NEW YORK (AP) — The unrepentant former chief of the cult-like NXIVM group was ordered on Tuesday to pay $3.5 million to 21 victims of a sex-trafficking scheme, a sum together with the price of surgically eradicating scars from branding rituals carried out by a secret sorority.
The manufacturers depicting the initials of Keith Raniere had been meant to represent the womens’ standing as intercourse slaves for the self-help guru who as soon as had a global following. A decide in federal court docket in Brooklyn additionally ordered Raniere to return “collateral” — nude images and different doubtlessly embarrassing materials — that was used to extort and manipulate the victims.
Raniere, showing by video from an Arizona jail, instructed the decide he was baffled by the restitution order.
“I’ve by no means dealt with collateral,” he stated. “I don’t know something about it.”
He added at one other level: “I don’t know who the victims are.”
Raniere — recognized to members of the upstate New York group as “Vanguard” and “the neatest man on this planet” — was sentenced final 12 months to 120 years in jail for his conviction on racketeering conspiracy and different expenses. It was one other occasion the place he refused to take duty.
“I do consider I’m harmless of the fees. … It’s true I’m not remorseful of the crimes I don’t consider I dedicated in any respect,” he stated.
A 41-year-old inheritor to the Seagram’s fortune, Clare Bronfman, was sentenced to just about seven years in jail in September for her function as Raniere’s unwavering benefactor, whereas one other follower, “Smallville” actor Allison Mack, was sentenced to 3 years final month.
It was unclear if Raniere has the means to pay restitution that’s additionally meant to cowl prices of psychological well being remedy and unpaid labor. Bronfman has been paying his authorized payments.
The listening to on Tuesday was interrupted close to the tip when one in every of Raniere’s attorneys, Marc Fernich, lashed out at U.S. District Choose Nicholas Garaufis for not granting a delay within the continuing in order that Fernich might go to a funeral.
“It’s an absence of human decency and it’s disgraceful,” the lawyer stated.
The decide, who stated the schedule really gave Fernich sufficient time to attend, sat for a half hour in stony silence till the lawyer apologized.