A verdict has been reached within the trial of Keith Raniere.
On Wednesday afternoon, a jury in a Brooklyn federal courtroom discovered the co-founder of NXIVM responsible of all counts together with racketeering, racketeering conspiracy, wire fraud conspiracy, compelled labor conspiracy, intercourse trafficking, intercourse trafficking conspiracy and tried intercourse trafficking. The jury additionally discovered that the federal government proved all charged racketeering acts.
The jury started deliberating at 9:25 native time that means a verdict was reached in a matter of hours. Keith faces as much as life behind bars.
For the previous six week of testimony, group members got here ahead and alleged they have been pressured to have intercourse with Keith.
Whereas the defendant pleaded not responsible, he didn’t testify within the case and his protection legal professional didn’t name any witnesses.
“It’s possible you’ll discover him repulsive, disgusting and offensive. We do not convict folks on this nation for being repulsive or offensive,” protection legal professional Marc Agnifilo shared in closing arguments in accordance with CNN. “Unpopular concepts aren’t felony. Disgusting concepts aren’t felony.”
Elizabeth Williams through AP, File
Prosecutors, nonetheless, had a distinct view on the case after they spoke to jury members one final time.
“The defendant tapped right into a unending circulate of girls and cash,” prosecutor Moira Penza shared. “[He was] against the law boss with no limits and no checks on his energy.”
In latest months, 5 girls together with Smallville actress Allison Mack pleaded responsible to lesser prices, leaving Keith as the one one going to trial following a months-long federal investigation into NXIVM and DOS—the alleged secret society that included 15 to 20 girls whom Keith would have intercourse with (whereas they have been instructed to be devoted to him).
DOS, in accordance with prosecutors, is an acronym for the Latin “Dominus Obsequious Sororium,” which roughly interprets to “Grasp of the Obedient Feminine Companions.”
All through the authorized course of, Keith’s authorized workforce argued that NXIVM was a “great humanitarian group” whose members have “sought to finish the violence in Mexico, have launched instruments helpful to folks with tough circumstances, reminiscent of Tourette’s syndrome, have pioneered multi-linguistic faculties for younger kids, who would change into proficient in a number of languages and later multi-cultural adults, and have developed approaches to assist folks lead happier, extra productive, extra enriched lives.”
Prosecutors, nonetheless, alleged that NXIVM—a purported self-help group primarily based in Albany, N.Y.—resembled a pyramid scheme through which individuals might solely transfer up the ladder by paying extra and recruiting extra folks. To even get the possibility to fulfill Keith, individuals often needed to full a 16-day course that price $7,500.
Sentencing is predicted to be introduced at a later day.