NXIVM guru will get 120 years in jail in sex-slaves case

NEW YORK: Disgraced self-improvement guru Keith Raniere, whose NXIVM followers included millionaires and Hollywood actors, was sentenced to 120 years for turning some adherents into intercourse slaves branded together with his initials and sexually abusing a 15-year-old.
US District Choose Nicholas Garaufis on Tuesday known as Raniere “ruthless and unyielding” in crimes that had been “significantly egregious” as a result of he focused women and younger ladies within the sex-trafficking conspiracy that resulted in Raniere’s conviction final 12 months.
He handed down the unusually stiff sentence in Brooklyn federal court docket after listening to 15 victims name for an extended jail time period to mirror the nightmares and anguish they’re going to confront the remainder of their lives.
As he introduced the sentence, Garaufis famous that Raniere labelled a number of the victims’ claims lies. The decide advised a girl who Raniere ordered to be saved in a room for 2 years when she was 18: “What occurred to you just isn’t your fault.” He stated that went for the opposite victims too.
Raniere, who checked out victims as they spoke within the courtroom, maintained his defiant tone, though he stated he was “really sorry” that his organisation led to a spot the place “there’s a lot anger and a lot ache.” “I do consider I’m harmless of the costs. … It’s true I’m not remorseful of the crimes I don’t consider I dedicated in any respect,” Raniere stated.
Prosecutors had sought life in jail, whereas a protection lawyer advised the decide Raniere ought to face 20 years behind bars.
The sentencing was the fruits of a number of years of revelations about Raniere’s program, NXIVM, which charged hundreds of {dollars} for invitation-only self-improvement programs at its headquarters close to Albany, New York, together with branches in Mexico and Canada. Adherents endured humiliation and pledged obedience to Raniere as a part of his teachings.
NXIVM has been the topic of two TV documentary collection this 12 months, HBO’s “The Vow,” and the Starz collection “Seduced: Contained in the NXIVM Cult.” Prosecutors stated Raniere, 60, led what amounted to a prison enterprise, inducing disgrace and guilt to affect and management co-conspirators who helped recruit and groom sexual companions for him. Raniere was convicted on costs together with racketeering, alien smuggling, intercourse trafficking, extortion and obstruction of justice.
After victims spoke for two half of hours, the decide grew impatient and a bit offended when protection lawyer Marc Agnifilo sought to painting his consumer’s organisation as “doing good” for girls earlier than issues turned dangerous for some.
“I’ve heard sufficient about Mr. Raniere’s theories,” Garaufis snapped.
The decide stated Raniere groomed a 13-year-old lady in order that “two years later he is having intercourse with a 15-year-old lady.” At one other level, he minimize Agnifilo off because the lawyer tried to argue victims weren’t all the time factually appropriate.
“You are beginning to tire me out right here,” the decide stated. “It is fairly clear he took benefit of individuals sexually.” Earlier, India Oxenberg, the daughter of “Dynasty” actor Catherine Oxenberg, known as Raniere an “entitled little princess” and a sexual predator and lamented that she “might need to spend the remainder of my life with Keith Raneire’s initials seared into me.” One other sufferer stated she had the initials faraway from her physique by a plastic surgeon.
Different victims labelled him a liar, a parasite, a terrorist, a sociopath, a racist, a sadist and “a toddler with an excessive amount of energy and 0 accountability.” And the lady who was sexually abused starting at age 15 stated Raniere groomed her by telling her she was mature for her age.
“It’s false. I used to be a toddler,” she stated.
She stated that when Raniere noticed blood operating down her arm after a botched suicide try, he revealed his self-obsessed angle, asking her: “Are you aware how dangerous that would have been for me if you happen to killed your self?” The chance of leniency had appeared to dissipate with the latest sentencing of Clare Bronfman, 41, an inheritor to the Seagram’s liquor fortune, for her function in NXIVM, which has been described by some ex-members as a cult. Bronfman was sentenced to almost seven years in jail. Prosecutors had solely sought 5 years.
Ex-followers advised the decide that Bronfman for years had used her wealth to attempt to silence NXIVM defectors.
Reniere’s followers known as him “Vanguard.” To honor him, the group shaped a secret sorority comprised of feminine “slaves” who had been branded together with his initials and ordered to have intercourse with him, the prosecutors stated. Girls had been additionally pressured into giving up embarrassing details about themselves that may very well be used towards them in the event that they left the group.
Together with Bronfman, Raniere’s teachings gained him the devotion of Hollywood actors, together with Allison Mack of TV’s “Smallville.” Mack additionally has pleaded responsible to costs within the case and is awaiting sentencing.
Assistant U.S. Legal professional Tanya Hajjar advised the decide solely a life sentence would defend the general public as a result of Raniere in any other case “can be committing crimes right this moment, tomorrow and sooner or later.” (AP)

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