U.S. District Court Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis has issued an Order denying the requests of several news organizations that had sought the names of the individuals who served as jurors in the recently concluded trial of Keith Alan Raniere, the founder of the NXIVM crime syndicate.
In issuing his ruling, the judge indicated that concerns over the jurors’ privacy and security were sufficient to overcome the news organizations’ argument that the empaneled jurors’ names should be released “in accordance with the strong First Amendment presumption of access that attaches to such information”.
Raniere and his attorneys had taken no position as to whether the names of the jurors should be released to the news organizations that had requested that information: e.g., Daily News, L.P.; the New York Times Company; NYP Holding, Inc.; and Newsday LLC.
The prosecution, however, had opposed the release of that information to any news organization and/or to the general public.
Privacy Concerns are Heightened in this Case
Judge Garaufis noted that the jurors’ privacy interests were heightened in this case because the trial involved “highly sensitive information (including child pornography, nude photographs, and graphic sexual testimony) and generate worldwide press coverage…”.
He also noted that several Mexican media outlets had published the last names of the victims who appeared at – or were identified during the course of – the trial. Although it was under no obligation to do so, Frank Report withheld the publication of those last names.
Several of the jurors privately asked the court not to release their names even after the trial was concluded.
Security Concerns are a Major Issue
Judge Garaufis also made it clear that “…the court is concerned for the jurors’ security”.
One of the reasons cited by the judge for that concern is the fact that “…evidence at trial suggested that Raniere’s associates would go to great lengths to antagonize his perceived enemies, including through the use of private investigators to obtain sensitive personal information”.
He also noted that he had been advised by the prosecution that one “NXIVM defector’s collateral was released during trial and published by the Mexican media, suggesting that Raniere’s alleged criminal enterprise may continue to exist notwithstanding his incarceration” (Uh oh, Emi, that may not have been such a good idea after all!).
Decision is Based on Questionable Reasoning
Although we understand the judge’s ruling, we also question the reasoning behind it.
To begin with – and as the judge noted in his Order – the identities of all the 500 potential jurors were disclosed to Raniere and his lawyers well before the voir dire took place.
That allowed them to do at least some preliminary research on all those people.
And once the 12 jurors and 6 alternate jurors were selected, you can be certain that Raniere’s lawyers did extensive background checks on all of them (Hell, they may have even reached back out to Juval Aviv or Steve Ram Bam to do that work).
So, if Raniere already knows the names of the jurors – and has access to all sorts of background materials about them – why wouldn’t he have already instructed his attorneys to turn all that information to some of his still faithful acolytes.
Imagine what sort of horrible things Steve Ose and Ben Meyers could do with that information.
Just how many of the jurors would be found to have child porn on their computers?
And how many of them would be indicted in Mexico or some convenient U.S. city like El Paso, TX?
That’s how Raniere operated in the past.
And as though of us who know him figured out a long time ago, he is a creature of habit when it comes to strategy and tactics.
So far as we know, no collateral was released to – or shown by – any Mexican media outlet.
What was released – and what we chose not to share with our readers – was a copy of the videotape of Sarah Edmondson’s branding ceremony.
It was brutal and should never have been made in the first place.
The same is true for all the other videotapes of branding ceremonies.
Judge made the right call.
Keith Raniere and his posse are not normal defendants by any sane person’s definition.
[…] Judge Refuses to Release Jurors’ Names – Cites Concerns Over Privacy & Security […]
Must give the jurors Keith’s nudes to hold as collateral.
OMG, why would you want to torture those poor jurors by giving them nudes of Keith? Haven’t they suffered enough?
Allison Mack’s BMW appears to be MIA and gone for good.Not seen at all the last few days.
Concerning Mack’s missing BMW here are the possibilities”
1.) Mack used the car to transport the DOS women and has had to forfeit the wheels to the government the way she did the townhouse.
2.) Mack bought the car with a loan and defaulted on the loan. Hence it was repossessed.
3.) Mack no longer lives in Knox Woods and failed to renew the license plates so the property management association had the car towed as a derelict vehicle owned by a non-resident.
4.) The car was leased by Clare Bronfman for Mack’s benefit and the First National Bank of Clare is now closed.
5.) The car is now being used by Mack’s loving spouse and Nicki now lives in Brooklyn.
With all of Keith and Clare’s flying monkeys still flying about, the judge made a wise decision. My guess is Clare is still a loyalist and will do whatever she can to keep NXIVM alive, even if it means harassing and stalking people, and terrorizing them with threats to release collateral and of more bogus charges and law suits. I don’t think her guilty plea was worth the fainting spell drama that preceded it.
Frank, Nancy Salzman’s lawyer asked Judge Garaufis if she could have her ankle monitor removed yesterday. If this is granted I’m certain she’ll be on a heightened warpath. This could cause great risk: her fleeing the country to salvage NXIVM, seeking revenge, the use of Bronfman and/or Salinas connections (and funds) for a multitude of things. These people will never stop.
Let’s hope Judge Garaufis says “NO.”
I assume if his lawyers have the details they are not allowed to release them anyone even if KR tells them to do so.
Why not? There’s no gag order that would prevent them from doing so. Or are you – tee hee – suggesting that they wouldn’t do so because it would unethical?
Edmondson’s video could be considered to be collateral/blackmail, particularly as a warning to her and others who are thinking about speaking out. If Raniere and/or his lawyers misuse (leak) the jury members’ identities, they would be in big trouble.
The jurors should all come forward and use their real names. COWARDS
Says the pot to the kettles.
Is Nutjob your Christian birth name?
Mr. Nutjob when you have kids you can’t always play hero.
I think Nutjob is trying to be sarcastic re. Scott’s comments ….
Though, to be fair, I don’t think Scott has suggested that the jury members go public. Anyways, the jury member have no connections to NXIVM, and were only doing their civic duty by serving on the jury. It would be an invasion of their privacy to release their names.
The jurors should come forward and post on Frank Report either using their real name or a trackable fake name/ID (such as “Juror #1), just as I’ve suggested to Frank for all commenters on this website. COWARD
I believe that this was a wise decision.
I presume that the jurors did not even want to be associated with this trial and want to get on with their lives with minimum inconvenience.
While I don’t understand the logic, if I were a juror, I would be pleased. Bad “journalists” can ruin your life.
These are not bad journalists.
But the jurors’ names are irrelevant to exposing the whole NXIVM story and there is some risk of retribution against the jurors.
Ultimately NXIVM will be found to be more than a sex cult or criminal gang.
NXIVM will be found to be a TERRORIST gang engaged in geopolitical intrigue in Mexico.