Man accused in WCC torture case arraigned

A man who officials say posed as a Westchester Community College professor to reportedly torture dozens of young minority men pleaded not guilty in court yesterday.

The man, Lawrence Bottone, 53, faces 29 charges in the torture case. In a video from the late 1990s being used as evidence, Bottone is allegedly seen in his underwear whipping a young African-American man. He was teaching in Connecticut at the time, and was the head of an after-school program.

Police say Bottone tricked his younger students to participate in a "training" program, and said completion of the program would provide them with a high-paying job as a security specialist.

Police say the victims were subjected to physical and mental torture, often stripped naked and blindfolded. They say the men were usually covered in oil or cold water, whipped and had pins inserted underneath their fingernails.

Bottone was freed on bail, which stood at $250,000.

His next court appearance is set for this August.

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