The case of the People of The State of New York against Barbara Bouchey is a mountain made out of a molehill.
Bouchey was charged with e-felony criminal computer trespass (NY Penal Code S 156.10 ) arising out a visit to a NXIVM password protected website on Jan. 8 2014.
She pleaded “not guilty”.
The case features these indisputable facts:
- NXIVM has password protected website pages.
- There are two distinct areas where people who have passwords can access certain web pages.
- One is at the student level and the other is at the more restrictive coach level.
- Thousands of students past and present have been issued their own user name and password and can access the student section which is really a social webpage for Nxians and a place to sign up for more classes.
- In NXIVM vs. Foley et al, NXIVM describes STUDENT access as non-proprietary information such as social and workshop calendars, sales, testimonials, etc.
- Clare Bronfman, in an April 6, 2012, deposition given to the NY State Police stated, “Everyone that has taken classes through ESP has access to the computer system.”
- Bouchey was a student and had been given access by NXIVM which was never revoked. Indeed Bouchey had every right to access the webpages since, as a student, she had paid NXIVM over $50,000 for courses and was granted access to the NIXVM network, as part of a contractual agreement. Her access was not revoked.
- On the other hand, coaches have access to restricted and proprietary NXIVM web pages including the “Coach List,” which NXIVM reported to state police as “proprietary”. Only coaches have access to the coach list.
Bouchey’s sole login since she left NXIVM in 2009 took place on January 8, 2014.
During that login, she never accessed the Coach List. She only had access to the student section – the social humanities and workshop calendars that any student is allowed to access.
Her crime then seems not that she looked at proprietary info but, rather, that she did not use her own password but that of another student, Svetlana Kotlin.
Bouchey was charged with going on a webpage she had the right to go on because she used Kotlin’s password. Had Bouchey used her own password she could have used it with impunity.
Bouchey did have permission from Kotlin to use her password.
How she happened to log on on Jan. 8 2014 was happenstance.
She came across an old email from NXIVM member and computer tech, Ben Myers, (dated March 20, 2009) where he provided Bouchey with a password and user name of Kotlin which gave access to the student pages.
Bouchey could not recall her own password and coming across this old email, Bouchey, who had left NXIVM five years earlier, simply logged on the student page using Kotlin’s password.
As she told State Police Inv. Rodger Kirsopp, “l logged on curious to see if they were still growing …. I could see the training and social calendar, an application to sign up for a class. button for testimonials, and there was an area you could print out a sheet to help you set your goals… it was all social stuff… their social page, like when their next intensive [seminar] is and movie night.”
Kirsopp asked Bouchey: “so your purpose was not to obtain proprietary info but just to look at upcoming classes and are they are growing?”
Bouchey answered yes, that was the case.
On his Incident Report narrative dated January 14, 2014, Kirsopp lists pageload data provided by Myers [the same man that gave Bouchey the password], which showed Bouchey never accessed a “Coach List”.
What was the crime?
There are witnesses to prove Kotlin gave permission to Bouchey to use her password.
Permission to access a computer Under Penal Law 156.10, Computer Trespass, can be given by, “the owner or lessor or someone licensed or privileged by the owner.”
Since Kotlin and Bouchey were friends and since there was no sensitive information on the NXIVM student site, Bouchey had no intent nor did she harm NXIVM.
Why was she charged?
Bouchey was NXIVM founder Keith Raniere’s ex-lover. She lent him more than $1.6 million which he never repaid. This is well known and a matter of public record.
Raniere appears to be a vindictive man – as the record shows. The case of Barbara Bouchey is one for legal history books. It shows how the system can be influenced by a man with money and a desire for vengeance.
Both the Saratoga DA and the NYS Attorney General declined to prosecute this flimsy and victimless case.
The Albany County DA also declined to prosecute because of a conflict arising out of Raniere’s pursuit of another NXIVM enemy.
When Raniere was turned down by Saratoga DA and the New York State Atty General, he went to the Albany DA and they had a conflict.
Raniere’s attorney Michael McDermott was the former chief assistant Albany County DA.
McDermott arranged with his former colleagues to get a special prosecutor appointed. Ironically the special prosecutor was Holly Trexler, a former Albany County assistant DA – who worked under McDermott.
Trexler, now an attorney in private practice, is being paid by the taxpayers.
Three prosecutors turned down the case and the special prosecutor previously worked under NIXVM’s attorney. She gets paid to prosecute Bouchey for a single log on to NXIVM’s social media/student website because Bouchey used another student, not her own password.
They say “money can’t buy you love,” but in the case of Keith Raniere, money can buy you vengeance.
(Stay tuned as we reveal how, through what appears to be Raniere’s desire to persecute Bouchey, he may have caused his followers to perjure themselves.)