Readers learned from the post, Just the Facts and By Request — The Complete Testimony of FBI Senior Forensic Examiner Brian Booth — as Well as the Portions of Opening and Closing Statements Concerning Cami Pics, the list of 12 women whose nude photos were found on Keith Raniere’s hard drive.
Let us take a look, not at the graphic pictures of the women [or girls], which numbered in total 167 photos [averaging almost 14 pics per woman or girl] but at the women, those ladies who posed for Raniere and whose pictures he apparently kept for years. They were graphic nude photos, focused on their vaginas and sure to include, I am told, their face for identification purposes.
Why did he keep them?
Was it for his prurient pleasure? Did he keep them as a sort of blackmail? Did he just like to collect nudes even if he never looked at them and never had any intention of sharing them with anyone?
It was only one of them, Cami, who created a problem for him. All the other women were indisputably over the age of consent. It is a matter of federal law that an individual must be over the age of 18 to be photographed in a sexually explicit manner.
Even if the age of consent is lower, 18 is still the legal age for sexually explicit photos or in other words in some states it is legal for a person to have sex but not legal to take a picture of her or him in any sexually explicit manner. The former is a state law, the latter is a federal law.
If the Cami photos were not tampered with, as some of Raniere’s supporters insist, Cami was only 15 at the time the pictures were taken, which is an age that makes her nude photos illegal.
AUSA Moira Kim Penza listed for the Raniere jury 12 women who were found on a file folder named “Studies.”
Studies may indeed be what Raniere was doing with the naked photos. He was studying them. Perhaps. Suneel Chakravorty, one of Raniere’s friends, says that there is no proof that Raniere himself named the folders “Studies.”
That may be true. We were not there when Raniere took these graphic nudes of the women. We do know that all of them were followers of Raniere for a time. Some still are.
As Penza tells the jury:
The first folder, 4L122505, contained naked photographs of Lauren Salzman, which the defendant titled the folder after his nickname for her, Forlorn.
The second folder, A111005, contained naked photographs of Angel Smith. [no photo available]
The third folder, BJ103005, contained naked photographs of Barbara Jeske.
The fourth folder, 101705, contained naked photographs of Dawn Morrison.
A lot of these people are on the inner circle board as well.
Folder DF101905 contained naked photographs of Daniela.
Folder J10605 contained naked photographs of Barbara Bouchey, who went by the nickname Ja…
There were also naked pictures of Loretta Garza, one of the defendant’s first line DOS slaves as well.
Folder NMP102005 contained naked pictures of Marianna and Pam Cafritz together.
Folder MO101805 contained naked pictures of Monica Duran.
And then … Kathy Russell’s photographs were in a folder that was labeled MSK at the beginning — and as we learned during Keith’s trial, one of her nicknames was Ms. Kathy.
And last, but certainly not least, was Folder V110205 — which contazined 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 talked 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.”
…. 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.
Taking nude photos of your harem may seem like a worthy pastime for your average rank and file Vanguard, but this Vanguard apparently made it into a study or something. He might have gone too far, too far indeed, if one of those harem members was under the age of consent and of taking legal photographs with close-up shots of her vagina.
Perhaps a correction is needed here. I used the word ‘vagina” and I am not alone in so doing. The government did it also.
In Raniere’s appeal, his attorney Jennifer Bonjean describes it a little differently. She wrote, “Although the images at issue were often referred to as depicting women’s vaginas, the anatomically correct name of the women’s genitalia depicted in the images is ‘vulva.’”
Bonjean also raises an issue on appeal that the photos of the women should not even have been admitted as evidence.
Here is what she wrote:
“[T]he government also admitted into evidence roughly 167 images of women’s genitalia with whom Defendant had consensual sexual relations in and around 2005. Each juror was provided with a binder of images of the vulvas that were wholly unrelated to any of the charged offenses.
“The parties stipulated to the identity of each of the woman and their vulvas – none of the women alleged that the photos were taken under duress or without consent.
“The government argued that the evidence was relevant to prove the child exploitation charges because the child pornography images were contained in a folder in the same area as the folders that contained images of other women and for timeframe. The government also opined that the ‘type’ of photographs (i.e., images of women’s vulvas) were the same kind the Defendant received in DOS a decade later.
“Arguably, the timeframe in which the vulva photos was taken shed some light on the question of whether Defendant was responsible for taking the Camila photos, but it was entirely unnecessary to provide the jury with binders of 167 images of nude women and their vulvas to establish a timeline.
“Indeed, the government had ample evidence via the testimony of Lauren Salzman and Daniela that in conjunction with the meta-data associated with the images would have accomplished the same goal. Salzman and Daniela both testified that Defendant took intimate photos of them with a camera in and around 2005.
“They certainly could have identified a handful of photos of themselves for the purpose of establishing the “time line.” Similarly, the record contained more than ample evidence via testimony from Sylvie, Lauren Salzman, Daniela, and Nicole about what ‘types’ of intimate images the Defendant preferred. The probative value of 167 images of women’s nude bodies and genitalia from 2005 during consensual sexual encounters was minimal while the prejudicial effect was extraordinary…
“Defendant was denied a fair trial and fair opportunity to defend the charged offenses as a result of the district court’s admissions of this explosive evidence.”