A highly stylized Keith Raniere

Court Denies Several Raniere Motions – Four Major Issues Remain Unresolved

U.S. District Court Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis, the judge who will oversee Keith Raniere’s upcoming trial, issued a thoroughly detailed Order today that denied several pending motions in the case.

The Order – which appears to have been crafted in anticipation of a post-trial appeal – denied the following motions that had been filed by Raniere and his former co-defendants in the case (All of those former co-defendants have already pleaded guilty to various charges):
– To dismiss various counts and racketeering acts;
– To require the prosecution to produce a Bill Of Particulars;
– To require the government to promptly disclose any exculpatory materials A/K/A/ Brady materials;
– To preclude the government from utilizing its proposed expert witnesses; and
– To allow foreign witnesses to testify via live video-conferencing.

For the sake of clarity, the court treated all the pending motions as if they been filed by Raniere. It also combined the Motions To Dismiss that had been filed with respect to the first superseding indictment with those that were filed with respect to the second superseding indictment.

To organize its analysis, the court summarized all the pending motions into the following seven categories:
(1) RE: Count One: The Motion To Dismiss Count One because it fails to allege predicate acts with sufficient particularity, fails to properly allege the “pattern” element of a RICO charge, and is duplicitous.

(2) RE: Count Two: The Motion To Dismiss Count Two because it fails to allege predicate acts with sufficient particularity, fails to properly allege the “pattern” element of a RICO charge, and is duplicitous.

(3) RE: Child Pornography: The Motion To Dismiss Racketeering Acts 2, 3, and 4 – which charge Raniere with sexual exploitation of a child and possession of child pornography.

(4) RE: Sex Trafficking: The Motion To Dismiss Counts Six, Eight, Nine, and Ten – which charge Raniere with sex-trafficking offenses.

(5) RE: Forced Labor Conspiracy: The Motion To Dismiss Count Six – which charges Raniere with a forced labor conspiracy.

(6) RE: Extortion: The Motion To Dismiss Racketeering Act Ten – which charges Raniere with a state-law extortion offense.

(7) RE: Procedural Motions:
(a) A Motion for a Bill of Particulars regarding all the charges;
(b) A Motion for Prompt Disclosure of Brady materials;
(c) A Motion to Preclude the prosecution’s proposed expert witnesses; and
(d) A Motion for an order allowing the defendant’s foreign witnesses to testify via live video-conferencing.

*****

None of today’s rulings qualify as a “big surprise” – or even as a “small surprise” for the matter.

That’s because almost all Motions To Dismiss are, in essence, “Hail Mary passes” that defense attorneys often file just to have issues that can be appealed if their clients end up getting convicted.

In fact, the only ruling that was at all noteworthy is the one that had to do with the testimony of the foreign witnesses.

Rather than just outright denying that one – which is what he did with all the others – Judge Garaufis denied it “without prejudice”. That means that Raniere can re-file it at a later date.

The reason why the judge ruled the way he did on the foreign witnesses motion is because Raniere’s counsel, Marc Agnifilo, has informed the court that “he does not expect to request live video-conferencing, and will instead ask the Government to allow his foreign witnesses to travel safely to this district so that they can testify in person”.

This is the same Marc Agnifilo who informed the court just last week that he does not anticipate presenting any witnesses on behalf of Raniere.

Marc Agnifilo

*****

Of much greater importance than the issues that were resolved by today’s ruling are these four still unresolved issues:
(1) Will the prosecution be allowed to introduce the pornographic images of Jane Doe 2 that were taken when she was 15 years old – and that expose her vagina and inner labia?

(2) Will Rhiannon – the woman who claims she was repeatedly raped by Raniere when she was 12-13 years old – be allowed to testify about those incidents?

(3) Will the NXIVM Corporation – which is currently being run by Clare Bronfman, Lauren Salzman, and Omar Boone – be able to prevent the prosecution from introducing certain evidence because doing so would violate the company’s attorney-client privilege rights?

(4) Will Raniere’s victims be required to disclose their full names in open court – or will they be allowed to use just their first name or a pseudonym?

*****

Of those remaining issues, the one that is the most complicated – and hardest to predict in terms of how Judge Garaufis will rule – concerns the testimony of Raniere’s victims.

Although a defendant clearly has the right to know the names of his accusers, that is not an issue in this case.

Raniere clearly knows the names of all the victims who will testify – and quite probably has viewed tall of the collateral that was collected on each of them.

So, the issue is whether the media – and, therefore, the general public – has the right to know the full names of those women.

There are legitimate arguments that can be made on both sides of that issue – and it will be interesting to see how Judge Garaufis rules on it.


About the author

K.R. Claviger

13 Comments

Click here to post a comment

Leave a Reply

  • Is his face asymmetrical? Based upon his photo above, it appears that if you draw a straight line down between his eyes through the middle of his nose, down through his chin; his teeth or jaw are offset to his left. Admittedly, a senseless observation.

  • I am confused by the following point — did Bronfman and Salzburg not plead guilty and make an agreement with the prosecution? If so, why would they not agree to to cooperate with the prosecutors? Are they pretending to cooperate, but using the corporate entity as a fig leaf excuse to not cooperate? If they are using the corporation as a fig leaf excuse, how is it possible that the prosecutors not see this and respond by demanding long long sentences?
    ——————-
    (3) Will the NXIVM Corporation – which is currently being run by Clare Bronfman, Lauren Salzman, and Omar Boone – be able to prevent the prosecution from introducing certain evidence because doing so would violate the company’s attorney-client privilege rights?

    • As far as we know, Clare signed a plea agreement that does not have a “cooperation” component in it. Lauren, on the other hand, appears to have signed a plea agreement that does include a “cooperation” component. [Note: We have not actually seen either agreenment].

      The other important point is that it was in December 2018 – several months before Clare and Lauren pleaded guilty – that the Executive Board of the NXIVM Corporation had a meeting and voted to hire an attorney to protect its corporate interests. Insofar as we know, Clare and Lauren have not done anything inappropriate since they pleaded guilty.

      Obviously, Clare and Lauren could hold another Executive Board meeting, fire the company’s attorney, and stop trying to prevent the prosecution from being able to utilize the evidence in question. Although they won’t face any formal penalty if they don’t do that, this is definitely the type of information that a judge can take into consideration when he’s handing out sentences.

    • It’s unclear the extent these two agreed to cooperate, but the DOJ should absolutely ask for the maximum punishment if they don’t cooperate. It should also be moot regarding the NXIVM corporate information, but the law is complex and the lawyers will have to work it out.

    • Observer guy,

      Krclaviger uncharacteristically left out one extra detail……Clare Bronfman paid millions of dollars to the government as part of her settlement. No other Nxivm defendant paid that kind of money to the government.

      Kathy Russell probably received the same plea deal because her crimes pale in comparison to Bronfman and the DOJ did not want to be skewered by the media for supporting the 2 tiered American Justice System.

  • The court document was very long and appeared to be a copy/paste by Rainere’s legal team from Bronfman, Salzman and Salzman’s filings. Way to save money on his legal defense Marc Agnifilo.

    Great job krclaviger breaking it down into a quick read for those who do not want to wade through the entire document.

    Keith Raniere has nothing to lose at this point by going to trial. Any plea deal with get him more time than he could handle in prison. With another trial in the NDNY waiting for Raniere it only will add more time. Chances are he will never see the outside of a prison as a free man.

    Raniere will also want to torture those who testify against him by having them take the witness stand and have to go through cross examination by Marc Agnifilo.

    The truth is the truth and in the end, truth will win out. There is a good reason why five other defendants took a plea deal.

    • A witness being cross examined is only being tortured if they want to allow the opposing attorney to torture them. All they have to do is tell the truth, it’s not that hard. Plus, Marky-Marc isn’t going to be able to cross examine them too hard, it would merely expose Raniere even more.

  • How refreshing to read a well thought out article that has factual information behind it.

    Always enjoy your post krclaviger..

    Refreshing after all the crap from the now Frank Rag Mag Report

Frank Parlato Investigates

Frank Parlato Investigates

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, many others in all five continents.

His work helping 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 featured prominently on HBO’s documentary “The Vow” and acted as lead investigator and coordinating producer for Investigation Discovery’s “The Lost Women of NXIVM.”

Parlato will be featured in an upcoming episode of American Greed.

If the whole world stands against you sword in hand, would you still dare to do what you think is right?

Got A Tip?

If you have a tip for Frank Report, send it here.
Email: frankparlato@gmail.com
Phone / Text: (716) 990-5740

Archives

%d bloggers like this: