Leader of the NXIVM sex cult and disgraced self-help guru, Keith Raniere, is currently serving a 120-year prison sentence. According to the Hollywood Reporter, he was convicted of racketeering, racketeering conspiracy, wire fraud conspiracy, forced labor conspiracy, sex trafficking conspiracy and two counts of sex trafficking. His conviction came in June 2019 after a six-week trial, during which the victims gave intense testimony.
Several other high-ranking NXIVM members, including Seagram heiress Clare Bronfman, have pleaded guilty to charges stemming from the same affair. Raniere’s heinous crimes were depicted in the HBO documentary series The Vow, which premiered earlier this year. The Starz series Seduced: Inside the Nxivm Cult also revisits the affair.
Keith Raniere Convicted and Sentenced in NXIVM Sex Cult Case
According to the BBC, the founder and leader of the NXIVM cult, Keith Raniere, recruited women as slaves and forced them to have sex with him. Federal authorities began investigating the organization in 2017 following a New York Times article. The group claimed to be “working to build a better world”. But instead, Raniere controlled the female members through a system of slaves and masters. Some victims were branded with his initials in the pelvic region during filmed ceremonies.
The outlet reported that a former member, known as Daniela, testified during her trial that she was a minor when Raniere groomed her. The cult leader intended to take her virginity when she turned 18. The victim also testified that the defendant got her and her sisters pregnant and forced them to have an abortion. He often had sex with underage girls.
Federal agents reportedly arrested Raniere in Mexico after the New York Times expose said he had fled the country. He was the only member of NXIVM leadership to go to trial, while other co-conspirators accepted plea deals. The high-profile trial resulted in his conviction, following which he was sentenced to 120 years in prison.
According to the federal Department of Corrections, the convict is currently serving his sentence at the United States Penitentiary in Tucson.