Keith Raniere, the founder of Nxivm, the “self-help” company, that according to prosecutors allegedly had an inner sex cult, was found guilty in New York on all seven counts including sex trafficking, racketeering, racketeering conspiracy, forced labor conspiracy, wire fraud conspiracy, sex trafficking conspiracy and attempted sex trafficking, CNN has learned.
Raniere, 58, created the self-help company Nxivm in 2003. The company provided classes to nearly 17,000 individuals, including actress Allison Mack (Smallville) and Clare Bronfman, the Seagram’s liquor heiress. Raniere also ran a secret group within Nxivm, known as “DOS” or “The Vow” that allegedly functioned as a cult with Raniere at its head. Mack and Bronfman, who were both part of the inner DOS group, pleaded guilty in April to numerous charges in order to avoid trial.
DOS group members reportedly told the jury that they were pressured to have sex with Raniere, and were ceremonially branded near their bikini lines with Raniere’s initials. According to US attorney Richard Donoghue the trial “revealed that Raniere, who portrayed himself as a savant and a genius, was in fact a massive manipulator, a con man, and the crime boss of a cult-like organization involved in sex trafficking, child pornography, extortion, compelled abortions, branding, degradation and humiliation.”
Furthermore, prosecutors presented two digital images of an underage girl, which have been described in court papers as “child pornography” to the jury, The New York Times has learned. According to prosecutors, those images allegedly came from a computer that contained other sexually explicit images of women with whom Raniere allegedly had sexual relationships, including his former co-defendants, Kathy Russell, and Lauren Salzman.
Raniere’s attorney apologized to one of the victims after the verdict and said “What I do hope is I hope people find peace and solace in the verdict, I really do.”
Raniere, who could face life in prison, is scheduled to be sentenced on September 25.