Even before he heard the foreperson read the verdicts that the jury had rendered in his case, Keith Raniere muttered to his attorneys that “This is not justice”.
Although he may not be the smartest man in the world, even Raniere understood what it meant when the jury spent less five hours of deliberations in what was a very complex case (According to courtroom insiders, the actual deliberations lasted less than 90 minutes).
That jury found him guilty of all seven counts he was facing: Racketeering, Racketeering Conspiracy, Forced Labor Conspiracy, Wire Fraud Conspiracy, Sex Trafficking Conspiracy, Sex Trafficking, and Attempted Sex Trafficking.
It also unanimously agreed that the government had proven he had committed 14 predicate criminal acts related to the Racketeering charge – and that he was aware that “force, fraud or coercion would be used to cause one or more persons to engage in one or more commercial sex acts”.
These latter findings will likely have a significant impact on Raniere’s sentence.
Even before he got back to the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC), Raniere was complaining to anyone who would listen that he had gotten railroaded at the trial by the testimony of Lauren Salzman, a woman to whom he once promised an avatar child – and whom he now refers to as “that lying little cunt”.
He’s also upset with his two primary attorneys – Marc Agnifilo and Paul DerOhannesian II – both of whom he thinks didn’t fight hard enough for him during the trial.
Apparently, it was Raniere’s idea to request that the judge re-open the trial after the jury had already been charged – and bring back Lauren Salzman so that Agnifilo could continue his cross-examination of her (The judge immediately denied that request – and noted that Agnifilo knew the federal rules of criminal procedure prohibited any such re-opening).
Raniere has bragged to several of the inmates in his unit that he had Lauren “crying like a little bitch” – and that he would have “broken her entirely” if the judge had not cut off her cross-examination (In his recounting of this part of the trial, Raniere takes full credit for providing the questions for Agnifilo to ask Lauren that eventually caused her to break down in tears).
Raniere has also told several inmates that he’s planning to hire a “whole new team of attorneys” for his appeals (Maybe Steve “The Man” Coffey was just putting in his bid when he viciously and unprofessionally attacked Marc Agnifilo for showing some compassion to Raniere’s victims after the trial).
That suggests that Clare Bronfman is going to be financing Raniere’s appeals – which is something that her assigned Probation Officer might want to ask her about when preparing Clare’s “Pre-Sentencing Report”.
It is inevitable that Raniere’s final appeal will be based on “ineffective assistance of counsel”.
Prior to that, however, he will likely submit one or more appeals based on the following issues:
– the “incomplete” cross-examination of Lauren;
– the refusal of the prosecution to grant “safe passage” to Raniere’s Mexican witnesses – and the refusal of Judge Garaufis to allow those witnesses to testify via closed-circuit television;
– the fact that victims were allowed to testify without revealing their last names; and
– the fact that the prosecution was allowed to use evidence that it found at Raniere’s sex lair at 8 Hale Drive.
Raniere’s Health Continues to Deteriorate
In addition to dealing with his recently-diagnosed ringworm problem, The Vanguard’s overall health is continuing to deteriorate.
While the Medical Unit staff at MDC still consider him to be a hypochondriac and a total whiner, they have also concluded that he’s basically not a very healthy person.
Most federal prisons operate under unhealthy conditions (e.g., lack of adequate sunlight and exercise options; low-quality food; filthy environments; etc. ) – while at the same time offering only minimal health care for inmates.
The combination causes many prisoners to deteriorate physically and mentally.
Raniere’s ego has Taken a hit
One of the more noticeable changes in Raniere since his conviction is that he seems a lot less confident about what’s going to happen to him.
This suggests that he really thought he had a chance of being acquitted – or at least getting a hung jury.
Is it possible that Raniere has actually started to believe his own bullshit?
As unlikely as that sounds, it would explain some of his actions and comments of late…