The prosecutors in the case against Keith Alan Raniere, AKA Vanguard, have taken the time to explain why Keith Alan should get life in prison in a filing before Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis.
It is part of their sentencing recommendation [they recommend life in prison for the Vanguard] and, for readers who are unfamiliar with Sylvie, a DOS slave and long time member of Nxivm, it might make good reading.
This is the prosecution’s view of how Sylvie was abused by Raniere when she became a DOS slave.
Clare Bronfman also got into legal trouble over Sylvie because she harbored Sylvie illegally in the US. Sylvie is a UK citizen. But that is another story. The prosecution here is talking about how Sylvie was abused by the great and illustrious, compassionate Vanguard.
By Seth D. Dicharme
Acting US Attorney, Eastern District of New York
Mark J. Lesko
Assistant United States Attorneys
The Story of Sylvie
Sylvie had worked for Clare Bronfman for nearly ten years when Monica Duran, a “first-line” master in DOS, approached Sylvie about joining DOS.
At that time, Sylvie had recently been married to another member of the Nxivm community. Both Raniere and Bronfman, at various points, instructed Sylvie not to have sex with her husband for the first two years of their marriage.
Duran approached Sylvie and invited Sylvie to a secret project that Duran said had nothing to do with Nxivm.
Sylvie was told that, in order to learn more, she had to provide “collateral,” which was something capable of destroying her relationships with her family. Sylvie provided a stamped letter addressed to her parents falsely confessing to being a prostitute.
Sylvie also provided a naked photograph of herself as collateral.
Soon thereafter, Duran gave Sylvie an assignment to “seduce” Raniere. Sylvie was assigned to send Raniere naked photographs every day. Sylvie was not attracted to Raniere and found him “creepy.” Duran later arranged for Sylvie to meet Raniere at a house, where Raniere took Sylvie upstairs, instructed her to undress and lie down on the bed. Raniere then performed unwanted oral sex on Sylvie and took close-up photographs of Sylvie’s vagina with Sylvie’s phone.
Sylvie felt disgusted by this encounter and acquiesced to it only because she believed her collateral would be released if she did not obey Raniere. The photographs were then sent to Duran using Telegram, an encrypted messaging service.
After Sylvie completed the assignment she had been given, Sylvie deleted the photograph in disgust and shame.
The next day, Duran called Sylvie, panicked, because the photographs had been deleted from Duran’s phone. Duran told Sylvie that she would have to go back to Raniere and have him take new photographs, which Sylvie did.
…. Sylvie testified that she was not attracted to Raniere and found him “creepy.”
… Sylvie felt disgusted by [the oral sex encounters] and acquiesced to it only because she believed her collateral would be released if she did not obey Raniere.
The trial record … established… [that] Raniere and other DOS “masters” recruited women, including Sylvie… as “slaves” into DOS by deliberately concealing Raniere’s role in DOS and the sexualized components of DOS…..
Taken as a whole, this evidence establishes that Raniere participated in sex trafficking as to Sylvie….
Sex trafficking is a crime that strips victims of their dignity and self-worth, causing them unimaginable damage. For many of his victims, Raniere’s actions had a destructive impact on their psychological health, emotional stability, and understandings of relationships and trust.
At trial, Sylvie testified about her disgust and shame after Raniere performed unwanted oral sex on her and took photographs of her vagina:
“I felt so disgusting and ashamed, so I just thought—I felt like it was all lies. I felt—I think I just felt shame, all around that time I felt so
much shame and still do honestly about this whole thing . . . I just felt like everything was just lies and secrets and darkness. Like I say, it was such a horrible time.”