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NXIVM leader, Keith Raniere, has been jailed for 120 years for running a twisted 'cult' where women were branded like cattle and treated like slaves.
The 60-year-old, who branded himself as a Ghandi for lost professionals, was in fact a sicko who assaulted young women.
He was sentenced in Brooklyn Federal Court on Tuesday, and was initially delayed as so many people had shown up to attend it.
He had been facing a maximum sentence of life after being convicted of sex trafficking of children, conspiracy, and conspiracy to commit forced labor in June, 2019.
His lawyers had asked that his sentence be 15 years, but after he told the judge he had "no remorse" for his wicked crimes because he "didn't commit them", he was handed a 120-year jail sentence.
Fifteen women bravely stood up to give victim impact statements during the hearing, among them were former girlfriends and victims.
The hearing took place more than hour after the scheduled time due to the number of people who had turned up and social distancing rules in place.
The first statement to be read out was from a woman who called herself Camila.
She called Raniere a "monster", and other statements referred to him as a "parasite" and a "psychological terrorist".
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Camila was 15 and he was 45 when he raped her – which Raniere denies – he had moved her and her sister to the US from Mexico in 2005.
She said: "I became unreachable to my parents, my brother, my friends until I had nobody to worry about me. He knew the things that mattered most to me and what I feared and used that against me."
The 60-year-old was convicted of racketeering, racketeering conspiracy, wire fraud conspiracy, sex trafficking, attempted sex trafficking, sex trafficking conspiracy and forced labor conspiracy, but not rape.
Camila also told the court he forced her to weigh less than 100lbs and he once made her get an abortion.
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India Oxenberg, the daughter of Dynasty actress Catherine Oxenberg, also spoke. She said Raniere treated her like his 'human science experiment'.
She also said: "You’re a liar and sadist for getting pleasure watching our skins burn. I may have to live the rest of my life with Keith Raniere’s initials on my skin.
"I will be the victim of Keith Raniere’s for the rest of my life – but I don’t need to act like one."
His ex-girlfriend who he dated in the 1990s said the 'cult' leader needed to be locked away for life, like Charles Manson.
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Raniere founded NXIVM in Albany, New York, in 1998 and between that time and 2017, recruited more than 17,000 people, promising self-help.
But within the organisation, there was a sub-sect named DOS – created in 2015 – where women were treated as sexual slaves.
They were branded with his initials, starved, forced to engage in group sex and sleep deprived.
They say they were blackmailed with 'collateral' they had provided in the form of incrimination photos, videos or information about themselves or their loved ones.
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However, Raniere maintains he has done nothing wrong and still receives support of some loyal followers, with the judge receiving fifty letters asking for leniency in his sentencing.
But Judge Nicholas Garaufis ensured he would remain in prison for life, saying he is yet to show any remorse for his crimes.
To him, the brave victims … are liars,’’ Garaufis said in bringing down the gavel on the sex-trafficker, including ordering him to pay a $1.72 million fine (£1.3million).
“Mr. Raniere remains unmoved. … [He] has therefore failed to demonstrate remorse,’’ instead maintaining “to this day that he’s done nothing wrong,” the judge said.
“I do believe strongly that I’m innocent of the charges,’’ Raniere said. “But it’s also true I see all of this pain.
“They’re lying for a reason, and that reason stems from me,’’ he said.
“I do feel deep remorse, but I do not feel remorseful for the crimes I did not commit."
- In the News
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