Judge Postpones Nxivm Trial Until April 29th; Previously Scheduled For Mid-March

Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis, the sentencing judge for Keith Raniere

By K. R. Claviger

The Hon. Nicholas G. Garaufis, the presiding judge in the NXIVM Numbskulls case, has decided to ignore the demands made by Marc Agnifilo, Keith Raniere’s lead attorney – and has pushed back the “Start Date” for the trial to April 29, 2019.

In his letter to Judge Garaufis just last Friday, Agnifilo demanded that the trial start, as previously scheduled, on March 18, 2019.

Although the “Order” that was issued earlier today by Judge Garaufis made no mention of Agnifilo’s demands, it did contain a revised schedule for all the events leading up the actual trial.

Per the new schedule, here’s when those events will take place:

  1. The defendants and the prosecution must provide the court with their proposed jury questionnaires by no later than March 18th
  2. All the potential jurors for the trial will be required to complete the approved questionnaire during the morning and afternoon of April 8th
  3. The court will conduct juror interviews on April 15th – and, if/as necessary, on April 16th and April 17th
  4. Opening statements in the trial will take place on April 29th.

In that same “Order”, Judge Garaufis denied the prosecution’s request to postpone the January 30th deadline to submit its “enterprise and other act evidence”. But he did so “without prejudice” – which means that if the circumstances warrant, the prosecution can resubmit that request.

Kathy Russell wants to be tried separately from Keith Raniere.

Today’s “Order” did not address pending motions from four Raniere co-defendants – Clare Bronfman, Kathy Russell, Lauren Salzman, and Nancy Salzman – to have their trials severed from his (Lauren has also asked that her trial be separated from that of Allison Mack – and it is believed that Bronfman, Russell, and Nancy Salzman likely did the same). If any of those motions are granted, then it’s possible that the “Start Date” for Raniere’s trial will be pushed back even further.

Another event that could further delay the start of the trial is the issuance of another superseding indictment that adds more charges against the current defendants and/or adds new defendants. The prosecution has made it clear on several occasions that it is working on such an indictment.

So, when will Raniere and his cohorts actually end up going to trial?

Our analysis of the situation still suggests no trial will get started before sometime in September this year. We also believe it’s possible that no trial will get started for at least another year.


Keith Raniere in his volleyball attire.

In light of today’s ruling, it’s probably inevitable that Agnifilo will request – or perhaps demand – that Keith Raniere be let out on bail until the start of the trial.

Raniere’s prior requests to be let out of prison have been rejected by the judge based on his conclusion that Raniere is both “a flight risk” and “a danger to society”.

Although nothing has happened that would alter either of those conclusions, it seems inevitable that Raniere will make another try to get out of MDC – and then flee the country.


Thus far, we’ve been analyzing the recent filings in this case on the basis of the information and assertions contained in each of them.

But we’ve also been looking at them in terms of what the broader strategy may be — from the standpoint of the 20+ defense attorneys who are involved in this case.

One possibility is that divisions have actually begun to develop between/among the various defendants. That would explain why Lauren, Nancy, Clare, and Kathy have decided that it’s not in their best interest to be part of any trial in which Raniere is a co-defendant.

Another possibility, however, is that all these filings by the defense attorneys are part of a carefully orchestrated plan meant to create appealable issues on behalf of any defendants who are convicted at trial.

Lauren Salzman in 2012, pre -DOS.

So, for example, if the judge denies Lauren’s severance motion and she gets convicted, she’ll be able to argue, on appeal, that Judge Garaufis erred in denying her severance request. The same is true for Nancy, Clare, and Kathy.

And the longer the trial is delayed, the better the chance that Raniere’s attorneys will argue that he wasn’t able to properly prepare to defend himself because he was incarcerated throughout the time that he was waiting to go to trial.

That argument may be particularly effective if, because of the current partial shutdown of the federal government, MDC does not allow inmates to meet with their attorneys.

The “bottom line” here is that there’s a lot going on – much of which is likely more than meets the eye.

Theories anyone?

About the author

K.R. Claviger


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  • I suggest the longer Raniere is at MDC awaiting trial, the greater a flight risk he is if he were to get bail.
    I also do not think his being incarcerated while awaiting trial is in any way, shape, manner or form grounds for appeal.

  • Where is the proof that the longer to a trial the better for the defense? This arguement make no sense. Its not unusual for complex cases like this come to trail much later down the road.

  • “And the longer the trial is delayed, the better the chance that Raniere’s attorneys will argue that he wasn’t able to properly prepare to defend himself because he was incarcerated throughout the time that he was waiting to go to trial.”

    I don’t agree, because Raniere’s defense only wants to concentrate on DOS and reject the sex trafficking charges easily convincing a jury of his consensual theories.

    But, of course, there are so many layers to these case involving NXIVM and Keith Raniere in criminal acts over the years, and discovery is taking forever. And this is exactly what the defense is trying to avoid, for the prosecution to go on finding out stuff.

    With more time, the prosecusion will find more about these criminals and will bring about more superseiding indictments and more charges to Raniere. So that if he get’s off the hoock because of DOS, there will be ever so many other charges and reasons to lock him up, he won’t be able to see the light of day ever again.

  • Many things going through my head on possible scenarios that could play out. Either Nancy was able to secure a plea deal (possibly for Lauren too) and Bronfman realized they’re screwed! Best option would be to start working with Nancy because right now it appears to be 4 against 2. The 4 don’t want to be tried with KR/AM…. they most likely want them to take the complete fall and be acquitted. For a while now, I’ve thought Kathy is Claire’s puppet and that Claire is in control. KR has not been in control since the others were indicted. Most likely Claire is controlling KR’s defense team and that the only people who will see significant jail time will be KR/AM due to Claire’s power and tricks.

    Allison is a tough call though…I believe she is smart and that ultimately the others will turn and make her out to be the worst, along with KR. Likely, this would actually work in her defense literally. At the end of the day, KR, Claire, and Nancy are the sickest of them all. Even though I have read everything I still think Lauren is worse than Allison. I think Allison is 100% guilty as the rest of them but truly was forced into this. I believe the rest of the defendants (not Kathy) knew what they were getting into and planned it. AM besides celeb status was sought out & set up to take the fall from the start. Either she’s gonna fry or be able to use this to get off on most charges. To be honest, I am hoping that a fast one was pulled long ago and that she is flipping on everyone.

    It’s very tough and irritating because you know this group and that they’re smart and sick, so unfortunately we will just have to continue to try and piece their plan together until they decide to let us know.

  • Theories? Simple. Yes it’s a carefully orchestrated plan; the conductors of the orchestra are laughing their Mexican hats off. Collectively, the puppeteers and their minions are feeling so empowered that their preferred corrupt former prosecutor, Denny Burke, has possibly been seen recently taunting Moira Penza in the comments section on Frank Report in recent posts. The arrogance is profound.

    • Enthusiastically agree. I’m picturing Burke in a matador outfit taming a bull, Ole’! Ole’! Remains to be seen if he’s spared or speared.

  • Claviger this was a day for the defense.

    Statistically the longer it takes for a trial the more likely a defendant will get off or the prosecution will offer a more favorable plea deal.

    The multiple trials will have multiple juries and increase the odds of an acquittal.

    I know longer believe any of the defendants has flipped. That was wishful thinking.

    This stinks.

    This is not a capital murder trial, terroist case, or drug cartel case. There is now a serious possibility that Keith could get out on bail.
    The defense was planning on pushing the trial dates all along. If you research it you will find this is a routine defense strategy along with the multiple trials.

    Claviger you ruined my evening albeit unintentionally. I was really hoping to see some justice in a unjust world. My hope has been somewhat diminished this evening. Not your fault I know your just reporting the latest update. This is bad turn. Hopefully you will have better news to report down the road.

  • “One possibility is that divisions have actually begun to develop between/among the various defendants. That would explain why Lauren, Nancy, Clare, and Kathy have decided that it’s not in their best interest to be part of any trial in which Raniere is a co-defendant.”

    It’s not just Raniere they want to separate themselves from. It’s also Allison Mack.

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.

IMDb — Frank Parlato


Contact Frank with tips or for help.
Phone / Text: (305) 783-7083
Email: frankparlato@gmail.com