A man accused of running a sex cult of US college students has become the latest inmate to seek bail due to the coronavirus crisis, claiming that he has been suffering from diabetes and has been unable to meet with his attorney because of the pandemic.
Lawrence Ray has been residing at the Metropolitan Detention Centre (MCC) in lower Manhattan while awaiting trial for extortion, sex trafficking and forced labour among other charges linked to Sarah Lawrence College in Yonkers, New York.
According to the Bureau of Prisons, five inmates and eight staffers at the detention centre have tested positive for COVID-19, and many are attempting to leverage bail.
Mr Ray recently lost consciousness in his cell after experiencing excruciating head pain and was diagnosed with high glucose levels.
He also claimed that he had experienced shooting pains down his leg.
Judge Lewis Liman had previously decided to deny bail to Mr Ray, believing him to be a danger to society, however Federal Defender Marne Lenox has filed a letter in the Manhattan Federal Court asking the judge to reverse his decision.
“The substandard medical care at the MCC is alarming, but foreseeable. In ordinary times, the MCC repeatedly fails to adequately address even routine medical conditions. In times of crisis, the medical care at the facility has halted entirely. This is true now,” Ms Lenox wrote.
“The court simply cannot rely on the MCC to provide Mr Ray with the medical attention he requires — and which is his constitutional right.”
MCC has been on lockdown since March 13 due to the pandemic, complicating communication with his defence as they prepare for trial.
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