Prosecution Got Adjournments, Raniere Did Not, But Outcome Unlikely to Have Been Different

MK10ART's painting of Keith Alan Raniere where he presently resides.

A man named Suneel Chakravorty wrote to me after I published Wake up, Suneel; Raniere Lied About His Baby Son & Mother:

He wrote, “With all due respect to your advanced age, and a tip of the hat to yours and K.R. Claviger’s confirmation bias, the attorneys for Keith Raniere did NOT agree to the prosecution’s request for delays as Claviger and you seem to suggest.”

“OK,” I told Suneel, “I’ll check out the history of trial delays, though I do not recall weighing in on this before.”

Here is what I found.

Keith Raniere was arrested in Mexico on March 25, 2018, and brought to the US within 24 hours, where he was arrested on an information supported by an affidavit of FBI Special Agent Michael Lever

Keith Raniere is led away in handcuffs on March 25, 2018 in Mexico.

 

Special Agent Lever at the FBI raid of Nancy Salzman’s home (photo credit: Albany Times Union) March 27, 2018.

 

Raniere was placed in pretrial detention at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, NY on or about April 1, 2018.

Metropolitan Detention Center, Brooklyn, NY.

 

Inside the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, NY.

Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis denied him bail on three separate occasions.

Judge Garaufis denied Raniere bail because he determined that he was a flight risk and potential danger to the community.

Three weeks after he was arrested, on April 17, 2018, Raniere was indicted on sex trafficking, sex trafficking conspiracy, and conspiracy to commit forced labor (Dkt. 14). Allison Mack was also indicted at the same time.

Raniere requested a speedy trial, seeking a date of mid-July.

Mack, who was out on bail subject to home confinement, did not join with Raniere in seeking a speedy trial, their first public break.

On May 4, 2018, Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis denied Raniere’s request and set trial for October 1, 2018, about 180 days after his arrest.

Typical MDC meal that was served to the eminent Vanguard while he resided there.

On July 23, 2018, the prosecution filed a superseding indictment, adding four co-defendants, Clare Bronfman, Kathy Russell, Lauren Salzman and Nancy Salzman, and new charges, including racketeering conspiracy (Dkt. 50). There were NO charges or predicate acts of child porn or exploitation of a minor filed at that time.

The five co-defendants were subject to home confinement and non-contact with him, each other, and all NXIVM members who were coaches or higher and on the NXIVM coaches list.

On July 25, 2018, Raniere asked the judge to keep the October 1, 2018 trial date.

MK10art portrait of Raniere behind bars.

Based on the superseding indictment and four new defendants, the judge moved the trial date to January 7, 2019, about 10 months after Raniere’s arrest.

Moira Kim Penza, lead prosecutor of USA v. Raniere.

In September, the prosecution asked for a further adjournment, seeking instead of January, a March 18, 2019 trial date.

In opposition, on September 11, 2018, Raniere’s attorneys asked the judge to keep the January 7, 2019 date.

The judge approved the prosecution’s request for adjournment.

The six NXIVM defendants, Upper Row: Kathy Russell, Keith Raniere, Nancy Salzman, Lower: Allison Mack, Lauren Salzman, Clare Bronfman. All but Raniere were granted pre-trial bail.

The new year came.

On January 11, 2019, the prosecution again moved to adjourn the currently scheduled March 18 trial date.

The defense moved to keep the March date, writing, “The Government’s adjournment bag is now empty. There are no more defendants to add, there are no more superseding indictments on which to ruminate. It has to try the case. No more excuses.” (Dkt. 280)

A few days later, the judge adjourned the trial, setting a date of April 29, 2019.

Discovery of Child Porn on a Hard Drive

By mid-February 2019, none of the six co-defendants had taken a plea deal.

Marc Agnifilo previewed a bit of the defense when he argued that all the victims were consenting adults.

On February 21, 2019, Special Agent Lever found images of Camila, allegedly under the age of 18, on the hard drive that case agents seized in a raid of Raniere’s library 11 months earlier.

Now, the case was no longer one of mainly white, affluent, middle-class, educated, intelligent adult victims, who, in almost anybody’s book, would never be classified as victims. Now the case was about the exploitation of a child, incapable of giving consent.

FBI Special Agent Michael Lever and others pack up materials seized as part of their investigation regarding Keith Raniere and NXIVM.

On March 13, 2019, the government filed a second superseding indictment, adding explosive charges of possession of child pornography and two counts of sexual exploitation of a child (Dkt. 430). That same day, Nancy Salzman entered a plea of guilty.

MK10ART’s painting of Camila

The discovery of child porn by the FBI changed the trajectory of the case; the driving force that it created seems to have caused Raniere’s co-defendants to make motions to sever or supplement their motions to sever their trials from defendant Raniere.

On March 18 and 22, 2019, co-defendants Bronfman, Russell and Mack filed motions to sever their trial from Raniere, arguing that the new charges would make it impossible for them to have a fair trial, since child exploitation, which none of the co-defendants were charged with, is considered one of the most heinous crimes in America.

Justine Harris represented Kathy Russell – the bookkeeper for NXIVM.

Kathy Russell’s lawyer, Justine A. Harris, wrote to the judge, “The risk of unfair prejudice is heightened by the new inflammatory charges against Mr. Raniere. Indeed, it is difficult to imagine allegations more prejudicial to a defendant than those charged here – sex crimes against a child and child pornography.” [Dkt. 463]

At one point, Mark Geragos represented Clare Bronfman.

Clare Bronfman’s then-lawyer, Mark Geragos, wrote in a letter in support of her motion to sever, “Mr. Raniere is now charged with child exploitation and child pornography. These new charges are even more inflammatory and prejudicial to Ms. Bronfman than the DOS charges, which already warranted a severance…. As we have already shown, courts sever RICO cases to avoid unfair prejudice, and it is difficult to imagine a more compelling case than one in which a co-defendant is charged with sex crimes against a child….

“The alleged fact of a sexual relationship between a man in his late forties and a fifteen-year-old is alone likely to be so offensive to potential jurors  and selected jurors as to deprive Ms. Bronfman of a fair trial. But here, the evidence that the government will introduce to prove the enticement and child pornography charges is so likely to appall and offend the jury that the evidence will define how the jury perceives not only Raniere, but also the women surrounding him at trial. These explicit and close-up photos—allegedly of a minor—suggest such a disregard of social norms and possibly the laws regarding sex with minors that it will be difficult for jurors to believe this did not carry over to other aspects of Mr. Raniere’s life; thus, this evidence will unfairly and inevitably infect the jurors’ perceptions of people like Ms. Bronfman, who were close to Raniere.”

Sean Buckley was one of the attorneys who  represented Allison Mack.

Allison Mack’s lawyers, William McGovern, Matthew I. Menchel, Sean S. Buckley, and Gabriela M. Ruiz, wrote in their motion to sever, “added disturbing allegations against Raniere, including two counts of sexual exploitation of a child and one count of possession of child pornography…. The Child Exploitation Acts are unrelated to any of the allegations against Ms. Mack, including the alleged RICO enterprise…. the Court must sever Ms. Mack from the trial of Raniere.” [Dkt. 461]

The judge denied all motions to sever and every co-defendant accepted plea deals, leaving Raniere to stand trial alone.

Lauren Salzman with her green sash.

Defendant Lauren Salzman, following her mother’s lead, did not try to sever her case, but entered into a plea agreement on March 25, 2019. She agreed to become a cooperating witness and testified at trial that it was the child porn and exploitation of Cami, in part as evidenced by text messages, that persuaded her to take a plea deal.

On March 15, 2019 – three weeks after the second superseding indictment was issued – defense counsel was provided an opportunity to view the hard drive containing the child porn pictures of Cami. This was almost a month before trial was to begin.

Two days later, Raniere’s attorneys moved to sever the newly added child pornography and sexual exploitation counts from the trial, or delay the trial, arguing that the defense would need to retain a forensic expert to review the evidence, writing: “This may not be done in twenty-six days.” (Dkt. 436)

The judge denied the request and ordered the trial to start on May 7, 2019.

Raniere’s attorneys complained that, as of April 22, 2019, less than two weeks before trial, the prosecution had not turned over their forensic reports on the Cami pics, despite being asked repeatedly by the defense to do so.

On May 7, 2019, the trial began, with Raniere as sole defendant.

On June 19, 2019, he was convicted on all counts.

***

So, it appears Suneel is right. The defense did not consent to adjournments requested by the prosecution. Every adjournment sought by the prosecution was granted. Every adjournment the defense sought was denied.

By itself, that does not require a new trial. New evidence is needed. Did the FBI tamper with the Cami pictures? Did Raniere not take those despicable photos and stupidly leave them on a hard drive in his library? Prove it.

Did the FBI not get them lawfully? Prove it.

Show me evidence – not tell me about a series of coincidences, like delays in trial or that the FBI seized the hard drive first and discovered evidence on it last.

No number of coincidences – or alleged diverse treatment of the prosecution or the defense by the judge – changes Raniere’s innocence or guilt.

They might have gone to speedy trial and Raniere would likely have been convicted, even without the Cami pics. The defense might have gotten an adjournment after the Cami pics were found and Raniere still would have been convicted. If the defense found the child porn pics were tampered with, all that would have happened is they would have dropped those charges, the FBI agents would have been punished, and Raniere would still go to trial and have been convicted.

If tampering did occur, you should be thankful of the judge’s rulings. You got three years to find evidence of tampering.

Now if you can prove it, Raniere might get a new trial, or because – if it is proven – the government acted so improperly that vacatur is required and there is always a small chance the government may not seek a new trial.

However, the deadline is drawing near – June 19 2022 – to file a Rule 33 motion.

I’d be much more willing to believe you, Suneel, if you could show some solid evidence rather than speak of coincidences, which could mean nothing at all.

Is there any chance we can see some real proof? The lack of it and the insistence on coincidences are making some of our readers just a little suspicious that you do not have any proof.

Viva Executive Success!

Painting of Raniere by Marie White

 

 

About the author

Frank Parlato

15 Comments

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  • You know he was not fairly
    Convicted. Everyone knows he was sold down the river by a corrupt judge

  • I’ve held off commenting very much about Suneel’s latest attempts to prove that Keith Raniere should get a new trial because of what Suneel believes are “issues” regarding the photos of Cami that were introduced as evidence during Keith’s 2019 trial so that Suneel had ample opportunity to thoroughly explain those “issues”. Now that he is moving on to other matters, I would like to repeat what I’ve previously stated on several occasions about the relative unimportance of those photos.

    Keith was charged with – and found guilty of committing – seven (7) felonies: Racketeering, Racketeering Conspiracy, Forced Labor Conspiracy, Wire Fraud Conspiracy, Sex Trafficking Conspiracy, Sex Trafficking (Nicole), and Attempted Sex Trafficking (Jay).

    Judge Garaufis subsequently sentenced Keith as follows: Racketeering: 40 years; Racketeering Conspiracy: 40 years; Forced Labor Conspiracy: 20 years; Wire Fraud Conspiracy: 20 years; Sex Trafficking Conspiracy: 40 years; Sex Trafficking (Nicole): 40 years; and Attempted Sex Trafficking (Jay): 40 years. But instead of having each of those individual sentences run consecutively – which would have added up to 240 years – Judge Garaufis ordered some of them to run concurrently, thereby reducing Keith’s overall sentence to 120 years.

    What Suneel has steadfastly ignored – and what is critical in terms of understanding why the Cami photos are so unimportant – is that those photos only pertained to three (3) of the sixteen (16) predicate acts that were part of the Racketeering charge. Thus, even if Suneel and his three experts could prove that the photos of Cami were tampered with – which I think is highly unlikely – there would still be thirteen (13) “Proven” predicate acts to support the Racketeering conviction. And, even if the Keith’s conviction on the Racketeering charge was thrown out altogether – which is even more unlikely – his sentence would still be 120 years. That’s because the 40-year sentence on the Racketeering charge and the 40-year sentencing on the Racketeering Conspiracy charge are running concurrently.

    All in all, I think Suneel has wasted an enormous amount of time and energy trying to prove something that in the best possible scenario would likely not have any impact whatsoever on Keith spending the rest of his life in federal prison.

  • Here is a question. Why is anyone wasting time with Suneel? The young man certainly needs help, but is simply not ready to listen. Suneel is trying to convince himself, and is demanding to be told that he is right, particularly by Frank. You cannot argue facts with Suneel, because he only cares about facts when they support his position.

    Hopefully, Suneel will overcome the deception, but until then there is nothing anyone can do.

    • Suneel is smarter than you think. He’s not going to publicly put himself out there if he doesn’t have compelling proof to bring to the table. He’s just getting started.

      • Yawn. Just like Raniere was “smarter than we thought.” This is merely what the cult indoctrinated — its members were the most ethical of ethical people and critical of critical thinkers based on nothing but the fact that they were part of the cult. Following a proven child pornographer and statutory rapist. How fucking dumb can you be to continue to shill for this man as the smartest and most ethical man in the world?

        Suneel is a buffoon, who is wasting his time on a lost cause — a charlatan, a huckster, a modern day snake oil MLM salesman, who is not even original in that. Suneel hardly understands rudimentary argumentative discourse. Aristotle’s Sausage constantly destroys his claims in the comments whenever he takes the time to respond.

  • My bet after reading that the defense did request time to analyze the pictures is the pictures are obviously real, in order of dates taken and appear as the other photos on the card. Meaning the pictures are true and correct legitimate images as the practices of KAR the photographer who took them in 2005(?). And similar to the others pictured during that time before and after the 15yo Cami pics.

    May there have been Nancy and Laura (Mom mid 40s and Daughter early 20s) comparison pictures. Generation 1 compared to Generation 2.

    Numerous reasons for Judge to accept and keep defendants’ initial request for a speedy trial and no reason to question authenticity of pictures.

    Slippery slope.

      • “A speedy trial certainly would have been more advantageous for the taxpayers, No?“

        Actually, Captain Sarcastic, a speedy trial is guaranteed under the 6th Amendment.

      • No.

        A properly prepared trial saves money.

        Now there will be no costly retrial.

        Law enforcement and prosecution did an excellent job.

  • But why doesn’t Suneel address the reality of Keith Raniere’s lying about his own son?

    Most of what Suneel wants us to believe rests on everyone but Keith Raniere being dishonest.

    Yet Keith Raniere is a proven liar.

    Suneel, your ethical leader lied about his own son’s paternity.

    Keith Raniere is a pathetic child pornographer.

    And he will, rightfully, never leave prison.

Frank Parlato

About the Author

Frank Parlato is an investigative journalist.

His work has been cited in hundreds of news outlets, like The New York Times, The Daily Mail, VICE News, CBS News, Fox News, New York Post, New York Daily News, Oxygen, Rolling Stone, People Magazine, The Sun, The Times of London, CBS Inside Edition, among many others in all five continents.

His work to expose and take down NXIVM is featured in books like “Captive” by Catherine Oxenberg, “Scarred” by Sarah Edmonson, “The Program” by Toni Natalie, and “NXIVM. La Secta Que Sedujo al Poder en México” by Juan Alberto Vasquez.

Parlato has been prominently featured on HBO’s docuseries “The Vow” and was the lead investigator and coordinating producer for Investigation Discovery’s “The Lost Women of NXIVM.” In addition, he was credited in the Starz docuseries 'Seduced' for saving 'slave' women from being branded and escaping the sex-slave cult known as DOS.

Parlato appeared on the Nancy Grace Show, Beyond the Headlines with Gretchen Carlson, Dr. Oz, American Greed, Dateline NBC, and NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, where Parlato conducted the first-ever interview with Keith Raniere after his arrest. This was ironic, as many credit Parlato as one of the primary architects of his arrest and the cratering of the cult he founded.

Parlato is a consulting producer and appears in TNT's The Heiress and the Sex Cult, which premieres on May 22, 2022.

IMDb — Frank Parlato

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Parlato,_Jr.

Contact Frank with tips or for help.
Phone / Text: (305) 783-7083
Email: frankparlato@gmail.com

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