Editor’s note: We have been speaking a lot about the First Amendment and free speech recently and here is an example of free speech that may not be very pleasing to many readers. I have chosen to publish this guest view not because I agree with the opinions of the writer, but because I believe that opposing voices should be heard. In fact, that is the whole purpose of free speech – to tolerate voices that oppose the majority.
The writer, Patrick Backup, argues that Raniere does not deserve a life sentence. He may or may not have a point since in all fairness, sometimes murderers, arsonists, and violent rapists get off with less than life sentences.
The writer also refers to Cami [Camila]. For those who do not know, Keith Alan Raniere sexually exploited Cami, a Mexican girl of 15, who remained in his harem after she reached the age of consent. Raniere took nude photographs of her when she was 15 and most likely began having sex with her at around the same time [or earlier.] It was key evidence in the case and believed by some to be what persuaded Raniere’s five codefendants to take plea deals. Soon after the prosecution revealed the Cami evidence in 2019, the codefendants made motions for separate trials; the motions were denied. Within days, all five codefendants took plea deals.]
By Patrick Backup
I’m not saying Keith is innocent – although I admit to finding some value in his teachings.
My point here is a different one, namely: If all the charges were strong enough to have him convicted, then why did the prosecution, the judge, and the press focus so strongly on the episode with Cami?
In my opinion, they did that mainly to portray Keith as a “child predator” and a pedophile.
Once the jury saw him that way, they’d convict him of anything because people hate pedophiles (or whatever they consider is a pedophile).
I believe we need to pay much more attention to how we label things in our society.
If you want to discredit someone and ruin his life, what’s the easiest way to do so? Label him a pedophile or a racist or whatever.
Once the jury was feeling so sorry for poor Cami (who may not even have been so reluctant about entering a relationship with Keith at the time), it was easy to pin all the other things on Keith.
Again, I’m not saying he’s innocent, and that he deserves to walk out of this free.
The whole thing about collecting collateral in DOS smells of coercion and blackmailing, and he definitely needs to be punished for that, even more so because it is completely against his own proposed ethics.
But again, a life sentence for any of this is not only ridiculous, in my opinion, it is a perversion of justice.
It’s obvious that the judge and the jury were totally and completely biased against Keith from the moment the trial started, especially the judge.
He allowed the prosecution to show the jury pictures and videos of Keith that weren’t even relevant for the evidence, but just meant to humiliate him and show him as a “dirty old guy” that molests little girls
Like these two pictures which were admitted into evidence:
And Judge Garaufis blocked the cross-examination of Lauren Salzman as soon as something might have come up that might have been more favorable to Keith’s case.
Honestly, I’m glad that the justice system in my country doesn’t work the way it does in the US.
Seriously, in America, the judge himself is allowed to decide if something he did constitutes grounds for a mistrial?
Think for a moment about how hypocritical and how flawed that is!!
Video of Keith Raniere Justifying Children Having Sex
Did Video Sink Raniere?
Should it have been excluded as evidence?