This is Part 3 of Cami Pics Tampered but True.
In this series, we are examining two things: (!) Did Keith Raniere take nude pictures of Cami when she was 15 and (2) Did the FBI tamper with the evidence to prove it?
Cami herself did not testify at the trial – which is troubling from a standpoint of due process – for the single biggest victim of the Raniere case was Cami.
She haunted the entire trial – from the prosecution reading extensively and selectively from her texting and at times ‘sexting’ with Raniere when she was in her mid-twenties – to the revelation that she was the secret person who performed cunnilingus on the blindfolded sex-trafficking victim Nicole – to the dramatic showing to the jury the nude pics of her – when she was [allegedly] 15 – with jurors turning their heads away and shaking their heads.
Cami was in a sense almost half the trial – as far as importance goes.
Yet, she did not testify.
Raniere lost the right of confronting the victim who did the most to put him where he is now – in prison with a 120-year sentence.
Why she did not testify is unclear, although it appears that she said her attorney advised her not to testify, an attorney apparently paid for by Clare Bronfman.
Of course, Cami did appear publicly, just once, at the behest of the prosecution, but only after the trial was over – and only after Raniere’s supporters, including Suneel Chakravorty, made a stink about the tampering of the Cami photos.
Cami appeared at sentencing. She was not under oath.
By the way, I, for one, believe her. I DO think she was groomed by, and then had sex with Raniere when she was 15, just as she says she was. I do think she IS telling the truth. But what I think is not evidence. Nether was her statement at sentencing.
Among other things, Cami said at Raniere’s sentencing were these relevant statements concerning the photographs:
“He [Raniere] first had sex with me on September 18, 2005. He would expect me to celebrate September 18th as our anniversary together every year. That first time, which was my first time, I was 15. He was 45…
“He would often take me to his executive library where he would ask me to take my clothes off before coming up the stairs to the loft as he watched. During these secret meetings when I was still 15, he took naked pictures — naked pictures of me.
“The experience of being photographed is seared into my memory. As a 15-year-old that is not something you easily forget. He would have with me some type of sexual contact during every meeting. He wanted to take a picture with no exception.
“While he hid our sexual relationship from others, he explained it to me by telling me I was very mature for my age, and the flattering and the romance of hearing that when you’re a teenager; I know now that it was false. I was a child. I also know that it was no excuse to rob me of my youth or to interrupt my life the way he did. He used my innocence as — my innocence to do whatever he wanted with me, not just sexually but also psychologically…
“I left in 2017 thanks to my sister. When I walked away [from Raniere] I had the mind of a 15-year-old in the body of a 27-year-old. I missed out on the incredibly basic things people learn in their youth, so I was completely unarmed and unable to cope. Even after I left, I was still constrained by him.”
I repeat: I, for one, believe her statement. I do believe he took nude pictures of her when she was 15.
However, I am not sure – not absolutely sure – that the pictures or the dates on the camera card were not altered.
I can understand that the FBI might have wanted this case so badly that they justified their altering dates on the camera card because they believed it was true anyway. He did take the pictures.
Make the evidence fit the actual crime?
We all know this is not due process. We all know that even if Raniere, or any other defendant, committed a crime, we do not want law enforcement concocting evidence. If they did, we’d have a bigger problem than Raniere.
Sure, it won’t change Raniere’s guilt, but if it is true, it will say a lot about the FBI if they tampered with the pics.
Even if Raniere is 100 percent guilty of taking pics of Cami when she was 15, he is entitled to some remedy, even if that means a new trial, where Cami can and indeed must testify.
In fact, she should have testified anyway. Raniere appeal is based in part on Cami not testifying, as we shall see in the next part of our series.