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In Sex Cult Case US Wants to Push Ray to Feb 22 Now Judge Says Advice of Counsel During Trial

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Podcast
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SDNY COURTHOUSE, Nov 23 – 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.

Docketed on November 23, 2021, this: "OPINION & ORDER as to Lawrence Ray. The Court is confident that there will be time enough for the Court to test whether there is a viable advice-of-counsel defense to any of the charges and, if there is, for the defense to produce documents that relate to the advice of counsel, even if it waits until the end of the government's case. For the same reasons, the Court is not persuaded that prior to the start of trial it should hold a hearing to determine whether the defense has evidence to satisfy each of the elements of the advice-of-counsel defense. The Court has discretion over whether and when to hold a hearing regarding the admissibility of evidence under Federal Rule of Evidence 104.6 In the Court's judgment, the better exercise of discretion is to wait to hold such a hearing until after the earlier of the unequivocal assertion of the privilege by defense or the close of the government's case. At that point, the Court will hear an application from the government for a hearing as to whether the defense can put on evidence of advice of counsel and will be prepared to proceed directly to a hearing. Thus, the defense shall inform the Court and the government no later than the close of the government's case-in-chief whether it intends to assert an advice-of-counsel defense. In the event that it elects to assert such a defense, it will also at the same time inform the Court and the government of (1) the charges to which it contends such a defense is relevant; (2) the witnesses it intends to present in support of that defense (including whether the witnesses include the defendant himself); and (3) the evidence it contends will satisfy each element of an advice-of-counsel defense. The Court will be prepared to hold a Federal Rule of Evidence 104 hearing before the start of the defense case to determine whether there is sufficient evidence for the defense to present such a defense. In addition, the Court will hear an application by the government pretrial whether it should enter an order that, at the moment that the defense elects to assert the advice-of-counsel defense, the defense shall produce all documents relating to the defense (whether supportive or not) in its possession, custody, or control (regardless whether the documents were produced to the defense by the government and are already in the government's possession) and shall provide the government sufficient information for the government to be able to conduct its own independent search of the otherwise privileged documents to determine those documents as to which the privilege has been waived. (Signed by Judge Lewis J. Liman on 11/22/2021)."

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.

And on October 19, Judge Liman granted the requests: "MEMO ENDORSEMENT granting [235] LETTER MOTION filed by Isabella Pollok (2), addressed to Judge Lewis J. Liman from Attorney Jill R. Shellow dated 10/18/2021 re: Request to modify conditions of pretrial release. I am writing to request respectfully two modifications to Isabella Pollok's conditions of pretrial release: (1) Ms. Pollok has a curfew from 9PM until 5AM. We respectfully request that the curfew condition be removed. (2) Ms. Pollok wears a GPS ankle bracelet. Accordingly, we respectfully request that the GPS bracelet condition be removed. ENDORSEMENT: REQUEST GRANTED. Bail modifications approved. SO ORDERED. (Signed by Judge Lewis J. Liman on 10/19/2021)."

But what about Amazon barring any worker with a GPS bracelet, under pre-trial release (that is, presumed innocent) from working its warehouses?

On October 20, Judge Liman granted severance: "ORDER as to Lawrence Ray, Isabella Pollok. It is hereby ORDERED that the proposed schedule appearing at Dkt. No. 219, setting forth the deadlines related to expert witnesses in the case United States v. Ray, 20-cr-110-LJL-1, is APPROVED. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that, for the reasons stated by the Court on the record at the October 19, 2021, Status Conference, the motion of Isabella Pollok for a continuance is GRANTED and the trials of Lawrence Ray and Isabella Pollok are severed, with Isabella Pollok's trial to begin on July 18, 2022."

On November 11, Veterans Day, the US Attorney's Office wrote to Judge Liman asking to push Ray's trial back to February 22, to enable it to produce 3500 / Giglio material on month in advance of trial. 

On November 19 Pollok filed a motion to suppress all statements she made upon arrest. She says, "At 6 am on February 11, 2020 Ms. Pollak awoke to banging and people shouting FBI." Then statements without Miranda warnings. What will Judge Liman do? Watch this site.

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


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