What was the NXIVM leader convicted of?
NXIVM sex cult leader and disgraced self-improvement guru, Keith Raniere, currently serving a 120 year prison sentence. According to The Hollywood Reporter, it was convicted of racketeering charges, racketeering conspiracy, wire fraud conspiracy, forced labor conspiracy, sex trafficking conspiracy, and two counts of sex trafficking. His conviction in June 2019 came after a six-week trial, during which victims gave compelling evidence.
Several other high-ranking members of NXIVM, including Seagram heiress Clare Bronfman, pleaded guilty to charges stemming from the same case. Raniere’s heinous crimes are depicted on the HBO documentary series The Vow, which premiered earlier this year. The Starz series Seduced: Inside the Nxivm Cult also revisits the issue.
Keith Raniere convicted and sentenced in NXIVM sex cult case
According to the BBC, NXIVM founder and cult leader Keith Raniere recruited women as slaves and forced them to have sex with him. Federal authorities began investigating the group in 2017 after it appeared in the New York Times. The group said they were “working to build a better world”. But instead, Raniere controlled female members through a slave and master system. Some victims were marked in their pelvic areas with initials in filmed rituals.
The outlet said that a former member, known as Daniela, testified at his trial that she was a minor when Raniere groomed her. The cult leader planned to take her virginity when she turned 18. The victim also testified that the accused raped her and her sisters and forced them to have abortions. He often had sex with underage girls.
Federal agents reportedly arrested Raniere in Mexico after the New York Times reported that he had fled the country. He was the only member of NXIVM’s leadership to face trial, as other co-conspirators accepted plea deals. A high-profile trial led to his conviction, after which he was sentenced to 120 years in prison.
According to the Federal Department of Corrections, the criminal is now serving his sentence at the United States Penitentiary in Tucson.