Disgraced ‘self-improvement’ guru Keith Raniere has been sentenced to 120 years in prison for turning girls and young women into sex slaves.
Raniere, who followers called ‘Vanguard’, had a secret sorority, Nxivm, where he forced girls and women to have sex with him and branded them with his initials.
Women were also pressured into giving up embarrassing information about themselves that could be used against them if they left the group. His organisation, which some describe as a cult, attracted millionaires and Hollywood actors including Smallville’s Allison Mack.
US District Judge Nicholas Garaufis called Raniere, 60, ‘ruthless and unyielding’ in crimes that were ‘particularly egregious’ because he targeted girls and young women.
He was convicted of racketeering, sex trafficking, extortion and obstruction of justice. Prosecutors said he also had a sexual relationship in 2005 with a 15-year-old girl and confined another teenager to a room for almost two years.
‘I do believe I am innocent of the charges. … It is true I am not remorseful of the crimes I do not believe I committed at all,’ Raniere said.
Raniere’s refusal to accept responsibility or show remorse is one of the reasons for his unusually high sentence given by a federal court in Brooklyn.
Another motivating factor for the judge was hearing statements from victims of a sex-trafficking conspiracy that ended in Rainere’s conviction last year. (Metro)