Self-proclaimed American guru Keith Raniere, convicted of sexist cult, jailed for 120 years

Keith Raniere’s defense team suggested that a 15-year prison sentence would be appropriate. (File)

New York:

A self-help guru convicted of running a sectarian organization of sex slaves bearing his initials was sentenced Tuesday to 120 years in prison by a New York judge.

A life sentence for Keith Rani, 60, comes after he was convicted of coercing women into joining a life coaching group of charismatic leaders of Nxivm, a group of the rich and famous. Used to attract a category of

Followers signed up for 5-day $ 5,000 self-help classes, but some were subsequently subjected to financial and sexual abuse and forced into restrictive diets, such as Raniere – known as the “pawn ”Goes – excessive control, heard their six week trial. .

He created a faction within the group called DOS, a pyramid structure with female “slaves” and “Grandmaster” Raniere sitting at the top.

The “slaves” were forced to have sex with Raniere, pass on personal information and compromising photos – and some women were branded as if other members were withholding them.

Ranere was found guilty of all seven charges against her in June 2019, including racketeering, sex trafficking, extortion, criminal conspiracy and sexual exploitation of a 15-year-old girl.

“I was a child. (He) stole my youth, ”the woman said in an impact statement on her sentencing.

A total of 15 people – including 13 women – approached Brooklyn court on Tuesday, while more than 90 victims wrote letters to Judge Nicholas Goffis.

Nexium – pronounced Nexium after the organization was founded in New York State in 1998 – has proven to be a major draw with its promise of self-improvement courses.

But Ranier, who was arrested in Mexico in 2018, swapped personal development training courses for sex sessions leading a subgroup of more than 20 women – the youngest of whom was 15.

Heiress

The dramatic story has been the subject of two screen adaptations: the recently released HBO dairy series “The Wave” and “Esking the Nxwim Cult,” a 2019 Lisa Robinson film focused on the testimony of a mother who saves her daughter from the organization. Work for.

Addressing the court on Tuesday, Ranierre said he was “deeply sorry” for the “pain and anger” his victims had expressed but maintained his innocence.

“I don’t regret the allegations. They are not true, ”he said.

Five other people have been charged in this case and all have been convicted.

German-born American actress Allison Mack – best known for her role in “Smallville” – admitted two counts of racketeering in April 2019.

Heir to the Canadian Seagram beverage empire, Claire Bronfman, was also convicted last month after pleading guilty.

The group, 41, has been accused of using more than $ 100 million of the estimated estimated value of $ 2.6 billion for the funds and jailed for more than six years.

After Ranierre’s conviction, New York Attorney Richard Donoghue said proceedings showed that Ranierre, who presented himself as a vigilant and talented man, was in fact a master manipulator, a con artist and an organization like Panth. the heads of crime. “

Prosecutors had demanded life imprisonment, accusing Raniere of “total denial of blame”.

Citing subsequent confirmation calls and emails, the prosecution said Raniere presented his organization as a “good” thing, wondering “who will carry this torch of light on?

Ranier’s defense team – who unsuccessfully asked the jury to focus on whether they considered their actions legally, even if they were deemed immoral – suggested that a 15-year prison sentence would be appropriate.

(Except for the title, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and posted from a syndicated feed.)

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