Jun 14, 2018

Accused sex cult leader wants out of jail before trial, says women volunteered for his ceremonies

Janon Fisher
The San Diego Union-Tribune
June 11,2018

The women who branded themselves as part of an initiation ceremony in an Albany sex cult did so voluntarily, the lawyer for the group’s accused leader said, arguing in court papers for his client’s release from jail prior to trial.

Keith Raniere, 57, is not a danger to the community and should be sprung, attorney Marc Agnifilo argued in a bail application, because the sex and the branding were done of the women’s own volition.

“Several of the women chose to voluntarily brand themselves,” he said.

Raniere is willing to post $10 million bond, restrict his travel, wear a GPS monitor, have two 24-hour armed guards and other restrictions in exchange for his freedom before his court date.

Actress Allison Mack, a co-star on TV’s “Smallville,” is charged with sex trafficking and forced labor conspiracy in the case.

Prosecutors say that within Raniere’s supposed self-help organization NXIVM was a secret society of sex slaves forced into devoting themselves to “masters” — with Raniere at the top of the heap, according to authorities.

Mack, they say, helped recruit women into the alleged cult.

The 35-year-old is out on $5 million bond and is under house arrest in Los Alamitos, Calif.

Raniere remains locked up in Brooklyn federal jail.

Their trial is scheduled to start in October.


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