If you were planning to go to Brooklyn to see Nxivm leader Keith Alan Raniere sentenced on January 17 – don’t buy a ticket or reserve a hotel room
Sentencing has been indefinitely delayed.
Here is the order from the judge:
SCHEDULING ORDER as to Keith Raniere: The pre-sentence investigation report for Mr. Raniere has not yet been finalized. Accordingly, the sentencing hearing currently scheduled for January 17, 2020 is adjourned sine die. The court will contact the parties to reschedule the sentencing hearing for Mr. Raniere once the pre-sentence investigation report has been received. Ordered by Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis on 1/2/2020. (Davis, Eleanor)
Adjournment “sine die” means “without assigning a day” – in other words, to adjourn for an indefinite period.
The reason is that Raniere’s pre-sentence investigation report [PSR] has not been completed.
Such reports are assembled by federal probation officers who interview convicted defendants and others involved in their life – including victims – prior to sentencing and then send their findings to the sentencing judge.
See https://www.federalrulesofcriminalprocedure.org/title-vii/rule-32-sentencing-and-judgment/ for more details on the process.
Since his PSR is not complete, Raniere’s sentencing will be pushed back to at least February. I would predict a more likely date will be March or possibly April.
The delay is not consequential for Raniere because any time he spends at MDC awaiting sentencing will count as time served. Raniere has been in custody since March 26, 2018. He was convicted on June 19, 2019.
Of his codefendants, only Kathy Russell (January 28th) and Clare Bronfman (February 14th) have sentencing dates. Allison Mack, and Nancy and Lauren Salzman have not had sentencing dates scheduled.
Some might ask “How it is possible to not be able to finish a PSR in six months?”
On the one hand, that does seem like an awfully long time – especially considering that most PSRs are completed within 1-2 months.
On the other hand, maybe no one can ever really finish Raniere’s PSR. There is so much evil in his background, a life of almost pure evil – often masquerading as good – that to try to catalog a fraction of it might take years.
What does this mean for Raniere?
By law, he faces a minimum of 15 years for the sex trafficking charge. He has a raft of other felonies such as forced labor and racketeering. The racketeering charges included underlying acts of possessing child pornography, money laundering, identity theft, obstruction of justice and visa fraud.
The PSR delay, however, can only mean one thing: It will be an aggressive report – with a likely recommendation, in my opinion, for life in prison.
They don’t postpone PSRs because what they uncover is making things look better.
Bronfman had 25 pages of victim summaries on her report –- which prompted the judge to declare he was thinking of a higher sentence for her than the 21-27 months her plea deal suggested. If Bronfman had 25 pages, Raniere likely has a 100 pages or more of summaries of victim statements.
The PSR is not limited to basing recommendations entirely on crimes Raniere was convicted of. They can report about crimes he should have been charged with – and any and all kinds of reputed abhorrent behavior.
The rape of Rhiannon comes to mind. The suicide of Gina Hutchinson. The women who had to flee from him. The women he sued. The people he filed false charges against. The disappearance of Kristin Snyder. I suspect these will all make the report.
The judge will have the PSR to back him up if he decides ‘life’ is the proper sentence. [You don’t get time off for good behavior when you get life.]
The future, therefore, appears to be quite dim for the man who said, “He who has the most joy wins.”
I predict Keith is never going to see the outside again.
The only question now is whether his is a natural death, a suicide or a homicide.
Any way it ends, it’s time to say “Goodnight, Keith.”
And Viva Executive Success!