The Meteoric Rise Of Holly A. Trexler – special prosecutor on computer trespassing case

Holly Trexler has made the most of her time with the Albany County DA

By K. R. Claviger

Lots of people have profited significantly from their association with – or representation of – NXIVM/Executive Success Programs (ESP).

Although most of ESP’s “students” ended up owing huge amounts of money to the company because of all the training courses they took in order to move along the Stripe Path, many non-students actually earned some huge fees from NXIVM/ESP.

One non-student who has not received any fees from NXIVM/ESP – at least not any that have surfaced to date – but who has profited greatly from her association with the cult is Albany City Court Judge Holly A. Trexler.

Trexler, who will turn 47 on January 21st, describes herself on her Twitter account ( as a “former criminal defense attorney extraordinaire”. Surprisingly, the extraordinary Ms. Trexler only has 168 followers on Twitter.

Prior to being appointed to her current position in 2016, Trexler was serving as an Assistant Public Defender in Rensselaer County – and operating her own private law practice that specialized in criminal defense and family court matters.

Before that, she served as a Hearing Examiner for the New York State Department of Education – and as an Assistant District Attorney in Albany County.

What the hell is it with the Office of the Albany County District Attorney – and all the ties to NXIVM/ESP?

Is there some sort of requirement for people who work there to become involved in some way with the NXIVM/ESP cult?

Obviously, the Albany County DA, P. David Soares, has strong ties to NXIVM/ESP.

In addition to undertaking baseless prosecutions of Toni Natalie, Joe O’Hara (twice), and John Tighe, Soares has family members who actually attended NXIVM/ESP classes: i.e., two sisters and a brother-in-law.

And his various campaigns for public office have been underwritten, in large part by the Working Families Party, which receives large annual contributions from various members of the Bronfman family.

But back to Trexler…

Unlike her counterpart, Michael P. McDermott, who couldn’t scrape up $400/month to meet his student loan obligations after he left the Albany County DA’s Office and went to work for the once-prestigious O’Connell & Aronowitz law firm, Trexler actually figured out how to make a lot of money from her time as an Albany County Assistant District Attorney.

Yep, Trexler became one of the so-called 18-B attorneys who represent criminal defendants in Albany County when the Office of the Albany County Public Defender determines that it has a conflict-of-interest in a case.

In 2008, Trexler managed to rank #2 on the list of more than 100 18-B attorneys and law firms in terms of the amount of fees that she collected from Albany County.

That year she received $184,712.93 for her 18-B work – which was way above the average salary for attorneys in Albany County with her experience and expertise.

But Trexler really earned her spurs – and likely her judgeship – when she agreed to become the Special District Attorney who prosecuted Natalie, O’Hara, and Tighe for criminal computer trespass back in 2015.

Bruce Lennard, the original Special District Attorney in the case, resigned after being in that position for a little over a year.

And miraculously, Rodger Kirsopp, the New York State Police Senior Investigator who was overseeing the computer trespass case, somehow divined that Trexler would be Lennard’s replacement.

Yep, almost 7 weeks before Trexler was appointed to replace Lennard, Kirsopp was meeting with her to discuss the case.

Forget the fact that any discussions he had with Trexler before she was appointed were totally inappropriate and likely illegal, Kirsopp is obviously one hell of a detective to have deduced that she would be Lennard’s replacement even before she knew it!

And so Trexler took over as the Special District Attorney in the criminal computer trespass case – and racked up thousands of billable hours as she doggedly pursued charges against Natalie, O’Hara, and Tighe for more than two years (More on those fees at a later date).

And throughout the time she was doing this, she never once was bothered by the fact that there was absolutely no jurisdictional basis for Albany County to have brought any charges against the three defendants (The computer that was allegedly accessed by Natalie, O’Hara, and Tighe – and lots of other people that Albany County chose not to prosecute – was located in Saratoga County).

In the end, Trexler agreed to have the charges dismissed for one simple reason: Natalie and O’Hara refused to accept any of her plea bargain offers and insisted on going to trial (Earlier, Tighe had pled guilty as part of his broader plea deal on unrelated federal charges – and was given a concurrent 1-year sentence for his supposed criminal computer trespassing).

In addition to getting paid quite well for pursuing a meritless criminal case, Trexler also got appointed to the next opening for a City Court Judge in Albany.

Ya just gotta love how politics work in Albany…

About the author

K.R. Claviger


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  • In 1989, a then-devout member of KAR’s small “harem” had a sister living in Los Angeles, CA who was the lead singer for a Scientology rock band that practiced after hours in the Scientology “Celebrity Center” in North Hollywood. That sister was asked, begged by the KAR “harem” member to procure top secret Scientology course material for KAR. That sister, in fact, took Scientology courses paid for by the band’s agent, a Scientologist, who convinced her Scientology was an easy road to stardom paved by Armando Anthony “Chick” Corea (a famous jazz pianist who took a liking to the sister), Priscilla and Lisa Presley, Tom Cruise, etc. including the introductory “audit” whereby the “Sea Org” ranks of Scientology collect “collateral” or black mail material much in the manner KAR does today.

    After obtaining this material, passing it on to KAR and breaking up with the band’s lead guitar player, that sister escaped from Scientology altogether, fortunately, but is still listed as a Scientology member from 1989 in member blacklists that can be found online.

    Can anyone guess the names of the KAR “harem” member and sister who procured Scientology materials for KAR to model what would eventually become ESP / NX on?

    There were other Scientology material procurements made by other KAR Harem members who followed suit and may yet be listed as former Scientology members if any detectives out there search these “blacklists,” these “spies” names may also appear therein.

  • Wow. This smells to high heaven. …We were talking about a care package for Tighe. Can anyone who knows how to reach him email FR, please, if he wants to keep private, and we can coordinate from there. Thanks!

  • People think of federal government as being the most corrupt but in actuality state and local government is just as bad. Nothing about this story is surprising unfortunately.

    • Yes government is extremely corrupt. People really need to wake up as cults like NXIVM would not have been able to thrive, if local, state and federal and international governments had not been part of the take. What the hell good does it do to toss Raniere and company in prison if the powerful enablers are not brought to justice. And this is just the tip of the iceberg of the government corruption.

      • Replying ^^^ on death ears

        Government will always be corrupt because people are always going to skew things in a way that benefits themselves directly or indirectly. Liberals, conservatives, socialists, communists, fascists, atheists, Green Party, Tea Party and even independents the common demonstrator is always the same. People.

        Conspiracy??? Every politican is corrupt on some level. Every single one. Conspiracy??? News flash it’s out in the open look at the groups that directly benefit from influencing policy.

        Al Gore? Devos? Clinton’s? Bushes? Remember Ros Perot? His fortune was built off of government contracts? All of them made vast fortunes of milking the government one way or the other.
        Secret conspiracy maybe but most if it is going on right out in the open.

        HSBC conspiracy!!! Right in front of everyone. Terroist and drug cartel financiers and launders. Nobody went to jail. Right out in the public domain. Check out the people who have worked for HSBC. One of them lead the Russian investigation until he was fired. Conspiracy? It’s all out in the open.

        Guess what the public at large does not give a *****.

        That’s why this trial is interesting and intriguing…. because hopefully there will be some justice in an unjust world.

        • No shit the public does not give a shit. Tell us something we don’t know. If the corrupt local and NYS politicians and law enforcement are not punished in the end for their role in aiding and participating in NXIVM criminality, then there will be no justice.

About the Author

Frank Parlato is an investigative journalist.

His work has been cited in hundreds of news outlets, like The New York Times, The Daily Mail, VICE News, CBS News, Fox News, New York Post, New York Daily News, Oxygen, Rolling Stone, People Magazine, The Sun, The Times of London, CBS Inside Edition, among many others in all five continents.

His work to expose and take down NXIVM is featured in books like “Captive” by Catherine Oxenberg, “Scarred” by Sarah Edmonson, “The Program” by Toni Natalie, and “NXIVM. La Secta Que Sedujo al Poder en México” by Juan Alberto Vasquez.

Parlato has been prominently featured on HBO’s docuseries “The Vow” and was the lead investigator and coordinating producer for Investigation Discovery’s “The Lost Women of NXIVM.” In addition, he was credited in the Starz docuseries 'Seduced' for saving 'slave' women from being branded and escaping the sex-slave cult known as DOS.

Parlato appeared on the Nancy Grace Show, Beyond the Headlines with Gretchen Carlson, Dr. Oz, American Greed, Dateline NBC, and NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, where Parlato conducted the first-ever interview with Keith Raniere after his arrest. This was ironic, as many credit Parlato as one of the primary architects of his arrest and the cratering of the cult he founded.

Parlato is a consulting producer and appears in TNT's The Heiress and the Sex Cult, which premieres on May 22, 2022.

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Phone / Text: (305) 783-7083