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NXIVM: Government drops Keith Raniere’s child sex charges for Albany prosecutor to handle

[Keith Raniere]

Surprising news in a document filed yesterday by prosecutors in the Nxivm case: They have agreed with Nxivm leader Keith Raniere that the new child sex charges in a superseding indictment don’t belong in the Brooklyn trial which is scheduled to start on April 29. Instead, those charges will be considered for prosecution by the US Attorney in the Northern District of New York, which is centered in Albany.

“As Raniere correctly notes, the government has never asserted that these out-of-venue charges can be tried in the Eastern District of New York absent a waiver of venue from the defendants charged in those counts,” prosecutors wrote in their brief, which otherwise argues against motions to dismiss that had been submitted by Raniere and the other remaining defendants.

Nxivm was an enterprise largely based in the Albany area, but enough of the allegedly illegal activity occurred in Brooklyn that the racketeering case is being prosecuted there. But as Frank Parlato points out, the Northern District prosecutors had many years of complaints and never brought a criminal case against Raniere. Will they now take seriously the child sex charges the Brooklyn prosecutors are sending their way?

Frank says there’s reason to believe that the new Albany-based US Attorney, Grant Jaquith, who was appointed by Trump last year, will likely take his job seriously, and the result might be two Nxivm trials.

But there’s more surprising stuff in the government’s memo. As they once again counter arguments by the defendants about dividing up the charges or dropping them, prosecutors tend to reveal a few more details that they had been saving for trial, and this was no exception.


The nude photos of a 15-year-old girl were found on a hard drive with similar images of some of his co-defendants, and in similar poses that reflected his sexual taste…

The sexually explicit photographs of Jane Doe 2 were found on a hard drive seized from 8 Hale Drive, in a folder titled “BACKUPS,” in a subfolder titled “Studies,” which in turn contained 12 subfolders, each of which contained numerous sexually explicit photographs of other members and associates of the Enterprise with whom Raniere had sexual relationships, including Raniere’s codefendants Lauren Salzman and Kathy Russell. The photographs in each of the 12 subfolders were taken contemporaneously with the photographs of Jane Doe 2, and the women in all of the photographs – including Jane Doe 2 – were photographed in many of the same poses. The government anticipates that multiple witnesses at trial will testify that these poses are consistent with Raniere’s sexual preferences and are similar to the poses depicted in photographs Raniere demanded and obtained as collateral from “first-line” DOS “masters,” including codefendants Allison Mack and Lauren Salzman. Further, Jane Doe 2 ultimately became the first member of DOS and continues to be a member of the Enterprise. In other words, the government will prove at trial that Raniere “was enabled to commit the predicate offenses [in Racketeering Acts Two, Three and Four] solely by virtue of his position in the enterprise or involvement in or control over the affairs of the enterprise,” and “that th[ose]e predicate offenses are related to the activities of that enterprise.”

As to the defendants arguing that they should not be tried with Raniere and his more serious charges, the government once again says that a racketeering case brings in similar evidence against all of them, even the most awful new allegations…

The severance motions filed by defendants Bronfman, Mack and Russell are without merit and should be denied. Although they repeatedly attempt to argue otherwise, Bronfman, Mack and Russell are each charged in an overarching RICO conspiracy involving predicate acts of human trafficking, sex trafficking, and child exploitation, and the evidence regarding these offenses is admissible against them as proof of the enterprise and the pattern of racketeering charged in S-2. As set forth in its motions to admit enterprise evidence, see DE 414, 407, the government expects to admit evidence that the members of the charged enterprise recruited and groomed sexual partners for Raniere, both within and outside of DOS, and were aware of and facilitated Raniere’s sexual relationship with underage victims.


At trial, the government will prove that Bronfman, Mack and Russell were themselves each in sexual relationships with Raniere and, at various times, undertook efforts to facilitate Raniere’s access to other women. For example, the government expects to present evidence, in the course of proving Racketeering Act Eight, that Bronfman instructed a woman not to have sexual relationship with her husband. That woman was later recruited to become a DOS “slave” and was tasked with sending nude photographs to Raniere, among other assignments. As another example, the victim identified in the child exploitation racketeering acts, Jane Doe 2, is the same individual that was later housed by Russell, at Raniere’s direction, under an assumed name in Clifton Park, New York. Jane Doe 2 is also a “first-line” DOS “slave,” along with Mack, and the evidence of Jane Doe 2’s evolving relationship with Raniere — including when it began — is central proof relating to DOS. Under these circumstances, the danger of spillover prejudice resulting from a joint trial is non-existent, because the pattern of racketeering activity alleged would be proven against each defendant whether she was tried separately or with her co-conspirators.

But the big news, of course, is that the child sex charges are going away, and the Brooklyn prosecutors are working with the Albany office to see that something is done about them…

“The undersigned have been in contact with the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York and will determine how to proceed on Counts Three, Four, Five and Eleven following their dismissal in this matter.”

Here’s the document…

Nxivm Doc 485: Gov memo on pretrial motions 2nd superseding indictment by Tony Ortega on Scribd


Posted by Tony Ortega on March 30, 2019 at 15:50

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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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