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Why a Nxivm witness came forward to testify about her slavery: ‘Justice’

[Attorney Marc Agnifilo completed his cross of Daniela on Friday. Photo: Dianne Lipson]

Three witnesses appeared in Friday’s afternoon session of the Nxivm trial, and here’s Dianne Lipson’s report…

Friday afternoon featured the end of Daniela’s testimony. In cross-examination Agnifilo asked about the times Dani’s father and sister Mariana visited her. He showed in evidence pictures of them together in Mexico. Smiling, happy pictures. It’s not hard to see where Agnifilo was going with this.

Next, Agnifilo asked if Mark Vicente had warned Dani of an impending raid by law enforcement. Did he tell you to get Cami out of the US? Dani answered no to both questions. He asked if Dani had called Frank Parlato. Yes, she had, to ask him to take her name out of his articles. Agnifilo: Did you call Frank Parlato after your conversation with Mark Vicente? Dani: Not that I recall.

Agnifilo asked Dani if she has a lawyer, which she does have. He asked if she had any intention of bringing a civil lawsuit against Nxivm. She said she has no plans to do this. She needed counsel to handle the situation with Camila, and after that, to interact with officials from the government. Agnifilo then asked, were there no discussions about a civil lawsuit? The prosecution objected, and it was sustained.

Agnifilo: Did you tell the government about the fake ID made for Camila? Dani: I think so. Agnifilo: You can’t remember? Dani: That’s right. (Dani was not letting Agnifilo push her around.)


Agnifilo asked, You’re not being prosecuted for all the crimes you told the court you committed? Did you admit to hacking? Did you admit to entering the US illegally with a fake ID? Dani answered yes to these questions, and that was the end of cross.

In re-direct, Penza asked Dani if she was subpoenaed to testify. She was not. Penza: Are you testifying voluntarily? Dani: Yes. Penza: Has the government made any promises to you? Dani: No. Penza: Why did you tell your story? Dani: For justice for me and my family. This was the end of Daniela’s testimony.

The next witness called was Elizabeth Butler. Now retired, she was both nurse practitioner and office manager of McGinnis Women’s Medical Care, in Albany. Ms. Butler explained the difference between a surgical abortion, done in a hospital, and a medical abortion, brought about by medication. A surgical abortion costs several thousand dollars, but a medical abortion, at the time Ms. Butler retired, was $750, making it the better option for an uninsured patient. Before a medical abortion, there are multiple office visits to be sure the patient is confident she wants to terminate the pregnancy. In a medical abortion, the patient takes the first round of medication in the facility in front of the practitioner. The next medication is taken at home. The risks are severe pain and hemorrhaging. Because these side effects can come on suddenly, the patient should have another person with them. It is not safe to be by yourself at that time. (Dani was left by herself at the time of her abortion. The only monitoring was phone calls by Pam. Later, Dani made sure she was with her sister Cami during her abortion, so she wouldn’t have to go through this frightening process alone like Dani did.)

On the medical forms used by the facility, patients are asked how long they have been sexually active. Hypothetically, if an 18-year-old says she has been sexually active for five years, questions are asked by the staff to see if there was abuse.

Cami’s appointment history was shown, several appointments over years, some of which were annual check-ups. The receptionist makes a note on the appointment if there is anything unusual. Each of Cami’s appointments contained the note that ‘friend Pam made the appointment.’ Pam was noted as nearest relative, or contact person, on both Dani’s and Cami’s medical forms.

In an annual check up form for Cami, in 2011, when she was 21 years old (Cami was born in 1990), Cami wrote that she had been with her partner for 5 years. Ms. Butler said the patient was asked questions about this.

Ms. Butler became aware of Pam because of a call made to the office, in May of 2018, after one of the girls came in for termination of pregnancy. Pam called very upset, and demanded to talk to Dr. McGinnis and no one else. Ms. Butler, whose job it was to handle these calls, returned the call. Pam was upset, yelling. She accused the office of violating HIPAA (privacy) laws. She was accusing the staff of ideas being put into the girl’s head about abuse. Ms. Butler told Pam she could vent all she wants, but Butler couldn’t speak to Pam about information regarding the patient without a signed consent form allowing this.

Cross-examination with Teny Garagos was only a few questions. She did show on a form the patient denied that sex was non-consensual, and wrote that the partner was aware of her pregnancy.

The next witness called was Sheila Jelonek, who owns rental properties in Clifton Park. In 2011, a woman named Kathleen O’Sullivan wanted to rent a property from her. She offered to pay an entire year up front. O’Sullivan said she was a widow whose husband had left her well off. In court, Kathleen O’Sullivan was proved to be Kathy Russell. Kathleen O’Sullivan rented the property for 7 years. For the first year, O’Sullivan paid for the entire year up front, and in cash. Every subsequent one-year lease renewal was the same. They would meet at Starbucks, the lease would be signed, and payment would be in cash in 100’s and 50’s, in a paper bag.

During the time the apartment was rented by Kathleen O’Sullivan, a broken furnace caused damage to the apartment. The installer of the new furnace had Ms. Jelonek’s name for the warranty, but needed a contact number. A woman at the property provided her own number. The phone number provided turned out to belong to Daniela Padilla (Not the Daniela who testified.) Later, a third woman was seen in the apartment. Kathleen O’Sullivan expressed interest in buying the property, but Ms. Jelonek did not want to sell.

In June of 2018, at the end of the lease signed in 2017, Jelonek called Katheen O’Sullivan twice, but the calls were not returned. It was getting close to the end of the lease, and there was no return call from O’Sullivan. Ms. Jelonek went to the property to post a 30-day notice for the tenant to leave. She knocked on the door, there was no answer, so she entered through the unlocked door. There were ‘blackout’ curtains on the windows, letting in no light. There were a lot of boxes, a lot of cobwebs. The witness testified that she left, put the 30-day notice on the door, and locked it. She subsequently came back to clean out the fridge, and to plan how she would get the stuff out. She took video. The video shows heavy curtains, with drawn blinds under the curtains. In the kitchen, there were dishes in the dish drainer. On the refrigerator, letter magnets were arranged to spell out colorful expressions: i suck big hard dick!, hard on, penis, jzm, 69, pussy. And one that appeared to read: slap my heinie. The camera panned to show a cork board with a photo of Raniere. On a paper on the cork board, written under a heading “What you need to know:”, were instructions about the mailbox key and the Internet password. In a bedroom, a tripod was set up near the bed.

Ms. Jelonek called Kathy one more time, and this time she picked up. Kathleen offered to pay in cash for 6 more months, but Ms. Jelonek said no. She agreed to extend the lease for one more month, until August, for Kathy to remove her things.

There was no cross of this witness.

The next witness called was James Loperfido, the associate of Joe O’Hara whose computer was hacked by Nxivm. Loperfido, a tax preparer and business consultant, was introduced to Nxivm by O’Hara. (O’Hara later became an enemy of Nxivm.) The witness met with Nancy Salzman and Kathy Russell. In a ‘handshake agreement,’ he did basic business consulting, accounting, and forming of corporations. In response to a questions from Prosecutor Lesko, Mr. Loperfido said he created many companies under the Nxivm umbrella, more companies than than he had created for any other corporation he had ever worked for. The purpose of these companies was to provide protection from lawsuits.

Mr. Loperfido met with Raniere. Loperfido said Raniere was the decision maker and ran Nxivm. Loperfido met with Kathy Russell to mitigate tax liability. The ultimate goal was zero tax. He did some work dealing with non-payment of taxes of both companies and individuals in Nxivm. He prepared tax returns for Nxivm, Nancy, and Pam.

Before he could work for Nxivm, Loperfido was required to take a 5-day Nxivm intensive. He learned the meaning of the word ‘suppressive.’ He later took an 11-day intensive, but after that he did not want to take any more. It was too much, there was always a new class to take.

Every time he traveled to Albany, he took his laptop. He left the laptop unattended for lunch, and once for an ice cream trip. This ice cream cone trip was unique, it hadn’t happened before. In response to questions by Lesko, the witness said his password was only known to him, he did not give anyone permission to access his laptop or to place any device on it, definitely not a keylogger. He did not know a keylogger was placed on his computer, and he only knew about it when he was told later.

Although the company was in Nancy Salzman’s name, clearly Raniere was running it. Raniere was revered. Loperfido was told that Keith tried to develop an algorithm for commodities trading. Loperfido said tens of millions of dollars were lost, from Clare and possibly her sister.

Mr. Loperfido is a cinephile. He was the projectionist for a documentary shown on V-week (Raniere’s annual birthday celebration). The subject of the doc was that taxes are unconstitutional. Loperfido was concerned about how one-sided the doc was, and he wanted to address the audience himself with his concerns, but he was not allowed to.

A regular topic of discussion by Nancy and Kathy was about people ‘coming after’ Nxivm, such as Rick Ross. Legal fees were affecting the company’s cash flow.

Nancy and Kathy wanted Loperfido to move to Albany, but he didn’t want to. He did not want to be involved the day-to-day operations. He had concerns that they were inconsistent, even though they preached consistency and integrity.

Nxivm eventually had a conflict with Joe O’Hara. Joe was not getting along with Keith and Nancy. I believe there was a loan of 2 million to O’Hara for a land deal. If Nancy got O’Hara the two million, in return he would work for free for Nxivm. Subsequently, O’Hara was sued by Clare.

Loperfido was now in an awkward position. He was still coming to the Nxivm office (with his laptop). Nancy and Kathy wanted him to give them information on O’Hara. They wanted Loperfido to get away from O’Hara, saying O’Hara was suppressive. Loperfido did a deposition for Clare’s attorneys, which he says was “difficult.” There was a court order for the hard drives in Loperfido’s office, to look for info about O’Hara. Nxivm offered to pay the legal fees if Loperfido had a problem with O’Hara. But then they withdrew the offer and Loperfido was terminated. Loperfido will continue testifying when court resumes on Wednesday of next week.

End of Day 16


Posted by Tony Ortega on June 1, 2019 at 14:50

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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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