This came in from the EDNY–
Tomorrow, May 3, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit will hear the oral argument of two defendants, Keith Raniere and Clare Bronfman, convicted in the “NXIVM” case.
Raniere, who was the leader of the criminal enterprise, is appealing his conviction, and Bronfman is appealing her sentence of 81 months’ imprisonment.
The oral arguments at the Circuit are scheduled for 2:00 PM (EDT); there are three cases on the calendar for the day, and U.S. v. Raniere/Bronfman will be heard last.
Appearing for the government will be Assistant United States Attorney Tanya Hajjar, who will handle the argument regarding Raniere’s appeal – and Assistant United States Attorney Kevin Trowell, who will handle the argument regarding Bronfman’s appeal.
The Circuit Judges hearing the defendants’ appeals are Jose A. Cabranes, [Clinton Democrat], Guido Calabresi [Clinton Democrat], and Richard J. Sullivan [George W. Bush republican].
The oral arguments will be live-streamed at: https://ww2.ca2.uscourts.gov/court.html
Raniere’s supplemental brief
Joseph Tully will represent Raniere. He will have five minutes to speak.
In his supplemental brief, Tully argued the judge erred when he gave the jury instructions on sex trafficking. His example to illustrate it is interesting:
Based on Judge Garaufis’ wrong jury instruction, Tully says sex trafficking can now be interpreted as:
A husband has sex with his wife, and the next day he treats his staff to lunch. The sex act becomes a “commercial sexual act.” His employees received the value of lunch.
Or, the husband compliments his secretary, gives his HR director a high five, and offers his administrator a friendly, reassuring smile.
He indicates his employees are in his favor because of the pleasure he had with his wife the night before.
The sex act would now be a “commercial sexual act,” Tully argues.
The government charged Raniere with the sex trafficking of Nicole. The government argues that a “thing of value” need not “involve a monetary exchange.” “Things of value” are not limited to cash or cash equivalents.
Allison Mack, they argue, got advantages in setting up Nicole for Raniere to enjoy. It was a one-time event. Raniere had her blindfolded, tied, and naked on a table. Then Camila performed oral sex on Nicole. Raniere walked around the table and commented in his world’s smartest way.
Mack and Raniere and maybe Camila got something of value. Nicole is the victim.
The prosecution argued that the collateral Mack held over Nicole coerced her compliance. It met the elements of sex trafficking, the government claims. Coercion and profit. Plus, because Nicole took a train or a bus or something to get to Albany, NY, the act constituted interstate commerce.
Raniere got 40 years for the single act.
The Vanguard may have set a record. He got approximately one year of prison per minute of a sex act with Nicole. A year in prison for a minute of pleasure can only be achieved by being the smartest man in the world, I tend to think.
Being the smartest, he certainly figured out in advance that taking collateral, branding women without disclosing the brand is his initials, and expecting his slaves to order their slaves to seduce him, had no potential downside.
I’ll be tuning into court tomorrow. I hope you will too. We might even see Raniere if he is permitted to make a remote appearance.
Viva Executive Success!