Suneel Chakravorty has a blog. The domain is Suneel.blog. So it’s easy to remember.
Suneel doesn’t think a friend of his was treated fairly. His friend, a man known by some as one of the top three problem solvers in the world, has been beset by problems he cannot solve.
One of these problems is that he is incarcerated.
Suneel’s problem is to get him freed.
Suneel grew up in South Florida, a first-generation American. His family is from India. He graduated from Harvard College in 2011 with an A.B. in Mathematics and a Language Citation in Mandarin.
He formed a software consulting business that provided software development and instruction to Fortune 100s, financial institutions, and tech companies.
From October 2016 to June 2018, Suneel took Executive Success Programs’ courses, and assisted in classes as a volunteer coach.
After the arrest and conviction of the Executive Success Program’s leader, Suneel became the manager of the legal team of his friend.
He is working to attack the conviction and “expose government corruption in the case of US v. Keith Raniere.”
Suneel would like his friend freed and corruption exposed. He might like to see Executive Success Programs again offer bright young men, such as he, their tools for success.
Whether that will ever happen is a matter of conjecture – with most wieghing in in the negative.
One of the attacks on the conviction Suneel is spearheading is Raniere’s conviction of sex trafficking Nicole.
For this one-time sexual encounter where he was present, and was accused of orchestrating, he was sentenced to 40 years.
He got in total a 120 year sentence.
Suneel has published a story on his blog, in collaboration with another friend, Eduardo Asunsolo.
I am republishing the story and hope to secure some intelligent comments about Suneel and Eduardp’s view and about their friend.
By Eduardo Asunsolo and Suneel Chakravorty
In US v. Raniere, the government argued that one oral sex act between two women was sex trafficking.
The alleged victim was a woman in her late twenties, Nicole.
None of the elements of sex trafficking were met.
There was no commercial payment.
There was no proof that the sex act affected interstate commerce.
Nicole was a member of DOS, which had a two-step, voluntary recruitment process involving collateral. The prosecution called it coercion.
In May 2016, Allison directed Nicole to go on a walk with Keith and do whatever he wanted, and she went on a walk with him and told him she would do whatever he wanted.
Keith put a blindfold on her and brought her to a house.
Raniere took Nicole to Camila’s townhouse at 120 Victory Way in Knox Woods.
The woman was Camila. MK10ART’s sketch.
Nicole was laid on this table, nude and blindfolded. Camila entered and performed oral sex on her. Raniere watched. He got 40 years for that incident.
For this oral sex, federal prosecutors charged Keith and Allison with sex trafficking, which carries a minimum 15-year sentence and the possibility of life in prison.
Elements Not Met
Here, there was no commercial payment. The prosecution said Allison kept her position in DOS by making Keith happy and thus would have access to him, which meant future financial opportunities.
They did not provide evidence that Allison keeping her position in DOS was related to the sex act or anything Nicole did. They did not provide evidence that if Allison lost her position in DOS, she would lose access to Keith.
Allison Mack was Keith Raniere’s partner in the Source.
Separate from DOS, she had access to him because they were business partners in The Source, an acting company.
Finally, the prosecution did not provide evidence of any specific financial opportunities Allison would have access to in the future.
Social Status Is Not Commerical Payment
In short, there was no commercial payment linked to the sex act. The prosecution’s theory makes any sex act potentially commercial because they argued that a social benefit is a commercial payment.
No Interstate Commerce
Interstate commerce must also be affected for a sex act to be sex trafficking. Otherwise, it is not in the jurisdiction of the federal government.
The prosecution’s way of tying the sex act to interstate commerce was that Nicole “took either Amtrak or Greyhound” to Albany that day, and they claimed that “the use of these modes of transportation affects interstate commerce.”
However, their witness, Nicole, testified she was already in Albany the day before.
This explains why the prosecution did not present evidence of an Amtrak or Greyhound trip, like a ticket or credit card statement. Even if Nicole had traveled the day of the sex act, there was no evidence that her travel to Albany was related to the sex act.
Also, Nicole testified that she sometimes carpooled from Brooklyn to Albany, not to mention that the trip does not cross any state lines.
Given the importance of the interstate commerce element, it is telling that the prosecution only spent a few sentences on their theory of interstate commerce, and their own witness’s testimony disproved their theory.
Coercion is the final element required for sex trafficking. All three elements have to be met, not just one.
Coercion requires intent and the threat of “serious harm,” meaning that any reasonable person of a similar background in a similar circumstance would comply with the act to avoid the harm.
The prosecution argued that since Nicole was in DOS and had given collateral, there was coercion, and she could not consent.
However, this makes no sense and is contradicted by trial testimony. Nicole was an adult woman.
Before voluntarily giving collateral to learn about DOS, she spent days considering it and exchanged multiple emails with Allison figuring out the appropriate collateral to back her promise of secrecy.
Then, when Nicole learned what DOS was and that it involved a lifetime vow of total obedience to Allison, she was given a chance to join.
Nicole testified at trial that she chose to join because she wanted to be mentored by Allison and to have a group of women support her.
She entered each step voluntarily, with full knowledge of the commitment she was making to Allison. Thus, the collateral cannot be coercion.
Allison Mack with her slaves: Nicole, Michele, India and Danielle.
Furthermore, there was no intent to coerce with collateral. There were two steps to joining DOS, where women learned the most polarizing aspects before choosing to join.
This shows that the intent of DOS was not to coerce. Otherwise, they could have just had one step, and then the person is in for life.
DOS did not intend for the collateral to coerce. It was a surety to back their promise to keep DOS secret, and, if they chose to join, to keep their lifetime commitment.
Finally, there was no serious harm. The prosecution argued the collateral was coercive because Nicole feared it would be released.
Set aside that the collateral was part of a voluntary agreement. No collateral was ever released, nor has any member of DOS claimed someone threatened to release their collateral.
In the trial, there was evidence of women failing or refusing to comply with assignments and no evidence that any DOS member was threatened with releasing their collateral.
If the collateral were released, there would be harm, but there was no evidence the collateral would have been released for failing to comply with an assignment from your DOS “master.”
Allison Mack and Keith Raniere. He was her master and she was Nicole’s master.
Keith Raniere was convicted of sex trafficking and sentenced to 40 years for this one act.
Not only is he innocent of sex trafficking, but this oral sex act being considered sex trafficking is an absurd precedent.
It has watered down the sex trafficking law and given future prosecutors the power to turn consensual sex into sex trafficking.
Authors’ Note: Thank you to Nicki Clyne and Marc Elliot for their editorial review of this article.