Of the six Nxivm defendants, only three are under consideration for sentencing.
Nancy Salzman, Lauren Salzman and Allison Mack have no sentencing dates.
It has been of some interest to me that the three women who turned on their leader, Keith Alan Raniere, have not been given any dates for sentencing.
This has caused me to speculate that there may be more in store for Raniere and other Nxivm members – and that the three women might be part of the line up of prosecution witnesses in a future prosecution.
There could, of course, be other reasons for the long delay. Still, it was nine months from the date of their conviction even before the advent of the coronavirus, which has stalled most court proceedings in America.
The other three defendants – Raniere, Clare Bronfman and Kathy Russell all had sentencing dates set last December. They were originally to be held in January, then for various reasons, largely to do with their presentencing reports, they got delayed until April.
The quicker road to sentencing is perhaps coincidentally tied into their attitude toward Raniere.
Bronfman and Russell reportedly remain steadfast and loyal to their Vanguard.
As of right now, Raniere’s sentencing is set for May 21. Russell’s was recently adjourned with no new date set and, curiously, Clare Bronfman’s sentencing date remains in place for April 23.
This is curious because with the massive shutdowns of almost everything that requires people to convene and be within coughing distance of each other – something that is almost definitely going to last until past April 23 – one would expect a motion by either the prosecution or the defense or the court itself to postpone this sentencing hearing, scheduled for just 22 days from now.
There may be some solid reasoning behind the defense not seeking an adjournment. Clare might want to be sentenced during the pandemic for no other reason than the estimated 100 alleged victims of hers – many of whom planned to crowd into court at sentencing to decry what she did to them – will be far less likely to travel to the epicenter of the pandemic, New York City – just to tell the judge to sentence Clare to a long prison sentence.
A very quiet courtroom will likely be the result if the judge actually holds the sentencing on the April 23 date.
On the other hand, an argument could be made that Clare might want to postpone the sentencing until after the pandemic’s worst nightmares are over, since anyone would be justifiably terrified about going to prison under these dreadful conditions.
It is not unlikely that, at least during normal times, Clare would be remanded immediately after sentencing.
However, it might be likely, since Clare does not present an immediate danger to society, that the judge won’t send her right off to prison until the pandemic passes. She has been subject to home arrest in her Manhattan apartment since August 2018 and has not apparently violated any of her bail conditions. She could be sentenced to home confinement until it is safe for her to go to prison.
It remains to be seen if Clare’s sentencing comes off as scheduled. As it stands now, if people wish to speak at her sentencing, the court must be informed no later than April 21st.
But who will go?
New York City is on lockdown. People are dying and reportedly being placed in refrigerator trucks because the morgues cannot keep up. How badly do the victims want to be there to tell their tales of woe caused to them by this woman with sadly too little brains and too much money?
Keith Raniere weaponized her wealth to destroy many victims, but the coronavirus is working in her favor it seems. My guess is that if the hearing does take place on April 23rd, almost none of her victims will show up to speak.
I am one of her victims and I know I won’t be there.
My best guess, however, is that sometime soon, either the judge or the prosecution will make a motion to delay her sentencing and it will likely be delayed.
As for Raniere, he was supposed to be sentenced on April 16. That was adjourned to May 21.
Raniere’s lawyers made the application to adjourn his sentencing. It was granted.
Here is the order from the court:
ORDER re: Keith Raniere’s 858 Application to Adjourn Sentencing Deadlines. The Application is GRANTED. The court adopts Mr. Raniere’s proposed briefing schedule. A Fatico hearing, if necessary, will be held on May 18, 2020 at 10:00 am in Courtroom 4D South. Mr. Raniere’s sentencing hearing will be held on May 21, 2020 at 10:00 am in Courtroom 4D South. The parties are DIRECTED to provide the court with the names of individuals who may wish to be heard at Mr. Raniere’s sentencing hearing by no later than 10:00 am on May 19, 2020. Ordered by Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis on 3/18/2020. (Kelly, Daniel) (Entered: 03/18/2020)
The possibility of his sentencing date coming off in May is hard to predict at this point. Some medical experts believe things will start to open up again as early as the beginning of May. Others believe that all of May and possibly longer will be a period of continued social distancing – and that any non-essential business will be postponed.
It can easily be argued that Raniere’s sentencing is non-essential business. He is currently in custody. Any time he spends in prison awaiting sentencing will go towards time served. He is facing an absolute minimum of 15 years for the sex trafficking charges alone.
According to a source close to Raniere, he and his team have long felt that Judge Garaufis is going to sentence him to life in prison – and they are pinning all their hopes on an appeal or a declaration of a mistrial.
As for Kathy Russell, her sentencing hearing has been “ADJOURNED sine die.” Adjournment sine die means “without assigning a day for a further meeting or hearing”.
I would suspect that it will be rescheduled when things calm down in America. In the meantime, she is living in Georgia with her sister, under light home confinement rules: she may go out by day but must be home by 8 pm at night.
Russell is a sad case. A rather hapless woman, she was the bookkeeper for Nxivm for years and likely believed the mission of Nxivm was a good one. It was revealed in court that she was involved in a lot of the sexual activity at Raniere’s behest, often being the pimp for his threesomes in which she participated.
I have seen little evidence of any real malicious nature on the part of Russell. For years, Raniere misled her with the promise that the Nxivm tech would help her become a top-flight ballerina – despite the fact that she was in her 50s.
Despite it being called Executive Success Programs – and despite the fact that Russell had been taking the ESP courses for more than 15 years – when she was arrested in August 2018, she declared that she was broke.
And, worse yet, she had still not appeared on stage as a professional ballerina.