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Keith Raniere is rarin’: His pitch for speedy Nxivm trial, and against child sex counts

[Keith Raniere]

Lots of court documents have hit the Nxivm file, and we’ve been sorting through them as we can. On Friday, Keith Raniere filed a motion to dismiss that included his argument for keeping the timing of the upcoming trial on track, with jury selection starting on April 8 and opening statements on April 29, and blames prosecutors for trying to delay things.

At the last court conference, the government searched for ways to yet again adjourn the Court’s firm trial date. It gratuitously stated, for example, that it was in active plea negotiations with three defendants, and suggested that may delay the trial.

This was a reference to news that actress Allison Mack, bookkeeper Kathy Russell, and Nancy Salzman’s daughter Lauren are apparently all in negotiations to take pleas, like Nancy already has done, which would leave only Raniere and Seagram heiress Clare Bronfman to face trial.

Raniere also referred to prosecutors alluding to the need for delays if the new superseding indictment would spawn a bunch of defendant motions. But that’s no excuse for putting things back:


None of these things should stand in the way of the Court’s firm trial date, especially when the government has already caused extensive pretrial delay of an incarcerated defendant who has been demanding a trial for almost a year.

Keith’s sick of sitting in jail at MDC in Brooklyn and he’s raring to go, in other words.

Raniere is not pleading guilty. He wants a trial. He wants a trial immediately. Moreover, he has been demanding a prompt trial for a year.

And Keith’s attorneys are very busy people, so if the judge thinks he’s going to move things back at all, they won’t have free time on their schedule until March 2020.

Raniere also asks for racketeering counts two, three, and four to be dismissed. Those are the new and very icky charges involving sexual exploitation of a minor and child pornography. The motion argues that photos of a 15-year-old girl, however, are from a hard drive that appears never to have been accessed, so perhaps the photos were taken, stored, and never looked at again, so how could they be part of a racketeering enterprise?

That these photographs were taken allegedly on November 2 and November 24 and then never looked at by anyone for fourteen years raises a serious question about what role these unreviewed photographs can possibly have on the affairs of the charged enterprise. Simply put, there is no role that these unreviewed photographs could possibly have in the affairs of the enterprise. In this regard, there is no connection or nexus between these photos and the enterprise for the simple reason that no one aside from the person photographed or allegedly Raniere, whom the government claims took the photos, even knows of their existence.

Well, that’s an interesting defense.

He also argues that the child sex counts are related only to the Northern District of New York (which includes the Albany area) and not the Eastern District, where the trial is happening. So again he’s asking for them to be dismissed, and we wonder if Judge Garaufis will refer these charges to the Northern District for prosecution.

Split up the defendants, split up the charges, dismiss the charges — this has been the drumbeat from attorneys for the defendants, while the government has continued to argue that everything is related under the racketeering case they intend to present, and that it all belongs in the courtroom in Brooklyn.

Will the trial happen at all? Frank Parlato has voiced the opinion that with things looking worse and worse, both Raniere and Bronfman may also take pleas to end this thing. But does that fit Raniere’s personality? Wouldn’t he crave the spectacle of a court trial, especially if it was focused even more on him with the other defendants falling away?

Let us know what you think.

Here’s the full document…

Nxivm Doc 456: Raniere Moti… by on Scribd


Posted by Tony Ortega on March 25, 2019 at 12:00

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Tony Ortega is a journalist who was formerly the editor of The Village Voice. He’s written about Scientology since 1995, and in May 2015 released a book about Scientology’s harassment of Paulette Cooper titled ‘The Unbreakable Miss Lovely,’ and more recently a compilation of his stories, ‘Battlefield Scientology.’ He continues to monitor breaking developments in the Scientology world, as well as other subjects at The Underground Bunker. You can reach him by sending him a message at tonyo94 AT (Drop him a line if you’d like to get an e-mail whenever a new story is posted.)


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