Nxivm founder Keith Raniere to pay victims compensation of nearly $ 3.5 million
A federal judge has ruled that 21 people should receive a total of $ 3.46 million in restitution from Keith Raniere, the founder of Nxivm, for being the victim of his crimes of racketeering, sex trafficking and forced labor.
Raniere, who appeared at the video hearing from an Arizona federal facility where he is serving part of his 120-year sentence, was convicted of charges, including racketeering in 2019.
He was wearing a white mask and dark green prison uniform when he told the court he had yet to see the government’s submission for Tuesday’s restitution hearing, in part because of document restrictions , and in part because he had hired a new legal team.
“I don’t know who the victims are. I don’t know what they’re asking for, ”Raniere said.
Raniere is accused of having created a secret all-female group known as DOS within the Nxivm aid society, whose members served as “slaves” and “masters”.
Unbeknownst to many of the women in the group, Raniere was the leader of the group and would often ask women to have sex with him or send him sexually explicit photos of themselves. Some of the women were forced to have his initials marked on their pelvic regions, witnesses said at his trial. Many women were expected to be on call around the clock, asked to do chores or participate in “preparation exercises”.
The women in DOS were first informed that the group was a women’s empowerment group, were asked to provide compromising information about themselves in order to guarantee their secrecy, known as the “guarantee,” which ranged from sexually explicit photos of themselves to letters making false and damaging statements about loved ones.
As part of the rendition decision, US District Judge Nicholas Garaufis, who presided over Raniere’s trial, ordered during the tense restitution hearing on Tuesday that Raniere restore the “guarantee” he still controlled or which he has access to, once he has exhausted his remedies.
Raniere said at the hearing that he “never handled the warranty.”
Garaufis said more than 100 Raniere victims submitted compensation claims for about $ 133 million, but reduced the scope of restitution to 17 victims for a total of about $ 3.46 million, that he had ordered Raniere to pay immediately.
The judge awarded money to the victims, many of whom were involved in DOS or part of the sex and human trafficking charges of which Raniere was convicted. Many of the identities of the victims were not disclosed, as they were also mentioned at trial under pseudonyms.
Garaufis ordered victims who were marked to receive approximately $ 2,500 for the costs associated with removing their marks, and he ordered many victims to receive restitution payments to cover the costs of past mental health services and futures, claiming that Raniere was a “predominant author of psychological disorders.” torture.”
The victim who received the highest amount of restitution was the girl at the center of the child pornography charges for which Raniere was convicted.
Prosecutors said the girl was 15 when Raniere started having sex with her and forced her to submit sexually explicit photos when she was underage. She was ordered to receive more than $ 500,000, which includes money to have her mark removed, for unpaid labor and expenses related to the case.
The New York Times reported in 2019 that Raniere spoke in court upon his conviction, maintaining his innocence and saying some of the victims were lying but also saying he was “deeply sorry”.
“Where I am is caused by me,” Raniere said, according to The New York Times. “That’s all I do.”