiss, addressing matters ranging from the storage units to the basis for the warrants, including "Ray complains that the CSLI Search Warrant Affidavit omitted evidence that called into question FV1’s reliability as a witness, including that: (1) FV-1’s friends reported that she “stretched the truth for effect,” and “wanted to make herself more exciting,” and was the “best at [] telling stories”; (2) FV-1 wrote in a blog post that she would lie to her parents and her teachers; (3) in the same blog post, FV-1 described Ray as a “friend and a confidant,” and FV-1 told friends that Ray was a “good guy”; (4) FV-1 wrote in an email to the dean of Sarah Lawrence College stating that she “made false allegations to the police” about Mr. Ray; (5) in 2015, FV-1 testified under oath that she had poisoned Ray, lied to him and his daughter, and later became his friend; (6) FV-1 was arrested for prostitution and told police that she was not being trafficked and told at least one client the same thing. Dkt. No. 137 at 11. Ray argues that this information, which was omitted from the CSLI Search Warrant Affidavit, would have undermined FV-1’s statements and that without FV-1’s statements, there was insufficient probable cause for investigators to obtain Case 1:20-cr-00110-LJL Document 184 Filed 05/26/21 Page 29 of 72 30 the historical cell site information. He thus argues that the search warrant for the cell site information must be voided and the fruits of the search excluded. The argument lacks merit. As an initial matter, Ray fails to identify any material information omitted from the CSLI Search Warrant Affidavit. To determine whether the alleged misstatements or omissions are material, the Court must “disregard the allegedly false statements” and “insert the omitted truths” and, after doing so, “determine whether there remains a residue of independent and lawful information sufficient to support probable cause.” Nejad, 436 F. Supp. 3d at 719 (internal citations omitted). Where information is allegedly omitted, the question is whether the warrant, with the addition of the omitted information would still support probable cause. See Franks, 438 U.S. at 156; United States v Canfield, 212 F.3d 713, 718 (2d Cir. 2000). “If, after setting aside the allegedly misleading statements or omissions, the affidavit, nonetheless, presents sufficient information to support a finding of probable cause, the district court need not conduct a Franks hearing.” Salameh, 152 F.3d at 113; see also Ganek, 874 F.3d at 82 (“To determine whether a false statement was necessary to a finding of probable cause, [the court] consider[s] a hypothetical corrected affidavit, produced by deleting any alleged misstatements from the original warrant affidavit and adding to it any relevant omitted information.”).The CSLI Search Warrant Affidavit passes that test. The CSLI Search Warrant Affidavit contained detailed information that FV-1 provided directly to law enforcement."  We'll have more on this.

  Back on January 29, there was a co-defendant who was indicted and then released on bond: Isabella Pollak. The next indicted was unsealed and Pollak was presented before SDNY Magistrate Judge Debra C. Freeman. She was released on $100,000 bond and told, no contact with victims.

On February 9 Judge Liman held Pollak's arraignment and was told, at the end, that she may not be competent to stand trial. Inner City Press live tweeted it, here and below.

 On February 15 - President's Day - Pollak's lawyers Peter M. Skinner and Valecia J. Battle of Boies Schiller Flexner asked for a one-week extension to pick a candidate to perform a competency evaluation of Pollack. I

Now on February 23, the parties have proposed Dr. James L. Knoll, M.D., to be paid with DOJ funds under 18 USC 4272(b), to report in 45 days. Inner City Press will continue to follow this.

The September 4 thread:

Judge Liman says due to COVID pandemic and difficulties of Federal Defenders meeting with Ray, he's prepared to postpone trial past January 19. Also today: A request to release Ray on bail, to help prepare his defense.

 Judge Liman: The defense has raised serious concerns about Mr. Ray having access to discovery. For that reason, I'm going to defer ruling on release request until I hear and perhaps rule on issues of early disclosure of Brady and witness list and the like.

 Federal Defender Lenox: Our request as to the sensitive materials, we're not asking the court to rule piece by piece. There's only a small percentage in dispute. We are proposing a mechanism to rule on those so Mr Ray can see it if he stays in custody

FD: We agree that nude videos are sensitive. But we would ask the court to review handwritten confessions. These things are exculpatory.

 [Note: FD wants to use sealing of evidence as way to get Ray out of jail. Press has asked to UNseal the evidence - which would also take this "Free Larry Ray" argument off the table.]

The case is US v. Ray, 20-cr-110 (Liman).


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