Raniere’s Attorney Files Supplemental Appellate Brief Focusing on ‘Misleading’ Jury Instructions on Sex Trafficking of Nicole

Keith Raniere's attorney, Josepth Tully.

Keith Alan Raniere’s new attorney, Joseph M. Tully, filed a Supplemental Appeal Brief on November 5th. The deadline was October 20th.

In noting the missed deadline, Tully explains, “Due to the timing of Attorney Joseph M. Tully substituting in as attorney of record in the present matter, an agreement between counsel has been reached regarding a time extension for filing to November 5, 2021. Attorney Kevin Trowel for the government and Joseph Tully for Mr. Raniere jointly request and have no objection.”

Of the late filing, Frank Report legal correspondent, K. R. Claviger, said, “It will be interesting to see whether the Second Circuit accepts this late filing. I think it’s presumptuous for the new attorney and the prosecution to think they can decide to waive deadlines that were set by the Court.”

Raniere has been in the SHU since July 22nd and it has been hard for him to participate in the appeal process which occasioned some of the delays.

In the original appeal filed for Raniere by his former attorney, Jennifer Bonjean, five issues were raised. The supplemental brief brings a sixth issue to the appeal – which is that Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis misled the jury by his sex trafficking instructions.

Claviger comments, “I’m kind of surprised that the entire supplemental brief is focused on just one issue. I had assumed it would try to buttress several of the issues raised by Bonjean in the original appeal – especially the issue concerning Lauren Salzman’s cross-examination being cut off.”

A lot of cases are cited as precedents in the brief, which you can see for yourself [supplemental brief.]  I am going to skip past most of these, eliminate citations, and get to the meat of the brief.

Before I do, I want to remind readers that the sex trafficking act which Raniere was convicted of and which his attorney now argues he was wrongfully convicted of – because of the judge’s jury instructions – occurred on May 31, 2016.

It is the well-known story of Nicole who was ushered by Raniere blindfolded to Camila’s apartment and then tied to a table where Camila performed cunnilingus on her while Raniere walked about making comments.

Nicole was asked at the time if she was OK with what was happening and she replied that she was. There was no money that changed hands for this, but the government argued that Allison Mack, Nicole’s master in DOS, and who was not a participant in the incident, got a commercial benefit by pleasing Raniere, which made it a commercial sex act, a necessary element for sex trafficking.

Much of the argument hinges on the difference between the language in the jury instruction of “because of” as opposed to the standard jury instruction for sex trafficking “on account of.’

Tully wrote in part:

This supplement serves only to present the additional issue of an improper jury instruction. This issue is labeled as item six (6) as it is meant to supplement and not replace the prior five (5) issues presented to this Court [by Bonjean].

Whether the trial court committed a prejudicial error of law in giving the jury an errant instruction on commercial sex over Defendant’s objection which mislead and inadequately informed the jury and allowed for improper argument…

The Court was presented with jury instructions on commercial sex from both Defense counsel and government counsel in this case.

Defense counsel submitted an instruction from Sand, Modern Federal Jury Instructions which stated “A ‘commercial sex act’ is any sex act on account of which anything of value is given to or received by any person.”

The government provided an alternative instruction, not from the Sand instructions, which diluted the required elements of the charge.

Specifically, the government’s instruction read, “A commercial sex act is any sex act of which anything of value is given to or received by any person because of such sex act…  A thing ‘of value’ need not involve a monetary exchange and need not have any financial component.”

Note that this instruction replaces the “on account of” language with “because of” and further widens the phrase, “anything of value” from the Sand instruction, which is already near boundless, to not require a “monetary exchange” or “any financial component.”

Defense Counsel objected to its use as it provided undue emphasis.

The Court adopted the government’s instruction, ultimately stating to the jury that:

“A commercial sexual act is any sex act of which anything of value is given to or received by any person because of such sex act. It is not required that the victim actually performed a commercial sex act as long as the Government has proved that the Defendant recruited, enticed, harbored, transported, provided, obtained, maintained, patronized or solicited the victim for purposes of engaging in commercial sex acts. A thing “of value” need not involve a monetary exchange and need not have any financial component. The phrase “any sex act” should be given its plain meaning and may include any act performed with another for sexual gratification.”

In diluting the necessary quid pro quo causal relationship between the sex act and thing of value received, and in emphasizing the lack of a requirement of any financial component without further explanation, the instruction blatantly ignores the fact that the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (“TVPA”) was created to address sexual exploitation for profit and as an economic activity, not merely as mistreatment of women and children.

Further, by giving an amorphous, open-ended, and limitless definition of “value” without also clarifying the necessity of a causal relationship between value received and the sex act, the court confused and inadequately informed the jury.

This error of law resulted in the government being able to unconstitutionally argue that any sexual activity, performed by any persons, that Mr. Raniere became aware of by any means, and which then made him happy, was a commercial sex act, all based upon the contention that first-line members of DOS enjoyed certain privileges because they were in Mr. Raniere’s esteem.

Therefore, it was argued, any sex acts involving them, even indirectly, that made Mr. Raniere happy were commercial sex acts.

This erroneous instruction further allowed the government to ignore the need to establish a causal relationship or quid pro quo between the particular sex act and the received benefit. This lack of a required nexus allowed the prosecutor to argue that an email from months prior about a different individual was enough to establish quid pro quo grounds here regarding the sex act at hand.

The adoption of the government’s requested, inaccurate, and repetitious instruction improperly ignored established law, the purpose of the TVPA, and resulted in the jury erroneously finding that the sexual act on May 31, 2016, was performed “on account of which anything of value is given to or received by any person” without any substantive proof.

ARGUMENT

Legal Standard

A claim of error in the district court’s jury instructions is reviewed de nova and can result in a reversal if the plaintiff appellants can show that in viewing the charge given as a whole, they were prejudiced by the error. [several cases cited]

A jury instruction is erroneous if it misleads the jury as to the correct legal standard or does not adequately inform the jury on the law.

[More cases cited]

An erroneous instruction, unless harmless, requires a new trial.

[One case cited.]

The Commercial Sex Jury Instruction Misled and Did Not Adequately Inform the Jury of the Law.

To prove Racketeering Act l0A, the sex trafficking of Nicole, the government had to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Raniere knew Nicole would be engaged in a commercial sex act.

The sex act alleged is Nicole’s May 31, 2016, experience. However, if this act was a commercial sex act needed to be clearly defined so that the jury could decide if Mr. Raniere knew Nicole’s act would constitute such.

As laid out extensively in prior briefings, the TVPA is meant to address sexual exploitation for profit and as an economic activity, not merely as mistreatment of women and children.

The statute “broadly focuses the trier of fact’s inquiry on whether a given individual has been exploited for profit… ” United States v. Marcus…

Here, the government not only failed to meet their burden in proving the elements of the charge, but the instruction so misled and did not adequately advise the jury that, despite the obvious and clearly briefed holes in their case, an invalid verdict of guilty was entered on this count.

It is established law that the “Due Process Clause protects the accused against conviction except upon proof beyond a reasonable doubt of every fact necessary to constitute the crime with which he is charged.”

The prosecution bears the burden of proving every element, which in this case includes proving the causal relationship between the sex act and the thing of value provided therefore.

Section 1591 defines “commercial sex act” as “any sex act, on account of which anything of value is given to or received by any person, and “[T]he use of the phrase ‘on account of which’ suggests that there… needs to be a causal relationship between the sex act and an exchange of an item of value.” United States v. Marcus…

This requires a showing of “some sort of quid pro quo for the sex acts” that are alleged…

In Hobbs Act cases, establishment of a quid pro quo is required for the prosecution to fulfill its burden of proof…

The instruction here was misleading in replacing the language of “on account of’ with “because of’ without any further explanation. Quid pro quo is something that is understood colloquially and has available instructions.

Without the inclusion of such language or instruction, the presented instruction allowed for the prosecution to avoid their duties…  and not even discuss the existence of a quid pro quo…

Thus, a mere showing that something of value was provided is not enough without additional evidence that the thing of value was provided on account of the sex act. Here, the extraordinarily limited quid pro quo evidence did not establish such a causal relationship. However, because the jury was not adequately instructed on the law, they did not realize the prosecutor had failed to meet their burden.

Further, the instruction is repetitive in stating that “A thing ‘of value’ need not involve a monetary exchange and need not have any financial component.”

The instruction improperly misled the jury to accept the government’s argument that making Mr. Raniere happy was a thing “of value” under the law. The government explained that “there were certain privileges, including economic privileges, that came with being in the first-line, including the longest line of free labor flowing up to you. Maintaining a spot in the first-line and receiving those benefits, meant keeping the defendant happy.”

These privileges were never shown tied to the specific sex act alleged here.

Put another way, the government intentionally emphasized the most confusing part of commercial sex act law so as to mislead the jury and obfuscate the lack of causal relationship between the sexual act and the alleged value obtained therefrom. By accentuating the amorphous definition of “value,” the prosecutor expanded it to include any happiness derived by Mr. Raniere on account of Allison’s work.

This in turn allowed for the relationship between the sexual act and benefit to be glossed over as an assumption instead of proved beyond a reasonable doubt.

An apt analogy to first-line membership in commercial sex case law is under the theory of career advancement. It is recognized that career advancement can be a thing “of value” for finding a commercial sex act, but only when a quid pro quo relationship can be shown…

Here, the sex acts were also not necessary for the career advancement or status of Allison. Allison was already in the DOS first line and was not required to perform or solicit any sex acts to maintain her standing. We know this because Ms. Salzman was also a member of the DOS first-line and never facilitated any such sex act.

Just because such acts were mentioned or suggested does not mean that they were required or, that in providing them, career advancement was given. Allison’s status as a first-line member of DOS cannot be characterized as contingent upon this act as her first-line status had occurred long before the act. Further, there is no evidence that her first-line status was more secure after the alleged provision.

Moreover, the prosecutor’s argument regarding quid pro quo had nothing to do with Nicole and demonstrated that Allison was provided economic assistance even when sexual acts had not been provided. The government argued that “evidence of a quid pro quo between Allison and the defendant” was provided through an email in which Allison requested that Mr. Raniere prioritize his review of her income payment so that she could get it expeditiously despite his busy schedule.

His response to her request was an unconditioned, “Yes.”

However, the government then argued that because Mr. Raniere subsequently included the question, “Any news on India?” in the same email that suddenly his agreement to prioritize an administrative process of approving income payments was conditioned on a sex act.

However, there was no condition on getting Allison her income from her work as a trainer, and it had nothing to do with the May 31, 2016, act with Nicole.

The happiness of Mr. Raniere, whom the government had meticulously crafted a narrative against including objecting to all testimony regarding positive interactions, altruistic goals, or flattering characterizations thereof, became the thing “of value.” However, this is not an appropriate finding of the element, and was only found to be such by the jury because of the legally improper and confusing instruction.

With the reiteration of the “value” being so expansive, the Court needed to unambiguously instruct the jury that any such “value” needed to occur “on account of’ the sex act, and have some causal relationship rather than just general proximity. By appealing to the authority of the confusing instruction before defining the alleged value in such broad terms, the prosecutor created the appearance of assumed connectivity rather than proving beyond a reasonable doubt that a specific sex act led directly to the promise of provision of value.

The Sand instruction used the “on account of” language and already contained language indicating that “anything of value” would qualify.

The duplicative emphasis on this not requiring a “monetary exchange” or “any financial component” allowed for the undue emphasis to which Defense Counsel specifically objected.

Without further clarification that the thing “of value” had to have occurred on account of the sex act, or in specific exchange for the act as a quid pro quo, the Court allowed for the weaponized vagueness used in the prosecution’s summation to sidestep their burden of proof.

Mr. Raniere was Prejudiced by the Error in the Commercial Sex Instruction

The instruction here was prejudicial to Mr. Raniere because it permitted the government to lessen its burden regarding the need to establish any actual value in being a first-line DOS member or any proof that the alleged benefits were on account of the alleged sex acts.

As was found pre-trial, “Whether or not Mack or Raniere received benefits such as ‘status’ or ‘acts of care’ before the alleged sex acts occurred, simply as a result of their membership in an organization… – or whether they received these benefits on account of the alleged sex acts – is a factual question… “. United States v. Raniere…. This factual question was one for the jury to decide, so the Court could not decide it in a pre-trial motion to dismiss.

By the same standard, the government cannot lessen its burden by using the instruction to say that proof of Mr. Raniere’s happiness from an event is enough to show a commercial benefit flowed directly from the event.

In closing, the government did not point to any evidence showing that any specific thing of value was exchanged on account of the sex act on May 31, 2016, but instead was able to argue that an email which referenced both Mr. Raniere providing economic support to Allison and the status of Allison collecting pictures of India shows that any act relating to sexuality and having any tangential connection to Mr. Raniere was performed in order to receive an economic benefit and that value was assumed to have been received as a direct result of such acts.

Here, the evidence of such an attenuated connection between the act and benefit would not have led to the jury finding the element proven but-for the jury instruction which so diluted the causal relationship between act and value that the jury could not have known any better. The phrase “because of’ that the court used in its instruction ignores the fact that “the quid pro quo requirement is essentially a requirement of intent.” United States v. Vigil…

Without this explained, the jury was left with colloquial definitions of ”because of” rather than the legal standard of a causal relationship. For example, while it is not incorrect to say, “because of the rain, the man wore a hat,” the rain cannot and thus did not have a quid pro quo relationship with the man putting on the hat.

To underscore the critical distinction of “on account of,” which underscores a quid pro quo, versus ”because of,” which means only a “connection to” or a proximate causational relationship to, an analysis of the absurdities that the court’s instruction as given includes is warranted. Under the instruction the court gave, if a husband has sexual relations with his wife and, as a result of being contented and happy because of the experience, treats his work staff to lunch the next day, then the act between husband and wife the night prior is a “commercial sexual act” because the employer’s staff received the value of lunch “because of’ the sex act the employer had with his wife.

Moreover, in this same hypothetical, if the husband goes to work the next day and, instead of buying his staff lunch, merely gives his secretary a compliment, his HR director a “high five,” or gave a nice, reassuring smile to his administrator, indicating some level of favor, the sex act from the night before with his wife would still be a “commercial sexual act” because of the obviated quid pro quo between the sex act and anything received by anyone. It is not the vagueness of the concept of value that is disputed here, it is the vagueness of the required causal relationship. This instruction amounted to a mandate to the jury to convict on this count.

Without the inappropriate language substitution and the portion of the instruction diluting “value” and ignoring any requirement for a quid pro quo or direct attribution of the value to the act, the jury would not have found that any alleged sexual act was commercial in nature, and thus this erroneous instruction prejudiced Mr. Raniere’s case.

CONCLUSION

For the foregoing reasons, Mr. Raniere is entitled to a new trial or at a minimum a hearing to further explore the allegations set forth.

 

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Frank Parlato

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  • If everyone in DOS was so willing to have sex with Raniere, why the collateral?

    If they were willing to be branded, why tell them they were going to get a tattoo?

    Why not tell them upfront it was Keith Raniere’s initials they were going to have in their skin the rest of their lives?

    If everyone was so willing to be OK with having sex with only Raniere, why was Dani locked in a room for two years because she wanted to be with another man?

    Why weren’t Dani’s parents told the truth about why Raniere wanted Dani locked in a room if there was nothing wrong with his being possessive of his women?

    Why did Raniere tell each of his women they were going to have his golden child if it wasn’t true? Was it a lie to keep them enslaved?

    Why was Raniere so attracted to virgins? What was it about having sex with a girl for the first time for Raniere that was so important to him that he had all of DOS looking for his ‘Fuck Toy” for him?

    These are some of the questions We Want to Have Answered

    Maybe Nicki Clyne or some of Raniere’s other DOS is GREAT can answer these questions for us

  • Been a week of “Llame-ing los Muertos” between Halloween spooks and di’a de los muertos party pranks, capped off by the Gay Pride festivities and IDK why but Sam Bronfman, the proud Patriarch who amassed the fam’s prohibition fortune through murderous means, came oft to mind. I KNOW his evil soul ain’t nowhere near my sister Gina’s heavenly dwelling place but of course she’s been on my haunted mind. She died in mid-October, 2002. I believe her soul is at peace and, yet, patiently awaits truth and justice. And as for Sam, perhaps his trial of blood, tears ended as surely, pray, as the Salinas oligarchy regime in Mexico. Buenos Nachos! (Pun intended.) How’s the hot sauce there, Clare?

    • Oops, forgot to pop in the link I had cued up. It’s great if you change the words uno pocito to: Her name is RICO and she dances on the sand, oh RICO, RICO dance across NXIVM-land. Gina-inspired from way back. Have a nice day!

      https://youtu.be/nTizYn3-QN0

  • Re Allison Mack Benefit:

    “Allison Mack, Nicole’s master in DOS, and who was not a participant in the incident, got a commercial benefit by pleasing Raniere.”-K.R. Claviger

    Nicki Clyne on her Twitter account
    recently commented on the fact that, “no money was exchanged, so how can it be sex considered trafficking?”

    \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
    The best example, I can give to explain how Allison Mack benefited is to use the Mafia.

    If an individual member of the Mafia commits a crime for which they derive no financial reward, other than their status within the group rises, that’s a commercial benefit.
    \\\\\\\\\\\\\\

  • Inmate Number
    November 7, 2021 at 5:45 pm

    Is Raniere’s incarceration in the SHU justice or injustice?
    _____________________________________________

    The answer critically depends on whether you are arguing that Raniere’s constitutional rights are violated “because of” or, on the other hand, “on account of” his confinement in SHU.

    Which is it?

    • Maybe America should just let a bunch of convicted sex criminals with nothing left to lose do whatever they want in prison?

      Would you want to work there?

      What if your loved one was incarcerated? Would you care if they were injured or killed while inside due to a lack of rule enforcement?

      How about if they were maimed? Or raped? Would you then sue the justice system? Is it unreasonable for the prisons to protect both inmates and employees the best they are able?

      There are 1000s of inmates without Bronfman funded legal funds. Do you care about them? Or is it just Keith Raniere who has been given every advantage afforded in the US justice system?

      Keith’s record of behavior at MDC has followed him to the files at Tuscon. Keith Raniere is a habitual rule breaker.

      If someone you cared about was briefly housed at MDC and they were killed over a cell phone – wouldn’t your first question be, “Why was there a cell phone in MDC”? And all the follow up queries. How did this happen? Who let this happen? Etc. You’d be angry no doubt. And heartbroken. You would want someone held accountable.

  • “Before I do, I want to remind readers that the sex trafficking act which Raniere was convicted of and which his attorney now argues he was wrongfully convicted of – because of the judge’s jury instructions – occurred on May 31, 2016.”

    “2016”?! Really?!…….. You need to fix that!

  • Of Topic:

    Raniere’s 180th day in the SHU is today!

    It is noted in this article Keith Raniere has been in the SHU since July 22nd.

    Today marks the 180th day Keith Raniere has been in the SHU (Special Housing Unit).

    Currently, out of the 133,421 inmates in BOP custody, 9,512 inmates are in the SHU. (approximately 7.1%)

    Tomorrow Raniere will be one of 338 inmates, who have been in the SHU longer than 180 days.

    Only 36 inmates have been in the SHU for more than 364 days.

    Below is the latest SHU statistics released from the US Federal Bureau of Prisons as of yesterday:

    https://www.bop.gov/about/statistics/statistics_inmate_shu.jsp

    \\\\\\\
    As of this past April, New York State has limited time in solitary confinement to 15 days.
    \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
    The 13th Amendment of the US Constitution makes the SHU legal. If you kept a dog in similar conditions you’d be called scum and possibly arrested.

    Is Raniere’s incarceration in the SHU justice or injustice?

    What is your opinion?

    • Most inmates don’t break as many rules as Raniere.

      You have to remember Raniere doesn’t believe he has to follow rules are meant to be followed by him because he is special.

      He went for decades of his life breaking laws in his company CBI, following on into NXIVM.

      No wonder he received 120 year sentence and has spent so much time already in the SHU.

      At the MDC he has been caught with cell phones and devices he could communicate outside the prison = time in the SHU

      In Tucson Raniere was using another prisoner’s email to communicate with his now #1 true love Nicki Clyne.
      Why would they need to do this?

      Was it done so they would not be monitored about certain things they were talking about? What was so secret?

      This behavior = Time in the SHU

      Why his time in the SHU has continued beyound 100 days is unknown.

      Nicki Clyne lost her ability to email, call or visit her man over this. Now she can only do this via sneaking. Pretty sure they have figured this out.

      Justice?

      If Raniere continues to break the rules, why not go to the SHU?

      What else should they do with him?

      Let him get away with his “I’m better than the rest of the prisoner’s so I should be left off the hook behavior?

      What do you suggest?

      • I can break the rules because I’m Raniere

        You are spot on. Rules exist in prisons to keep everyone safe. That includes prison employees. And visitors.

        If you object to prison rules and conditions, then work to change them.

        It’s not news that prison sucks. Everyone knows it. Little children know that you don’t want to go to prison. Prison is….wait for it…PUNITIVE!

        But Keith is where he is because of who Keith is and what he continues to do. Keith has attorneys. They know what’s going on.

        They got this.

      • I Can Break the Rules-

        One of the suggestions to reform the SHU policy is rotate SHU time punishment.

        Example:

        If an inmate commits a rule infraction that is deserving of 60 days, the inmate would serve the SHU time day in 15 day sessions in 4 rotations, with say one week between each session.

    • Re “Tomorrow Raniere will be one of 338 inmates, who have been in the SHU longer than 180 days.
      Only 36 inmates have been in the SHU for more than 364 days.”

      This may be Raniere’s attempt to break a real record for the longest time in the SHU and finally, without cheating, set a really real record that can rightfully put him in the Guinness Book of World Records. In terms of the longest sentence, he, unfortunately, failed to set a record. But there is still hope for a new record, Raniere’s number of attorneys is already record-breaking and there can always be more.

  • WTF is he talking about with Raniere’s happiness as the thing of “value”? From what I recall, that is not what the prosecution argued – they argued that the sexual act was in exchange for first-line status. Not being demoted on account of their inability to give Raniere his “fuck toys”, and, thus, being able to enjoy the benefits of first-line status.

    Also, is his jury charge claim even preserved? It appears the defense did object to the elaboration in the charge about financial gain (which is the law), but I did not see that he objected to the use of “because” – I honestly don’t remember but this argument makes it seem as if there was no objection in that regard.

    I believe “on account of” was probably changed to “because” since that would be more easily understood by the jury. I do not believe it makes any difference:

    “DOS slaves received a thing of value on account of the sex act provided to Raniere” Vs “DOS slaves were given a thing of value because of the sex act provided to Raniere”

    Same thing, no? I am sure there must be case law on point but I refuse to do research on my day off.

    I highly doubt playing semantics will go far, here.

    I think this guy should stick with getting low-level criminals good plea deals – he clearly is out of his depth in the appellate world.

  • Of course Nicole was okay with what was happening.

    Much better than being beheaded in Mexico like those women everybody watched.

  • Tully’s job is to the best he can, it’s his responsibility, with what he has to work with in defense of his client.

    ……..Tully is doing an admirable job of turning ‘shit’ into ‘manure’.

  • If this is pretty much ALL that multiple teams of highly paid defense attorney teams have come up with – the prosecution did an excellent job!

    This was a sprawling case with so much room for error.

  • “on account of” vs “because of” – hahaha! Playing semantics – favorite game of sociopathic narcissists everywhere. If KR is a master of anything, he is master of that. And the circus continues…

  • Not a fan of Raniere by any stretch of the imagination and not sure that ‘on account of’ and ‘because of’ is a valid argument for a new trial however this analogy he makes may very well result in a new trial for Vangone:

    ‘Under the instruction the court gave, if a husband has sexual relations with his wife and, as a result of being contented and happy because of the experience, treats his work staff to lunch the next day, then the act between husband and wife the night prior is a “commercial sexual act” because the employer’s staff received the value of lunch “because of’ the sex act the employer had with his wife.’

    Bronfman got her money’s worth with Tully and I wouldn’t be surprised if Sullivan is sent kicking rocks in representing Clare and that Tully will now represent her as well.

    • You can always tell a dead-ender by the way they begin their stupidity — with insincerity and obvious lies.

      That is such a terrible analogy. The employer’s staff had no prior knowledge of the act, nor did they have any involvement in setting it up, nor did they receive a previously agreed upon benefit as a result of the sex act, i.e., the said lunch. “Because of” or “on account of” implies direct causality, whether immediate or derived from a chain of acts. The employee decided post facto to treat the employer’s staff with a free lunch because he was happy, not because he had some prior agreement with them based on being contented with the sex act.

      Geez. These dead-enders and the people they hire are so utterly dumb. It’s no wonder Raniere could fool them so easily

      • They are just overusing a new [to them] phrase. In this case, it’s ‘salient point’. As usual, they reveal their blatant stupidity through clumsy and pointless use of rhetoric. Forgive them, they have been very poorly educated indeed.

        Cipola’s helpful explanation [with a handy chart—we know how you nx-ers looove charts!] of Stupidity

    • Tully’s analogy is moronic. The staff did not arrange the sex act or coerce the wife to sleep with her husband. The staff did not exchange the benefit of their free lunch for sex with the wife.

  • How absurd. “On account of” and “because of” mean the same thing, they are synonymous. This is supposed to be grounds for a new appeal? What a joke.

    The only difference between these synonymous phrases is “on account of” is slightly more formal, more “legalese”. “Because of” is more colloquial, more comprehensible to the layman. Isn’t the purpose of a judge’s instructions to to the jury to explain the law to people who don’t speak legalese? The laymen of the jury?

    This appeal is ridiculous.

    The prosecution’s evidence of exchange of value is, as this appeal notes, an e-mail exchange between Mack and Raniere. The last thing Raniere’s appeals lawyer should be doing is calling attention to that part of the trial transcript. Because it’s dynamite.

    Mack’s email begs in the most cringing and subservient language for Raniere to release her back salary, which he has held up for months. “Sorry to bug you… haven’t been paid since last year… I know you’re slammed… what can I do to streamline… I love you Master XOXO”

    He responds directly to Mack’s email that same day with “Does India [Mack’s slave] know that to complete her assignment she needs to take off all her clothes while I am clothed and and pose in the most revealing way and have me photograph her with her phone and send the pictures immediately to you as proof”.

    This is obvious quid pro quo. Several months back pay depends on Mack getting India to complete her (disgusting, coerced) assignment.

    And Raniere’s new appeals lawyer thinks it’s a bright idea to point to this revolting email exchange buried in the trial transcript! An exchange that points not only to the quid pro quo, it proves the prosecution’s position on value exchange, plus it makes Raniere look like the creep / monster that he is, and shows that DOS was a well-oiled criminal machine run by Raniere. It proves that Mack’s pay was conditional on her providing women to prostitute themselves to Raniere’s sick desires.

    Raniere’s new attorney seems to be doing the prosecution’s work for them. Excellent! I hope he keeps up the good work!

  • A beacon of hope, if I may dare, for the prompt and final ceasing and desisting of on-going harassment – er, “guerilla” film promotional activity on that Tourette’s project if you prefer. …Lest Mr. Tully’s criminal defense expertise proves well warranted on behalf of both his new clients. (I do, however, know of some attorneys who’d be happy to help you run up Clare and Sara’s legal fees should your Tourette’s and star-stricken clients persist in pursuing their pedophile peddling, Hollywood ambitions.)

  • Tully, the genius, is arguing that because the judge allowed the phrase “because of” instead of “on account of” in the jury instructions, child rapist Keith deserves a re-trail. HAHAHAHAHA!

    https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/on%20account%20of

    Synonyms of “on account of” = “because of”

    All the dead-enders and their supporters like Alanzo can cry in their coffee this morning.

    Keith is only getting out of prison in a casket.

    Hey, KRC, where do federal prisoners get buried if they die incarcerated? Will they release the body so all Keith’s acolytes can twerk him into the afterlife?

    • I suggest they ask for his head to be removed from the torso (they asked the family of Barbara Jeske to approve when she died). Then put it in a cryogenic tube so he can figure out his own resurrection.

      Remember: All senior members of NXIVM didn’t run away when this unbelievable idiotic plan was concocted by the smartest man in the world.

        • Yes, they did (according to her sister, Cindy, as she told on the FR). An excerpt from her story:

          “ Cindy told the SUN and Frank Report how Raniere and Nancy Salzman tried to keep Barbara’s body for placement in a cryogenic tomb. When the family would not allow Raniere to keep the body, Nancy Salzman asked them if they would permit them to chop the head off and freeze it.
          Raniere, whose followers believed he was the world’s smartest man, told followers that he was on the verge of discovering how to restore the dead to life and he wanted to preserve Barb’s head at least so when he completed his invention he could restore his beloved friend to her old life.”

          • To be clear and so that there is no misunderstanding: accordng to her sister, NXIVM did ask Barbara’s family for permission to remove the head, but the request was denied. So, no head was chopped of.

          • Oh my gosh! Thank you so much for this detailed information and response.

            That is one of the more crazy Keith Raniere stories.

            Thank God nobody said “Yes”. I mean what the hell were they going to do with Barbara’s head ?!

            Because they didn’t really have any technology developed to preserve it?!

            Can you imagine? The headlines when they raided the cult residences in Albany? And found Barbara’s head? Where? In a freezer in Alison’s condo? This is so insane! I really feel for Barbara’s family.

  • So if you look at the Merriam-Webster synonyms/ meaning for the phrase ” account of” it states…drum roll…” Because of”.

    According to Websters, ” Account of” and ” Because of” are merely synonyms:

    https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/on%20account%20of

    “Synonyms of on account of as the result of
    She was barred from the establishment on account of her misconduct.

    Synonyms for on account of because of, due to, owing to, through..”

    Another: “on account of]
    DEFINITION: because of.

    “they had closed early on account of the snow”

    synonyms: because of · owing to · due to · as a consequence of · thanks to · through · by reason of · by/in virtue of · on grounds of · in view of · after · following · in the wake of · at a time of · off the back of”

If the whole world stands against you sword in hand, would you still dare to do what you think is right?

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