World News – US – Victim describes abuse by Nxivm Sex Cult chief Keith Raniere


During her sentencing hearing, a victim told the courtroom that she was 15 when Mr. Raniere sexually abused her first He faces life in prison

With a trembling voice, the witness, identified only as Camila, recalled on Tuesday the exact date she was sexually assaulted by Keith Raniere, the head of a personal development company called Nxivm which prosecutors called sex worship

It was September 18, 2005, she said in her victim impact statement She was 15 and he was 46 He insisted, she says, that they both recognize the date like their birthday

The relationship lasted 12 years, Camila said, with M Raniere repeatedly summoning her, sexually abusing her and taking pictures of herself naked She said she tried to kill herself once

« He wanted me to think that my only value was how he felt about me, » said Camila, who was the first victim to speak to Mr. Raniere’s sentencing hearing « It took a long time to process the trauma it caused »

Mr. Raniere had promised a path to happiness, appealing to prosperous and wealthy people, including those who felt they had no higher purpose in life His company offered empowerment workshops which were followed by Hollywood celebrities and business leaders

But below the surface, M Raniere was a puppeteer controlling a sectarian criminal enterprise, prosecutors revealed during his trial last year Some women in Nxivm were forced to have sex with Mr. Raniere, and even marked with his initials in a secret ceremony

Now M Raniere, 60, is sentenced in federal court in Brooklyn for his involvement in sex trafficking and other crimes

His conviction last year capped a staggering fall for a man who was once idolized by his supporters, but who has since been exposed as a fraudster who exploited Nxivm members for money, sex and money. power

Former members of Nxivm said that Mr. Raniere and her inner circle preyed on insecure people who hoped that immersing themselves in expensive self-help classes would unlock the key to self-fulfillment. Even highly educated people found themselves trapped inside M Raniere’s system, which he sold as the only way to overcome their fears, shaming anyone who tries to stop

At Mr Procès de Raniere, prosecutors lifted the veil on a sordid side in Nxivm (pronounced NEX-ee-um) One of the main targets was a secretive women-only group within the organization. of a videotaped initiation ceremony, the women lay naked on a table saying, “Master, please mark me,” as a cauterizing pen burned their skin without anesthesia

Some of these women testified that they thought they were joining a women’s empowerment group, only to find out that they had been invited to have sex with Mr. Raniere

Camila said on Tuesday that M Raniere had « damaged me in so many ways », and that she had to have an abortion « under his direction »

The women, known as ‘slaves’, needed permission to eat and were regularly required to hand over guarantees such as sexually explicit videos, which they constantly feared would be released Prosecutors called it extortion

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A jury convicted M Raniere last summer after a six-week trial Prosecutors charged him with racketeering, enforcing a statute that had been used to dismantle Mafia families in New York City.Besides sex trafficking, the jury found him guilty of crimes including child pornography, forced labor, identity theft and obstruction of justice

Prosecutors said in court documents that Mr. Raniere deserves a life sentence, a punishment usually reserved for cases of death or murder

Mr. Raniere’s lawyers argued that no one had been « shot, stabbed, punched, kicked, slapped or even shouted » This was not the typical case of organized crime, and Mr. Raniere should not have more than 15 years in prison, they argued

« No one has ever testified that they joined a drug gang, the Genoese family or a cartel because they believed that by doing so they could make the world a better place or bring a higher level of humanity to them- themselves and others, « His lawyers wrote

Prosecutors said that Mr. Raniere’s reluctance to accept responsibility and his contempt for his victims demonstrated that a life sentence was the only way to stop him from harming more people

To date, M Raniere has many supporters who believe he was wrongly convicted and insist that every activity in Nxivm was among consenting adults Dozens have written letters to court asking for clemency

Mr. Raniere himself expressed no regrets, accusing the federal judge, Nicholas G Garaufis, of corruption and demanding a new trial

« He is not sorry for his conduct or his choices, » his lawyers wrote in a court file last month, adding that he « intends to fight this case with all his might, confident that he will one day be justified »

In recent months, M Raniere led a campaign to overturn his conviction He asked his supporters to create a podcast on his case and hold a contest to find errors in his lawsuits in exchange for a cash prize of $ 25,000, documents show judicial

The company was largely funded by an heiress to Seagram’s liquor fortune, Clare Bronfman, who spent more than $ 100 million of her inheritance to sue Mr. Raniere’s enemies and support the organization She even bought an island in Fiji which the leaders of Nxivm used as a retreat

One of Nxivm’s top recruiters was Allison Mack, the former TV actress best known for her role in « Smallville, » whose glowing testimonials helped bring Hollywood celebrities into the organization. Dalai Lama spoke at Nxivm event

Mr. Raniere was charged with five women in his circle, including Ms. Bronfman and Ms. Mack Each of them pleaded guilty before his trial

Ms Bronfman was sentenced last month to over six years in prison for her role in Nxivm The others do not have sentencing dates yet

The group’s sales pitch stated that Mr. Raniere was a genius with one of the highest jeQ scores in the world

In fact, prosecutors said he graduated with a 226 grade point average from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NO, after failing some of the math and science courses he bragged about. later to follow

Many Nxivm members have never had sex with Mr. Raniere, but they faced pressure to pay more and more courses, sometimes taking on debt to do so A couple estimated they spent $ 300,000 on Nxivm courses and were forced to file for bankruptcy, the prosecutors

Since Mr. Raniere co-founded Nxivm in 1998, approximately 18,000 people have attended his courses in the United States, Mexico and Canada

NXIVM, Keith Raniere, Cult, Punishment, India Oxenberg, Allison Mack

News from the world – United States – Victim describes abuse by sex sect leader Keith Raniere Nxivm



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