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BANGKOK 21 July 2019 02:44
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New York jury convicts man who starved, branded women in sex cult

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New York jury convicts man who starved, branded women in sex cult

By Brendan Pierson

 

2019-06-19T202707Z_2_LYNXNPEF5I24H_RTROPTP_4_USA-CRIME-CULT.JPG

Defense attorney Marc Agnifolo (R) appears in this courtroom sketch in the trial of Nxivm leader Keith Raniere along with Paul DerOhannesian (2nd L) and Danielle Smith (L) in U.S. Federal Court in Brooklyn, New York, U.S., June 19, 2019.REUTERS/Jane Rosenberg

 

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Keith Raniere, a New York man accused of running a cult-like group in which women were kept on starvation diets, branded with his initials and ordered to have sex with him, was found guilty of all charges against him by a New York jury on Wednesday.

 

Raniere, 58, was charged with racketeering conspiracy, sex trafficking, possession of child pornography and other crimes. He faces a possible sentence of life in prison.

 

The jury in federal court in Brooklyn reached its verdict after just four hours of deliberation, capping off a trial that lasted more than six weeks. Raniere's sentencing is set for Sept. 25.

 

His lawyer, Marc Agnifilo, told reporters outside the courthouse that the verdict will be appealed. He said he believed a fair sentence would be less than life.

 

Agnifilo also expressed sympathy for Raniere's victims.

 

"I hope that people find peace and solace in the verdict," he said. "That's my genuine feeling from the heart, having nothing to do with being anyone's lawyer."

 

Raniere is the founder of Nxivm, a purported self-improvement organisation based in upstate New York.

 

Prosecutors said that he created a secret sorority within Nxivm called DOS in which female "slaves" turned over compromising materials, such as nude photos, that could be used for blackmail. They were told that the material would be released if they disobeyed orders or tried to leave, according to a former member and other witnesses.

 

DOS was sold to recruits as an all-female organisation, when in fact it was controlled by Raniere, according to former members who testified at the trial.

 

'IT'S OVER'

Outside of the courthouse, after the verdict was read, a group of former Nxivm members gave the prosecution team a round of applause.

 

Catherine Oxenberg, an actress who wrote a book called "Captive" about her efforts to rescue her daughter from Nxivm, called her daughter to tell her the verdict.

 

"She's in shock," Oxenberg was heard saying of her daughter. "I'm in shock as well. It's over. It's done."

 

Raniere was the "grandmaster" of an inner circle of slaves, who in turn recruited slaves of their own. Some of those recruits were coerced into having sex with Raniere, and some were branded with his initials, according to former members.

 

"The trial has revealed that Raniere, who portrayed himself as a savant and a genius, was in fact a master manipulator, a con man and the crime boss of a cult-like organisation involving sex trafficking, child pornography, extortion, compelled abortion, branding, degradation and humiliation," Richard Donoghue, the U.S. Attorney in Brooklyn, told reporters outside of the courthouse.

 

"His crime, and the crimes of his coconspirators, ruined marriages, careers, fortunes and lives."

 

Prosecutors also said that, years before creating DOS, Raniere began a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old girl. The child pornography charges stem from explicit pictures he took of the girl, who went on to become one of his inner circle of DOS slaves.

 

Agnifilo, had told jurors in his closing arguments on Monday that no women were ever forced to do anything against their will.

 

Other members of Nxivm, which is pronounced "nexium," were charged alongside Raniere, and have all pleaded guilty. They include Nxivm president Nancy Salzman; her daughter, Lauren Salzman, who testified as the prosecution's star witness; actress Allison Mack; and Seagram liquor heiress Claire Bronfman.

 

The group first became known for its "Executive Success Program" courses, which purported to give students the ability to achieve their life goals by overcoming mental blocks. Witnesses testified that leaders of the organisation psychologically manipulated and abused its members and demanded total obedience.

 

(Reporting By Brendan Pierson in New York; Editing by Bill Berkrot)

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2019-06-20
 

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Words fail me, there should not be any leniency for these crimes, with him spending the rest of his miserable life behind bars.....!!! 

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Yeiks what a sicko

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11 minutes ago, Tug said:

Yeiks what a sicko

Agreed, "what a sicko". But reading the OP made me think about the name of another "genius", also American. As follows:

3 hours ago, webfact said:

Raniere was the "grandmaster" of an inner circle of slaves, who in turn recruited slaves of their own

 

3 hours ago, webfact said:

"The trial has revealed that Raniere, who portrayed himself as a savant and a genius, was in fact a master manipulator, a con man and the crime boss ...........

 

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does this mean "demonia club" will close ??

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...tip of the iceberg....???

 

...what about all other members....effectively his accomplices....???

 

....many being 'well-known'.....???

 

...except 'for the record'......suddenly unknown.....???

 

...555.....???

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5 hours ago, webfact said:

"I hope that people find peace and solace in the verdict," he said. "That's my genuine feeling from the heart, having nothing to do with being anyone's lawyer."

"... and that's why we're going to appeal the verdict."

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9 minutes ago, TooPoopedToPop said:

It will be interesting to see what punishment - if any - Claire Bronfman gets.

Bronfman, who has declined to speak to Forbesas she awaits her sentencing, agreed to forfeit $6 million to the federal government and to plead guilty to felony charges of harboring an illegal alien and the fraudulent use of a deceased person’s identity. If she had gone to trial, she could have faced 25 years in prison. Now she will likely serve a maximum of 27 months. Many observers see that as a sweet deal, considering she has poured approximately $150 million into Nxivm (pronounced: NEX-ee-um) since 2002. https://www.forbes.com/sites/willyakowicz/2019/05/31/from-heiress-to-felon-how-clare-bronfman-wound-up-in-cult-like-group-nxivm/#4eb9a64a3ecf

 

there's a dylan song that stands out regarding different justice for the wealthy and influential.

 

 

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1 hour ago, marcusarelus said:

Like a church except the sex in religion is bad.  

And for some reason, pedo priests seem to have a preference for underage boys

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Whilst I don't disagree at all with the comments posted on this thread (and agree that the conspirators need to be locked up for life) - as a female, I'm at a genuine loss to understand the women involved.

 

How greedy/unempathetic (on one side) do you have to be - and on the other side, how does anyone become so needy and pathetic to not only put up with this abuse, but recruit others to endure the abuse?

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12 hours ago, SOTIRIOS said:

...tip of the iceberg....???

 

...what about all other members....effectively his accomplices....???

 

....many being 'well-known'.....???

 

...except 'for the record'......suddenly unknown.....???

 

...555.....???

...

...

....???...???...

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