What Was the NXIVM Leader Convicted Of?

NXIVM sex cult leader and disgraced self-improvement guru, Keith Raniere, is currently serving a 120-year prison sentence. According to The Hollywood Reporter, he was convicted on charges 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 victims gave intense testimony.

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 have been depicted on HBO’s documentary series The Vow, which premiered earlier this year. Starz series Seduced: Inside the Nxivm Cult also revisits the case.

Keith Raniere convicted & sentenced in NXIVM sex cult case

According to BBC, NXIVM founder and cult leader Keith Raniere recruited women as slaves and forced them to have sex with him. Federal authorities started investigating the organization in 2017 following a New York Times expose. The group claimed to be “working to build a better world”. But instead, Raniere controlled female members through a slave and master system. Some victims were branded in their pelvic areas with his initials in filmed ceremonies.

The outlet reported that a former member, known as Daniela, testified at his 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 accused impregnated her as well as her sisters and forced them to have abortions. He often had sex with underage girls.

Reportedly, federal agents arrested Raniere in Mexico after the New York Times exposé stated 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. The high-profile trial resulted in his conviction, following which he received a 120-year prison sentence.

According to the Federal Department of Corrections, the convict is now serving his sentence at the United States Penitentiary in Tucson.

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