54-year-old Lawrence Bottone who was indicted last year on numerous counts of assault, unlawful imprisonment, and criminal impersonation, pleaded guilty in New York.
There were 50 charges in all, which had him facing decades in the prison. His plea bargain will likely find him looking at roughly 10 years. He has been held on $250,000 bail since his arrest in May 2011.
Bottone previously served four years in prison for torturing young black and Hispanic men in Connecticut where he was a school teacher. He was sentenced on child pornography and assault charges after he was videotaped abusing his students in a tutoring program.
Bottone, using the pseudonym “Dr. Hunter” and posing as a professor, was accused of recruiting young men for supposed overseas spy work and torturing them throughout a fallacious training program.
He would frequent local malls and Westchester Community College looking for his targets. In fact, he was such a fixture at the college that the security staff believed him to be part of the faculty.
Bottone would require that his subjects sign a contract of secrecy after promising them high-paying jobs. Then the training program would begin, including numerous rope-beatings, pins under the fingernails, removal of fingernails with cuticle cutters, and even one instance where he dunked the head of a “recruit” in the toilet while he urinated all over this back.
The man also said Bottone had tortured him for a year, at various times beating him with ropes and chains, forcing him to strip, blindfolding him, grabbing and squeezing his genitals and once forcing him to scale a mountain with a backpack full of torture tools — all while promising that he later could earn up to $50,000 a mission as an international agent.
Bottone’s victims could number in the hundreds, police have said, and many of them had little idea that Bottone was a fraud until they were contacted by Westchester County police, who arrested Bottone after a long investigation.