In this FrankReport post, an Anonymous commenter expressed skepticism about Suneel Chakravorty’s claims of evidence tampering on the Cami photos, but is willing to look closer at the testimony.
Anonymous asked for the following:
- Prosecution’s opening statement regarding the pictures
- Defense counsel’s opening statements regarding the pictures
- Brian Booth’s entire testimony regarding the pictures. (direct and cross examination)
- Closing arguments from both sides as to the picture evidence.
We’ve provided these things below. Let our intelligent readers who are interested in the topic form their own opinions.
They now have the testimony to guide them.
Prosecution’s opening statement regarding the pictures
- HAJJAR: The defendant pretended to be a guru but he was a criminal and along with an inner circle of followers, he committed crimes, crimes of extortion, forced labor, sex trafficking, fraud, and the production and possession of child pornography, and that’s why we are here.
- HAJJAR: The youngest daughter’s name was Camila. The defendant had a nickname for her. “Virgin Camila” he called her. The defendant started having sex with Camila when she was just 15, the age she is in this photograph. At that time, the defendant was 45. The defendant took graphic, naked photographs of Camila, close-up photographs of her private parts. These images are child pornography and possessing them and producing them is a crime. During the course of this trial, you will learn that these photographs of Camila were only part of the defendant’s collection. He took dozens of explicit photographs of women’s private parts that he kept in a folder on its computer which he labeled his studies, his souvenirs. And over the years, the defendant collected hundreds more of the same kind of photographs, graphic naked photographs, posed the same way that Camila’s were.
THE COURT: I’m sorry. Is this Camila?
- HAJJAR: Camila, yes. Thank you, Your Honor. And you will learn that in the defendant’s hands these photographs didn’t just serve his sexual needs. These photographs became instruments of coercion and of control. He used them to blackmail and to extort.
- HAJJAR: This is Nicole. Nicole is an actress in her 30s who believed that she was joining a women’s mentorship group when she agreed to join DOS and as collateral, she provided letters making damaging accusations against friends and loved ones. Once she was in DOS, she was told to meet the defendant, she was ordered to meet the defendant, and they met in a room where she was blindfolded and the defendant tied her to a table. Then a third person, someone Nicole didn’t know, came into the room and began performing oral sex on Nicole and Nicole felt she couldn’t say no. That third person, Nicole never found out who she was, but during the course of this trial, you will learn that the third person was Camila, the same girl the defendant victimized when she was just 15 years old. Now Camila had grown up. The same girl the defendant robbed of her innocence and of her childhood became a woman he used to victimize others.
- HAJJAR: Lastly, you will see physical evidence. You will see the photographs the defendant took of Camilla; you will see the camera that he took those photographs with…
- HAJJAR: And when the case is done and all the evidence is in, we will have an opportunity to review it with you, and then we will ask you to hold the defendant accountable, hold him accountable for creating and leading a criminal organization, hold him accountable for defrauding and extorting his victims, for taking advantage of them sexually, for producing and possessing child pornography. We will ask you to return a verdict of guilty on all counts. Thank you.
The Defense’s opening statement did not mention the Cami pictures
Brian Booth’s Testimony
Booth testified on June 12, 2019 and June 13, 2019
Here is the complete June 12 testimony
Here is the complete June 13 testimony
Closing arguments as to the picture evidence.
CLOSING ARGUMENTS FROM PROSECUTION (PENZA)
- PENZA: The crimes he’s charged with span nearly 15 years and include sex trafficking, forced labor, sexual exploitation of a child, possession of child pornography, identity theft, wire fraud, and obstruction of justice.
- PENZA: We saw with Camila, who was sexually abused by the defendant at age 15, and then ended up sexually abusing Nicole as the defendant watched… Some of the defendant’s goals he could achieve through NXIVM and the other public organizations, but for his criminal ambitions he needed the enterprise: The naked pictures of 15-year-old Camila…
- PENZA: For Racketeering Acts two, three, four we’ll look at the proof we presented that the defendant took graphic photos of Camila when she was 15 and kept those photos for more than a decade in the executive library, hidden in a folder called studies, along with photos of his adult lovers in the same poses all around the same time period.
- PENZA: Now we’re going to move on to Racketeering Act 2, 3, 4. So now we’re in the portion of the category slide that deals with the crimes related to the sexual exploitation of Camila and the possession of child pornography. Racketeering Act 2 is sexual exploitation of a child and the actual producing of the pictures of Camila. And that happened on two different occasions, so that’s why there are two Racketeering Acts related to that. Then Racketeering Act 4 is the actual possession of those photographs.
- PENZA: Racketeering Act 2 and 3 are based on the same conduct. That on November 2, 2005, and again on November 24, 2005, the defendant took graphic and sexual photographs of Camila who was then only 15 years old, a child. For both of those crimes there are three elements.
[Pg. 5367 – 5375]
So here are the elements of sexual exploitation of child. First, that Camila was under 18 at the time of the acts alleged, November 2, 2005 and November 24, 2005.
That the defendant used, employed or persuaded Camila to take part in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing a visual image of that conduct. Sexually explicit conduct includes lascivious exhibition of the genitalia and the pubic area. And lascivious exhibition is a depiction designed to excite lustfulness and sexual stimulation in a viewer.
So the difference between baby in a bubble bath and the types of photos that you saw of Camila. Now, the third element is that the visual depiction produced was produced using materials mailed, shipped, transported in or affecting interstate commerce.
Let’s talk about the second element first. You know that the defendant took sexually explicit photographs of Camila. Daniela identified a redacted version of one of those images as being of her little sister. So that’s Government’s Exhibit 929, combined with on the top there is a transcript cite to page 2,477. You saw all of the images. That’s the redacted version.
They are in evidence as Government’s Exhibit 518 A through U. I’m not going to show you them again. But you did see them. And you if feel it necessary, you can you determine if they are necessary, if you want to, you can request to see them again during your deliberations. They clearly focus on Camila’s genitals, which mean they are what is called a lascivious exhibition under the law, or visual depiction of a child’s genitals for sexual stimulation. You heard evidence of about where those images were kept, on a hard drive, the defendant’s executive library.
So that’s the defendant on the left with the drive behind him, that’s the picture that was taken in February 2012. And then on the right you can see the hard drive, which Special Agent Mills testified he recovered in 2018. And so you can see that it has not moved from the same spot since then. Those are Government’s Exhibit 175A-1 and Government’s Exhibit 502A-34.
The images were found in a folder that the defendant called his studies. Now, how do you know that this was the defendant’s hard drive, that it was the defendant’s studies folder [
First, because of Daniela’s testimony. Daniela testified that the defendant had a Dell computer and a Western Digital hard drive and a Dell drive and a big professional camera. She testified to that on pages 2,568 through 69.
Daniela testified that she went through the defendant’s Dell computer and found pictures of naked women, women that she knew the defendant had been with. That was on page 2,571 of the transcript.
She testified that she distinctly remembered seeing Monica Duran’s photograph, because she hadn’t known up until that point that the defendant was having sex with her.
She also testified that she set up the hard drive to back up the defendant’s Dell computer. You also know that it was the defendant’s studies folder because you saw what was in the folder. There were 11 folders of sexually explicit photographs, all of women that the defendant was having sex with. You can look at Government’s Exhibit 550, which was the stipulation identifying the women in each of those individual folders.
The first folder, 4L122505, naked photographs of Lauren Salzman, which the defendant titled the folder after his nickname for her Forelorn. A111005, naked photographs of Angel Smith. BJ103005, naked photographs of Barbara Jeske. 101705, naked photographs of Dawn Morrison. A lot of these people are on the inner circle board as well. DF101905, naked photographs of Daniela. J10605 naked photographs of Barbara Bouchey, who went by the nickname Ja, that was from Lauren Salzman on page 1992. L102805, those were naked pictures of Loretta Garza, one of the defendant’s first line DOS slaves as well. NMP102005, those were naked pictures of Marianna and Pam Cafritz together. MO101805 were pictures of Monica Duran. And then MS — we’re missing one. There was also MS Kathy Russell’s photographs were in a folder that was labeled MSK at the beginning; and you heard through testimony that one of her nicknames was Ms. Kathy. Then finally V110205, which were naked photographs of Camila. Now, why the V? Well, you know by now, you’ve seen her nickname over and over, all over the place, Virgin Camila, Vicky Baby, CV Baby, the name was given to her by the defendant.
The defendant talks with Camila about the fact that he had these photographs. You saw that in the WhatsApp chat, Government’s Exhibit 302R, page 44. He says, “You know I guard the other pictures, right?” Camila responds, “From way back when?” The defendant responds, “I wanted the original forever. I thought it was truly mine. Yes. From way back when.” Which brings us to the first element of the crime of child exploitation. The evidence is overwhelming that Camila was under the age of 18 when the photographs were taken.
First of all, you know Camila’s birthday was March 1st, 1990. You know that because Daniela testified to it. But you also know it because of Camila’s passport that was scanned in her e-mail account, and her medical records, all of which consistently show her birthday of March 1st, 1990.
Next you know when the photographs were taken because of when they were dated. I don’t think we have the, we don’t have the — so there is — the first one is B110205, and then — we’ll come back to it before we finish.
Now the defendant clearly came up with the folder title, because it’s his own private nicknames for the women who’s pictures are inside them. Each of these folders contain photographs that match the date on which they were taken. You know it because Lauren Salzman and Daniela both testified that the defendant took naked photographs of them in 2005. And the naked photographs they described having been taken are exactly like the ones that you saw in the studies on the Western digital hard drive.
Now you also know that the photographs were taken in 2005 because that’s what the data shows. The forensic examiner, Brian Booth testified that the most reliable metadata that the FBI could obtain from the images on the Western digital hard drive, said that they were taken exactly when the folders stated they were taken. So Government’s Exhibit 518 A through N, now we can see it, were taken on November 2, 2005. And Government’s Exhibit 518 O through U were taken November 24, 2005.
You also know that the photographs were taken when Camila was under 18 because you know that Camila’s appendix surgery was on January 9, 2015, when she still 16 years old, she wouldn’t turn 17 until the following March. You know that the wounds were bad. You heard it described in detail, watching her mother clean it out. You yourselves have compared a recent photograph of Camila’s abdomen where the scar is still visible. You know it’s a recent photograph because you can also see her brand on there.
In that photograph, when you compared that photograph to the photograph from the studies folder, I submit to you, there is no scar. Special Agent Wenniger also told you there was no scar. So the images must have been taken before Camila turned 17.
The third element, the last element, is also clearly mapped because the materials that had been mailed, shipped or transported in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce.
So here, as you know, the images were taken from this camera, the Canon EO 20D, which is Government’s Exhibit 520. You can see that right on it, it says that it was made in Japan. You know because the active data from every single photograph taken from the defendant’s studies folder showed the photograph was taken by this camera with this serial number 1420908348. This is in evidence.
It looks just like the camera that Lauren Salzman and Daniela described the defendant taking pictures of them with. You can inspect it yourself in the jury room.
As Special Agent Mills testified, the camera says it was made in Japan. You can see it for yourselves, which proves the third element of the Racketeering Act 2 and 3 beyond a reasonable doubt.
Now, as for Racketeering Act 4, the defendant was charged with possession of child pornography. The child pornography with which he possessed is the same as the images he took of Camila when she was under 18 years old.
The elements of Racketeering Act 4 are that the defendant knowingly possessed the visual depiction. That the visual depiction was produced using material that had been transported in interstate or foreign commerce. That the production of the depiction involved the use of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct. And that the defendant knew that the production of the visual depiction involved the use of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct.
So Racketeering Act 4 is similar to Racketeering Act 2 and 3 because elements two and three are the same. The difference for Racketeering Act 4 is that Racketeering Act 4 charges the possession, not the creation, of the images of Camila. All possession means is that the defendant had control over the images at some point between when the images were created in November 2005 and when they were seen by Special Agent Mills in March 2018.
You know the defendant did, because again, the defendant took those photos. He labels the photos with the first initial of his nickname for Camila, Virgin Camila, and he tells her that he has the photos from way back when.
- PENZA: Oh, sorry, I didn’t show you the appendix scar. We’ll talk about it before, but if you want to look at the record, Government Exhibit 530-R is the actual appendectomy records.
CLOSING ARGUMENTS FROM DEFENSE (AGNIFILO)
[Pg. 5435 – 5436]
- AGNIFILO: Racketeering Act 2, 3, 4 are the Racketeering Acts that are related to the photographs of Camila. I’m going to come back to those.
- AGNIFILO: I want to talk a little bit about Camila. In some ways I think Camila is the most important person at this trial because she wasn’t at this trial, she wasn’t here. Neither side brought her as a witness.
[Pg. 5514 – 5515]
- AGNIFILO: All right. The photos. The government says they were from two particular dates in 2005, and here’s my question, there’s no indication that those photos — well, let me back up. The photos were printed out by the government. There’s no evidence that the electronic information that led to the photo ever resulted in a photo from Keith’s doing.
The state of the information is this, from what I understand, there was a hard drive, there was a Western — whatever it was, the hard drive with the blue circle, all right. There was a hard drive and at one point it seemed to have been hooked up to a Dell computer or some other computer and that Dell computer or the other computer is no longer around. So, what seems to have happened is that these photos were taken from the camera with the serial number as they said, went into the Dell computer, the Dell computer had a backup, went to the backup and then the Dell computer is gone because it’s probably obsolete because this is back from 2005 but the photos were found by the FBI on this hard drive, okay, which I think at the time that the FBI found the hard drive it wasn’t connected to anything. So, it’s just there. I mean, you know, it’s a very large device, it has a lot of stuff in it and some of the stuff in it are these photographs, not just photographs of Camila but photographs of a lot of different people.
But the Camila photographs are completely different to the extent that they constitute contraband, they’re illegal, they’re illegal in of itself if they’re pornography and, you know, if you find, and the judge is going to instruct you on what the definition of all of these things are, they’re not sort of the same thing at all and what I mean by that is the government hasn’t charged this as just Keith made these photographs or possessed these photographs, they’ve charged this that he made these photographs and possessed these photographs as part of his involvement in a racketeering — his involvement in an enterprise, as part of his involvement in an enterprise.
There’s no evidence that these photographs were ever looked at. There’s no — and I keep saying photographs, the electronic images that could be made into a photograph, they are on a camera, they go into a computer, they go to a hard drive, that’s it, that’s it. They’re not sent anywhere, they’re not shared with anybody. You know, the FBI CART examiner, I thought he was very good at what he does, he’s very smart, he’s very experienced, you know, there’s no testimony that these were ever sent anywhere. They seem to have been on a camera, they went to a computer, they went to a hard drive, that’s it. They weren’t shared, they weren’t viewed, no evidence of any of that.
CLOSING ARGUMENTS FROM PROSECUTION (LESKO) [REBUTTAL]
[Pg. 5571 –
- LESKO: Mr. Agnifilio said — let’s turn to the child pornography. He didn’t spend much time on the child pornography itself. I would suggest that there is no doubt that the evidence shows that there are two dates. Let’s pull up Government’s Exhibit 550, just to remind everybody.
You have the folder then the two dates associated with the sub-folder, November 2, 2005 and November 24, 2005. If we can pull up Government’s Exhibit 504B. Those two dates correspond to the two folders on the hard drive. And then 504B is the exit data. I’m no expert, don’t get me wrong, but I heard Examiner Boothe, just like you did. Exit data is extremely reliable. It’s embedded in the jpeg, in the image itself. And the exit data shows that the data was created on the camera, in this instance, this particular instance, the 150 jpeg on November 2, 2005 which consistent with the title of the folder.
Then if you go, Alex, to page six under the Exhibit 504B6, right above all those zeros. It’s the camera you saw that was recovered from the defendant’s library. You know the hard drive was in the library as well.
So really the defendant’s argument with respect to the child pornography is that all the Racketeering Act have to be for a common purpose, but that’s not all.
And Judge Garaufis will instruct you on the law. I expect that he will instruct you as follows. That two Racketeering Acts may be related. And the relationship may be established by evidence that the defendant was enabled to commit the Racketeering Act solely by virtue of his position in the enterprise or involvement in or control over its affairs. So the child pornography counts are related to the enterprise because the defendant was able to commit them due to his position in the enterprise.
I just told you what I expect Judge Garaufis to instruct you on. Here members of the enterprise of the inner circle were involved in facilitating the defendant’s access to Camila. Nancy Salzman hired her as a maid, keeping her away from her siblings and closer to the defendant’s reach. And Pam Cafritz helped protect the defendant by making him lie to medical professionals about his sexual partners. The defendant was able to exploit Camila and take photographs of her, that are child pornography.