This is Part 2, Moira Penza on Raniere.
On June 17, Assistant US Attorney Moira Kim Penza made the closing arguments in the trial of Kieth Alan Raniere. She spoke of a variety of matters, most of them concerning the man who was known to his followers as Vanguard. In her closing, which lasted about four hours, she refers to Raniere as ‘the defendant”.
She refers also to his inner circle which included, among others, Clare Bronfman, Sara Bronfman-Igtet, Pam Cafritz, Nancy Salzman, Lauren Salzman, Kathy Russell, Mariana, Camila, Monica Duran, Loreta Garza, Jim Del Negro, Emiliano Salinas, Alex Betancourt, Nicki Clyne, Dani Padilla, Rosa Laura Junco, and Allison Mack.
Here is Moira Penza speaking to the jury on Keith Alan Raniere:
Sex trafficking, child exploitation, forced labor, and so many more crimes. Over the past six weeks, you were given a look behind these doors and into the inner workings of the defendant’s criminal enterprise. Strict but carefully constructed image the defendant’s inner circle made for him, humanitarian, leader, mentor, guru. You saw him for what he, was a conman, a predator, a crime boss.
The crimes he’s charged with span nearly 15 years and include sex trafficking, forced labor, sexual exploitation of a child, possession of child pornography, identity theft, wire fraud, and obstruction of justice. … the defendant was part of a group of people who were working towards a common goal…. he was part of an enterprise; and as part of his involvement in that enterprise, he committed crimes…
The defendant and his inner circle were the enterprise for which he committed crimes. Now that’s the who and the purpose of the enterprise, but there is also the why and the how.
Now, why would they all be part of this enterprise?
Because they all benefited. The whys in this case are as old as time: sex, money, power.
As head of the enterprise, the defendant tapped into a never-ending flow of women and money. He also gained power and influence and means of control and protection.
Alone, he would just have been a man. Within his inner circle, he was the ruler in his universe in Clifton Park, New York. A crime boss with no limits and no checks on his power.
To the defendant’s most trusted insiders, his word was the law and no one acted except on his say-so.
For their roles in the enterprise, the members of the inner circle gained special privileges with their boss along with the financial benefits of being close to him….
How did this enterprise work? … In a nutshell, through abuse and control.
Grooming women for the defendant, collecting sensitive information and naked photographs, and humiliation by creating financial dependence, isolating people from their friends and family, and by building an us-against-them mentality, and waging war on anyone who challenged the enterprise’s power.
Thereby instilling fear of reprisal in anyone who thought about challenging the defendant or his inner circle.
In short, the defendant and his inner circle used tactics that destroyed his victims’ sense of self and ability to trust. Making them compliant and vulnerable to being used in whatever way the members of the enterprise chose.
And the enterprise was set up to last. First, the enterprise grew itself and furthered its aim by turning its victims into victimizers. …
Second, is the importance of secrecy as an essential part of the enterprise. Some of the defendant’s goals he could achieve through NXIVM and the other public organizations, but for his criminal ambitions, he needed the enterprise: The naked pictures of 15-year-old Camila; the confinement of Daniela; the operation of DOS; the recruitment of virgin successors for him; the illegal surveillance of his enterprise.
It’s important to remember too, that not everyone within the enterprise needs to know everything. Different people serve different purposes for the defendant.
For example, Pam Cafrtiz and Lauren Salzman, they were the defendant’s fixers, when one of his many girlfriends was acting prideful or defiant. Nancy Salzman, she performed that role as well. But she [was] at the forefront of efforts to protect the enterprise through surveillance measures and other tactics meant to destroy.
That’s how criminal organizations work, secrecy.
Even among members of the enterprise, it helps protect it and keep it strong….
The first element is that an enterprise existed.
This is the enterprise. You heard and saw throughout trial overwhelming evidence that these people were associated in fact, which is what is required to find that an enterprise existed…
Members of the inner circle recruited new followers for the defendant from all over the country and all over the world, and that people traveled from these places to New York…
Keith Raniere was the center of the enterprise. Everything else revolved around him. So, of course, he was associated. He was the boss. And he also participated in the enterprise’s affairs. He ran it.
He was the one calling the shots.
Stayed tuned for Part 3.