Keith Alan Raniere – the man who once controlled every aspect of the NXIVM cult/criminal enterprise, the man who once issued orders to have other people’s lives destroyed without even a second thought, the man who insisted that everything he said be recorded so that future historians would have access to every one of his brilliant musings – may have a bad case of stage fright.
How else to explain his recent request to have his sentencing postponed yet again?
Raniere, who is currently scheduled to be sentenced on May 21st, has asked U.S. District Court Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis, to postpone his sentencing “to a date convenient for the Court”.
As part of the same motion, Raniere’s attorneys, Marc A. Agnifilo and Teny R. Geragos, have also asked that several interim steps be postponed.
As of right now, Raniere’s “Sentencing Memorandum” is due on April 27th. Agnifilo and Geragos would like to postpone that until June 1st.
Similarly, they’ve asked the judge to postpone the due date for the government’s “Sentencing Memorandum” from May 4th to June 8th.
They also asked that Judge Garaufis re-schedule the date for a Fatico hearing – should one be necessary – from May 18th to “a date convenient for the court” (A Fatico hearing is a sentencing hearing at which the government and the defense each have an opportunity to present evidence about what the defendant’s sentence should be).
And, lastly, they’ve asked the judge to postpone the actual sentencing until some future, unspecified date.
Cited Reasons for the Requests Don’t Seem to Make Sense
To buttress their requests, Agnifilo and Geragos pointed out several things that they claim have impeded their ability to prepare for the sentencing hearing.
To begin with, counsel visits are still not permitted at the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) – which is where Raniere has been residing for the past 25 months.
In addition, Agnifilo and Geragos are only allowed to have 15-minute legal phone calls with their client (Anyone who knows Raniere is well aware that the first 10-12 minutes of any conversation with him usually involve listening to him bragging about how smart he is or whining about how he may die because one of the members of his harem had a Brazilian wax job).
Lastly, they point out that New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo has extended the date for non-essential businesses to stay closed – and for all people to avoid non-essential travel – until May 15th (Whoever thought that the Vanguard would ever be considered as “non-essential”?)
What Agnifilo and Geragos failed to point out is that it’s been over 10 months since Keith Alan Raniere was found guilty on all seven felony counts he was facing – which means they had plenty of time to start working on whatever documents they need to prepare for his sentencing hearing.
They also failed to mention the fact that they had almost eight months to meet with Raniere for however long they wanted before the COVID-19 restrictions were implemented.
And they failed to disclose just how many weeks they’ve had Raniere’s “Pre-Sentencing Report” in their hands – which is all they really needed to get working on their “Sentencing Memorandum”.
So, why is it that Raniere is asking for another sentencing delay?
Possible Reasons for the Requested Delay
So, if all the reasons cited for the requested delay are just good old lawyerly bullshit, what are the real reasons why Raniere is asking the judge to postpone his sentencing for at least another five weeks?
Let’s take a look at a few possible explanations – and see if we can figure that out.
Maybe he just doesn’t want to be the first defendant sentenced?
As of right now, only two of the six defendants in his case have set sentencing dates: May 21st for Raniere – and June 25th for Clare Bronfman.
So, maybe Keith is just trying to ensure that his sentencing date takes place sometime after Clare has already been sentenced.
Clare’s current sentencing date was designated as a “date certain” at the time it was announced. That means that, under normal circumstances, it could not be moved again.
But the COVID-19 pandemic likely means that even her “date certain” sentencing could be moved past June 25th.
So, maybe, Keith and Clare are just trying to play hopscotch on their sentencing dates – and put off the inevitable as long as possible.
Maybe, he’s hoping to catch COVID-19?
It’s also possible that Keith is hoping to become infected with COVID-19 – and knows that staying at MDC for a few extra weeks will greatly increase the chances for him doing so.
He did, after all, request that he be housed in an isolation unit with several other inmates who are likely to be infected with the disease – thereby dramatically increasing his chances that he would catch the disease himself.
Becoming infected could be beneficial for Raniere in several ways.
First, it’s possible – but not very likely – that he’d be released from prison early and allowed to serve out the balance of his sentence under home confinement. That’s what the BOP recently did for Michael Cohen and Dean Skelos – and neither of them even had the disease.
Second, if Raniere did contract COVID-19, it’s likely that he’d be assigned to a medical facility like Devens FMC rather than a regular maximum-security prison (Were that to happy, John Tighe would undoubtedly arrange for a wonderful welcoming party for his good old buddy Keith).
Third, he might be allowed to stay at MDC until he was entirely clear of the disease. After more than two years there, MDC may be starting to feel like home to him.
Maybe he’s developed a “love interest” at MDC?
It’s also possible that Keith has found true love at MDC – and doesn’t want to be separated from his lover by being ordered to report to a regular prison (More than 90% of the inmates at MDC are awaiting trial – or, like Raniere, awaiting sentencing).
It’s not that unusual for male inmates to “Go gay for the stay” – and for a guy with Keith’s insatiable sexual needs, that would make perfect sense.
Perhaps it’s one of the other eight inmates he’s currently being housed with in their little quarantine unit.
Or maybe he’s waiting to be joined there by another inmate who has not yet been able to convince MDC officials that he also belongs in the unit.
Whatever the Reason, it Looks Like Keith Will Be at MDC a While Longer
Regardless of what’s really going on, it looks like Keith will be at MDC until at least the end of June – and maybe the end of July.
At least one really good thing could come out of that scenario.
Just think how wonderful it would be if John Tighe were able to attend Keith’s sentencing in person…