NXIVM Sex-Cult Leader Keith Raniere Sentenced to 120 Years in Prison After Accusers Confront Him in Court

NXIVM Sex-Cult Leader Keith Raniere Sentenced to 120 Years in Prison After Accusers Confront Him in Court

For two decades, NXIVM founder Keith Raniere was hailed as “the smartest man in the world” by thousands who joined his ultra-secretive organization in upstate New York that preached personal growth through sacrifice.

But on Tuesday, his downfall was made complete when the 60-year-old was sentenced by a judge to 120 years in prison for sex trafficking and fraud, shortly after 15 former NXIVM members confronted him in Brooklyn federal court, recalling in harrowing detail the abuse they endured in his sex cult.

In addition to what is effectively a life sentence, U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis slapped Raniere with a $1.75 million fine for his crimes, stating that his offenses were “cruel, perverse, and extremely serious.” The judge also forbade Raniere from having contact with any NXIVM associates.

Addressing the court on Tuesday, Raniere expressed his “deep remorse” to those he has hurt over the years—but continued to insist he has been wrongfully accused.

“I am deeply sorry and I see that where I am is caused by me. I am deeply remorseful and repentant,” he said. “It is true I am not remorseful over the crimes I do not believe I have committed at all. But I am deeply remorseful of all this pain.”

The sentencing marks the end of a years-long battle between Raniere, known as “Vanguard,” and scores of former members who allege NXIVM was a criminal enterprise in which Raniere had sex with underage girls, forced women he impregnated to have abortions, and made “slaves” illegally monitor his enemies. Last June, Raniere was convicted of seven offenses—including wire fraud conspiracy, sex trafficking conspiracy, and forced labor conspiracy—for manipulating his followers for his own sexual gratification under the guise of NXIVM’s mission.

Camila, one of Raniere’s victims, slammed the sex-cult leader in court on Tuesday afternoon, describing how he “hid his abuse behind concepts of value and nobility.”

“But there is nothing noble about abusing a child,” she declared as Raniere looked away.

Camila, who said she had a sexual relationship with Raniere for over 12 years—beginning when she was 15 years old—spoke for the first time about the abuse she endured, detailing to the court how he isolated her from friends and family for his “sexual gratification.”

The woman, now in her 30s, explained that her decision to speak was her way of “getting her voice back” after years of “coming to terms with the trauma and abuse.”

Throughout Raniere’s trial, jurors saw sexually explicit messages between the pair, including multiple conversations about BDSM. Prosecutors used Camila’s abuse as the basis for Raniere’s child-pornography charge.

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