No more silly requests for a new trial because a couple of the prosecution witnesses decided to change their minds about suing Keith Raniere and his randy band of enablers.
No more bobbing, dodging and weaving around court-established deadlines.
No more requests to be released because of the possibility he might catch coronavirus while imprisoned at the Metropolitan Detention Center.
All the speculation and gamesmanship are over – and at long last, the band has stopped playing.
Keith Alan Raniere – formerly known as “Vanguard” and now known as “Federal Prisoner 57005-177” – has been given a set date and a set time for his sentencing.
The denouement will take place at 10:00 AM on Tuesday, June 23rd, in Courtroom 4-D South in the U.S. District Court House for the Eastern District of New York.
That’s just 54 days from now. So, let the countdown begin…
Raniere Was Convicted on All Counts
Raniere’s sentencing will come just a few days after the 1-year anniversary of when he was convicted.
On June 19, 2029, the jury returned after just a few hours of deliberations – and announced they had found him guilty of all seven counts he was facing.
Those included racketeering, racketeering conspiracy, wire fraud conspiracy, forced labor conspiracy, sex trafficking, sex trafficking conspiracy, and attempted sex trafficking.
He was also found to have committed numerous underlying acts with respect to the racketeering charges – including child exploitation, possession of child pornography, identity theft, obstruction of justice, wire and visa fraud, human trafficking, and money laundering.
Raniere has been incarcerated at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, NY since his conviction.
New Order Leaves No Room for Maneuvering
The full Order that was posted late yesterday reads as follows:
ORDER re: Keith Raniere’s  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 June 15, 2020 at 10:00 am in Courtroom 4-D South or by live video conference, as the circumstances require. Mr. Raniere’s sentencing hearing will be held on June 23, 2020 at 10:00 am in Courtroom 4-D South or by live video conference, as the circumstances require. 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 June 19, 2020. No further adjournments will be granted. Ordered by Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis on 4/29/2020. (Kelly, Daniel)
It’s Possible That the Sentencing Hearing Will Be Done by Live Videoconferencing
About the only wiggle-room that U.S. District Court Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis left in his Order is whether the sentencing will be conducted in-person or via a “live video conference, as the circumstances require”.
In other words, if the courts are still not operating in normal fashion on June 23rd, Raniere’s sentencing will likely be conducted via a closed-circuit tv set-up in the courthouse.
Kind of a Zoom meeting with the judge and courtroom personnel in one location, the prosecution in a second location, and Raniere and his legal team in a third location.
It is unclear from the Order whether spectators will be allowed to attend an in-person hearing. It is also unclear whether they will be able to watch the video conference from yet another location in the courthouse.
Impact Statements Will Still Be Heard
What is clear is that regardless of whether the sentencing is done in-person or via a video conference set-up, those who wish to speak at the hearing will be allowed to do so.
Both the defense and the prosecution must provide Judge Garaufis with a list of any such parties “by no later than 10:00 AM on June 19th”.
At this point, it is uncertain as to how many self-proclaimed victims will come forth to read “impact statements” at the hearing.
While it was originally speculated that there would be dozens of victims wanting to vent their anger at the former leader of the NXIVM sex cult/criminal enterprise, the COVID-19 pandemic has many people staying at home – and only venturing out for necessities.
Although fewer victims may show up on June 23rd to deliver their statements in person, it’s quite possible that U.S. Assistant Attorney Tanya Hajjar and her associates will put together a “book” of such statements for the victims who can not be there in person.
It’s also possible that Judge Garufis will allow the victims to testify via a video conference hook-up with the court.
Lots of Questions Still Remain
Even though we now know when and where Raniere is going to be sentenced, there are still lots of unanswered questions about the proceeding.
Will, for example, Toni Natalie, Raniere’s one-time girlfriend and fellow grifter, show up in an attempt to revive interest in the book that Chet Hardin authored about her time with Raniere? She was there throughout the 6-week trial but was never called as a witness by the prosecution. This might be her last chance to extend her original “15-minutes of fame” a little longer.
And what about Catherine Oxenberg – will she show up to watch the final demise of the man who sought to make her daughter, India, one of his sex slaves? She was there when the guilty verdicts were read – and she is one of the people most responsible for Raniere’s takedown.
How about some of the witnesses who provided the testimony that caused the jury to convict Raniere of seven felony counts after less than 4-hours of deliberations – will they be there to watch the finish of what they made possible? Sylvie, Mark Vicente, Dani, Nicole, Jaye, and many others…will they be there on June 23rd?
And what about Raniere’s co-defendants – Allison Mack, Clare Bronfman, Nancy Salzman, Lauren Salzman, and Kathy Russell? Will some/all of them ask the Court to allow them to attend Raniere’s sentencing so they can see him one last time before he heads off to what many believe will be a lifetime in prison (They will all need permission from the court because they are all under some form of “home detention”).
What about Raniere’s father, Jim? Even though he did not attend any portion of the trial, will he want to be there to say goodbye to his only child?
Maybe Moira Kim Penza will want to show up to thank Raniere for transforming her from just another AUSA to a highly-compensated criminal defense attorney? She might not have made that transition without his help – at least not so soon. And she didn’t have to sleep with him – or even take one of his patent-pending training sessions – to advance in her chosen profession.
And what about Raniere’s most ardent followers – the ones who were part of his inner-circle? Will they show up to pay their respects to the man they allowed to control every aspect of their lives for so many years?
People like Nicky Clyne, Alex Betancourt, Jack Levy, Dawn Morrison, Barbara Bouchey, Monica Duran, Ivy Nevares, Loreta Garza, Jim Del Negro, Emiliano Salinas, Rosa Laura Junco, and Daniela Padilla. Will they show up even though doing so would put some of them at risk of getting arrested on the spot just to have the chance to say “Goodbye” to their god?
And let’s not forget the women who bore children that were sired by “the world’s smartest man”. Will either of them show up to get one last glance at the man who donated the sperm that allowed them to become mothers? Will they bring their children to wave “Bye-bye” to Daddy as he’s led in handcuffs from the courtroom through the door that will take him to his personal hell.
Viva Executive Success!
Stay tuned…updates will be added throughout the day on this story