By Dianne Lipson
Closing arguments began today in the trial of Keith Alan Raniere. The courtroom was packed with spectators and media and the overflow went to an auxiliary courtroom where they watched via closed-circuit TV monitors.
By the way, Raniere victims India Oxenberg, along with witnesses Nicole and Jaye were in the courtroom accompanied by their attorney Neil Glazer. Susan Dones was also spotted headed to the courtroom. As was Toni Natalie. [Reportedly, India’s mother, Catherine Oxenberg is also on hand.]
Raniere, wearing a maroon sweater over a white shirt, intently listened as Moira Kim Penza, for the prosecution, gave her closing arguments before a jury of 12 and five alternates.
Judge Nicholas Garaufis, who is 77 years old, sat on the bench and from my observations, he looks nowhere near his age. After the jury’s verdict, Judge Garaufis – should Raniere be found guilty – will be the man who sentences him.
Assistant US Attorney Penza went right to the point in her closing – hammering Raniere – and this report covers the basics of what she said up until lunch break.
Penza made reference to DOS slave Nicole who was placed on a wooden table, blindfolded and not knowing who else was in the room, was a victim of sexual assault [by Camila].
Penza spoke of Daniela, alone in her room, with just a paper and pad [for two years].
She said, “You saw the defendant for what he was – a con man, a predator and a crime boss.”
“Raniere set up a criminal organization with a never-ending flow of women and money,” she said..
Penza pointed out that proving racketeering is not necessarily proving that the coconspirators are in the mob. She said this “enterprise” turned its victims into victimizers, for example, Camila sexually abusing Nicole.
Keith was the center of the enterprise. He participated in all the enterprise’s affairs.
Penza went through the racketeering acts:
Act 1: Transporting Daniela over the border.
Act 2-5r: Graphic photos of 15-year-old Camilla
Act 5. Trying to obtain usernames and passwords of Edgar Bronfman and James Loperfido.
Act 6: Altering a video used in the Rick Ross and Stephanie Franco case.
Act 7: Trying to obtain the username and password of Mariana.
Act 8: Daniella being confined in a room for two years.
Acts 9-10: Extorting property from DOS slaves.
Act 11: Visa fraud with Sylvie
Act 12 Sex trafficking of Nicole.
Act 13: Forced labor of Jane Doe 6
Act 14: Using Pam Cafritz’s American Express card after she died
Penza then went through Daniela’s story. of how she gave the $6,000 that she stole back, and how she felt Keith was the only person who was on her side. But later he used that to, among other things, get her to have sex with him. Penza brought up their first sexual encounter. He acted as though he had penetrated her, but she knew he didn’t. That was gaslighting and Daniela testified to other instances of gaslighting by Raniere.
She spoke of how, after Keith impregnated Daniela – after he had not allowed her to use birth control – Pam Cafrtiz paid for the abortion and made up a cover story. And how Pam left Daniela alone to have the painful abortion by herself.
Penza said that Dani’s parents were at fault for allowing this man [when she said “this man”] she turned around and pointed to Keith – “for letting that man convince them to put Dani in the room.”
But Penza said, “Make no mistake, he was in charge.”
Penza also said that in sex trafficking, she said she expected the judge to instruct the jury, the opportunity to escape is irrelevant to determine if someone is being trafficked.
She also said that the information that Daniela got from hacking Mariana, she gave to Keith.
She tied Keith into altering the videotape in the Ross case, showing that Keith participated in the conspiracy to alter the videotapes because he conspired with others to alter them.
She tied Keith into Clare Bronfman and their fraudulent use of the late Pam Cafrtiz’s Amex card.
There was an email instructing Clare to pay the Amex bill and she emails back [or messages] “oh, shit, let me figure this out.”
And there was an email saying that Keith was entitled to 10% of eso/exo.
Penza spoke of how Keith wanted Camila to come back to Albany when their parents weren’t there. How Camila worked as an aide for Nancy Salzman and how Keith isolated Camila so he could have access to her.
There’s a videotape of Nancy saying some female children are more emotionally mature than others making it OK for adults and mature children to have sex.
Then Penza related how, in 2014, Keith emailed Camila that he was proud to have been her husband for 8.75 years – which, if you do the math, shows they were ‘married’ when Cami was 16.
Penza spoke about forensic evidence showing exactly when the nude photos of Cami were taken – in November 2005 – when she was 15.
Then tying up another disturbing aspect of the case, Penza reminded the jury that Camila was supposed to find a successor, another virgin, for Keith after she ruined everything by having a liaison with Robbie.
Keith told Camila to have Rosa Laura Junco help her find a virgin successor and Penza basically tied that to the email where Rosa Laura offers her own teenage daughter as the successor.
Penza referred to the video of Nancy Salzman talking about underage sex and that Mexican girls were in the room when Nancy was talking about that.
Penza said, “I submit that Keith wanted those Mexican girls to hear those views [about underage sex].”
Penza said that DOS was not about female empowerment, but to satisfy Keith’s sexual appetite. She referenced how Keith spoke about how DOS could impact the presidential election in the United States if DOS got big enough. And added that DOS slaves would never have joined DOS if they knew Keith was the head of DOS. Or if they knew that there would a requirement for additional collateral and sex with Keith.
Penza said that Marc Agnifilo, Raniere’s attorney, said that the naked photos were not sexual, but, Penza said, “I submit the photos were for Keith’s sexual gratification and nothing else.”
She reminded the jury, who have seen scores of nude photos during this trial, that all the photos were of the same kind with similar poses.
Penza showed a video where Keith discusses “executing the collateral” if necessary. And Penza explained that “executing the collateral” meant what it sounds like – releasing it – in the case of photos and videos, letters and confessions.
Stay tuned for a further report tonight.