The founder of NXIVM, Keith Raniere, has spent, I would estimate, about $2 million to sue and criminally prosecute two of his ex-lovers and a former consultant for trespassing on a password protected NXIVM website.
It is not clear what harm was done by the alleged crimes.
The case is in the pre-trial stage and may soon be dismissed because of lack of jurisdiction.
Mr. Raniere has access to substantial money since he is funded by heiresses of the Seagrams liquor fortune, Clare and Sara Bronfman.
It was Clare Bronfman, as a NXIVM officer, who lodged the criminal complaints.
The computer that allegedly was ‘trespassed’ by Barbara Bouchey, Toni Natalie and Joseph O’Hara was said to located (the server) in Albany County.
Jurisdiction is needed by the Albany County Special Prosecutor, Holly Trexler, in order to proceed with the case.
This appears to be problematic for Raniere and evidence has recently come to light that suggests that some of Raniere’s followers may have lied to the prosecutor about the actual trespass and the location of the server.
The New York State law that the Special Prosecutor/Grand Jury charged the defendants of having violated is:
S 156.10 Computer trespass. A person is guilty of computer trespass when he or she knowingly uses, causes to be used, or accesses a computer, computer service, or computer network without authorization and: 1. he or she does so with an intent to commit or attempt to commit or further the commission of any felony; or 2. he or she thereby knowingly gains access to computer material. Computer trespass is a class E felony.
Instead of a felony, they might have been charged with a misdemeanor:
S 156.05 Unauthorized use of a computer. A person is guilty of unauthorized use of a computer when he or she knowingly uses, causes to be used, or accesses a computer, computer service, or computer network without authorization. Unauthorized use of a computer is a class A misdemeanor.
Based on the notes of the State Police Investigator Rodger Kirsopp, it seems clear that Raniere’s attorneys pushed for arrest and incarceration and court records show that significant attention was given to squeaking up to felony charges.
Mr. Raniere, who calls himself a philosopher on his bio, has been quoted by one of his disciples, “He who has the most joy wins!”
If there is a competition for joy, are there losers?
The two longest relationships with a primary lover (Mr. Raniere is a polygamist) was with Barbara Bouchey and Toni Natalie.
The two women who were closest to him in his life have been indicted through his efforts and at great cost. They have led joyless lives since he has started his million dollar hunt of them.
That hunt has been pursued through literally more than 20 civil lawsuits and an alleged attempt to lure them to Mexico to have them indicted and held without bail in a Mexican prison. This sounds fantastic of course, but there is an eyewitness and an electronic trail.
He (not she) who has the most joy wins.