NXIVM Cult Leader Keith Raniere Found Guilty Of All Charges

The accused guru faced charges of racketeering, sex trafficking and child pornography.

Accused cult leader Keith Raniere has been found guilty of all charges, including racketeering, sex trafficking and child pornography, a jury ruled on Wednesday.

The 58-year-old leader of NXIVM, a group Raniere started under the guise of empowerment and self-help, will be sentenced on Sept. 25 and could face life behind bars.

A federal jury in Brooklyn needed less than five hours to determine Raniere was guilty of coercing women into unwanted sex using systematic shame and humiliation, among other charges.

Raniere showed no visible reaction as he learned the verdict, according to The Associated Press.

During the six-week-plus trial, prosecutors accused Raniere of making female members of his group live on starvation diets, ordering them to have sex with him and get branded with his initials.

Raniere had also created a secret sorority within NXIVM called DOS where female “slaves” were supposed to turn over compromising information including nude photos that were used to blackmail them, according to Reuters.

During the trial, one witness told the court that former “Smallville” cast member Allison Mack, who first got involved with NXIVM in 2006, used her fame to lure her into NXIVM for Raniere’s pleasure.

The woman, a 31-year-old woman identified only as “Nicole,” said Mack not only convinced her to falsely accuse her father of sexual abuse, but also sign a variety of documents releasing the group from liability for “physical and psychological injuries” and “disfigurement,” and also one allowing the cult leader to take credit for anything she published.

In April, Mack pleaded guilty to racketeering and racketeering conspiracy charges in connection with NXIVM.

She also described an incident where Raniere blindfolded her and took her to a house where she was ordered to disrobe and then tied her wrists and ankles to a table. Then a third person, who she later learned was female, began performing oral sex on her.

Raniere’s attorney, Marc Agnifilo, called no witnesses to the stand during the trial, he argued that no members of NXIVM were forced to do anything against their will, and all encounters were consensual, according to WCBS.

This has been updated throughout.

Popular in the Community