NXIVM Leader Keith Raniere 'Is Not Sorry': Lawyer

Racketeering and sex trafficking convictions could bring life sentence Tuesday
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 26, 2020 6:40 PM CDT
Nxivm Leader Keith Raniere 'Is Not Sorry': Lawyer
A courtroom sketch shows Keith Raniere, second from right, leader of NXIVM, at a court hearing in 2018.   (Elizabeth Williams via AP)

The leader of the self-help organization/sex cult Nxivm is scheduled to be sentenced Tuesday in New York after being convicted of charges including racketeering and sex trafficking. For hours, the court will hear statements from Keith Raniere's victims, the New York Times reports. It could be his last chance to avoid a life sentence. But don't expect Raniere to beg—or even ask—for forgiveness. There will be no expression of regret. "He is not sorry for his conduct or his choices," his lawyers wrote in a court filing. Instead, Raniere is launching a multifacted plan to have his conviction oveturned that includes a podcast about his case and a contest to find errors in the prosecution, filings say, which could bring a $25,000 cash prize. Raniere "intends to fight this case with all of his might, confident that he will one day be vindicated," the lawyers wrote.

When Raniere addresses the court Tuesday, it will be to protest his innocence, per the New York Post. "There is a horrible injustice here," he told NBC. "And whether you think I’m the devil or not, the justice process has to be examined." The judge, whom Raniere has called "crazy," has twice denied his requests for a new trial. Prosecutors said that Raniere used a secret sorority in NXIVM to basically imprison women and that he kept compromising material to force the women to have sex with him. Actress Catherine Oxenberg, whose daughter is a victim scheduled to speak at sentencing, said the women used by the organization "were completely unaware." Raniere, Oxenberg said, "was taking them, like, to hell," she said. (An heiress was sentenced last month for her role in Nxivm.)

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