Attorney Gregory Stoltz Shares Insights into Raniere’s Case
Keith Raniere’s legal team hired attorney Gregory Stoltz in May 2022. Not long ago, he shared his views about his client and the case with reporter Marc Ang. Hear the audio.
Here is an edited version of Stoltz’s views.
By Gregory Stoltz Esq.
I’m not a NXIVM person. I came to this as a lawyer. I got hired cold.
I saw the facts attorney Joseph Tully and his team presented and discovered by Keith and Suneel Chakravorty.
I practice in Tucson, and Keith’s legal team needed a local lawyer to visit Keith in prison, bring him drafts of the Rule 33, go over those documents with him to make sure he understood and approved, and get his feedback.
What stood out the most to me was Camila, supposedly the subject of child pornographic images, did not testify at trial. She never authenticated the photos in front of the jury.
“Those are pictures of me. That’s me in the photos, and I can tell you from looking at the photo,” or “I remember when that photo was taken, and here’s how old.”
They showed the photos to the jury, and an FBI agent testified it was Camila in the photographs. So the jury never heard anyone who knew Camila say it was Camila or how old they thought she was in the photo. They never heard Camila say it, either.
That’s not normal that the alleged victim of child sexual exploitation would be left off the witness stand.
It’s particularly strange, considering she appeared at the sentencing and made a statement.
The U.S. Attorney’s office mentioned that in response to one of our motions. They said, “Well, she showed up at the sentencing and said she was 15 when photos were taken.”
You can’t make an unsworn statement at sentencing, like a victim impact statement, not subject to cross-examination, and then use that as operative evidence.
This was not carelessness.
If the DOJ doesn’t put Camila on the stand, she cannot be cross-examined. If she only makes an unsworn statement at the sentencing, she cannot be cross-examined.
I don’t think this was a matter of carelessness. These DOJ people are not stupid. They may be crooks. One wonders what the legitimate basis for that decision was.
I think it goes hand in glove with the tampering.
Raniere’s Release and Government’s Response
Despite being a member of the Arizona State Bar, who has worked for the federal government and undergone a full federal background check in the past, I had difficulties initially getting clearance to see him, but eventually, everything was sorted out.
Here’s a story you might like: one of the defendants in Keith Raniere’s lawsuit against the BOP is the former special investigative agent, Lt. Galleon.
One day, I went to the prison to meet with Keith Raniere’s assigned prison counselor, but he wasn’t there.
They said you can wait here if you want until 12:30. It’s 11 a.m., and they said, ‘Hey, if you want to just sit and chill and wait, it’s 11:30, he’ll be back.’
I said, ‘No thanks, that’s cool. I’ll go get breakfast and I’ll come back.’
It’s 1:30 by the time I get back. And Galleon and another officer pulled me aside, escorted me into the airlock between the facility doors, and told me, “We’ve heard you refuse to leave this waiting area.”
“Wow!” I said, “You heard I refused to leave? Your colleagues asked me to stay. They told me to stay here and wait, and I said I was gonna leave.”
Galleon says, “Well, that’s just what I’m hearing from my employees up here in the front.”
I said, “Well, did you watch any body cam? Did you watch any camera footage or listen to any audio recordings?”
He said, “I don’t watch camera for this.”
They were trying to build a case against me to bar me from the building by saying I had trespassed because if I refused to leave despite them telling me, that’s trespassing.
They were trying to create a factual predicate through lies so that if I became a problem, they could bar me from the prison.
I have seen Keith since he’s been in the SHU. Once, they put us in an actual contact room, but he was in a belly chain, so his hands were cuffed to a chain around his waist.
He kept trying to push his glasses back onto his face by bringing his head down to his knee and using his knee to push his glasses back on because his hands are chained at his belly button.
But even with all that and this big yellow and greenish fading bruise on the right side of his face, he was the way he always was when I visited him, which was calm, circumspect, and compassionate.
He always asks me how I’m doing, and we’ve developed a nice friendly connection throughout this representation. He asked about me, and I asked about him.
Keith wants to be out of prison and does not want to die in federal custody, but he’s pretty sanguine. He never does much in the way of complaining.
He tells me about bad treatment, but it doesn’t have the air of self-pity. It doesn’t sound like complaining. He doesn’t whine. He’s a remarkably upbeat person and focused on exposing the truth.
He probably knows he has a calling right now to expose how bad this situation is.
He has said to me on more than one occasion, looking me in the face. I believe he is genuine when he says, “If I were given the opportunity to walk out of here a free man, but the nation would never know the level of corruption that took place in the trial, I would rather stay here for the rest of my life.”
The other thing he has said to me is that although he wants accountability for the people responsible for the tampering of evidence, he doesn’t want them to suffer any punishment because that’s not his goal. His goal is not to be vindictive and see that other people are punished, but he wants to clear his name.
It’s become a much larger project for Mr. Raniere than just securing his release. It’s become a life mission about exposing the ills of the justice system, how it treats people, and the ills of the connection between the federal government and the media.
Why was Keith Targeted?
I think he pissed off many people. I don’t know all the NXIVM curricula. I never took any classes. But I know the basics.
He brought together a group of people. There obviously, DOS; there was stuff about sexuality. The media decided it was a cult, so the culture agreed that this had some religious overtones. So you’ve got sex, you’ve got non-theistic religion. So obviously, many religious conservatives will be upset about this whole thing. And then you get famous people involved. You have the children of Mexican politicians at the level of the presidency.
Suddenly, you combine sex, money, power, spirituality, or a practice that is not advancing a Christian agenda. You’ve got threats about non-monogamy, the idea that Keith Raniere has sex with more than one sexual partner at a time. You bring all those things together, and I think there’s just enough for most of the pearl-clutching class to find something to be threatened by.
Some people in the private sector have a lot of influence.
How will the government condone millions of dollars going back and forth? You have big names from Mexico, like Salinas and Fox. You get big names from the U.S., like Bronfman. You get allegations of the branding of women. So it’s not just a matter of sending an example or a threat to other people. It’s also government virtue signaling.
I don’t support the sexual exploitation or abuse of children. But Keith is not attracted to children.
If you look at his partners, plenty of them have been his age, all of them have been adults, and some were older than him.
I’ve represented people attracted to children, and I’ve represented possessors of child pornography. I’ve represented people convicted of sexual acts with children, and I don’t believe for a hot second that Keith’s one of those people.
I’ve spent enough time with the man. I’ve spent enough time with those people. There isn’t any evidence that he has such attractions.
Based on my experience and working on cases, it would be unusual for someone who had an honest-to-goodness attraction to children and collected pornographic images of children to have photo after photo after photo of adult women and then one brief photo series of one child.
I talked to a psychologist here in Arizona who was like the head of the professional organization of therapists that treat sex offenders. She’s written seminal research, and she said collectors of child pornography are obsessive collectors that have cataloged and categorized and carefully curated collections.
It is a really weird truth about the collectors of child pornography, but that is often the case.
They’re organized thematically or something. It’s way more organization than I’ve got for the music on my computer. Keith doesn’t fit that profile.
Look at R. Kelly. Look at Epstein. They had help. Everyone in their circle knew they were attracted to underage people. They had facilitators help bring vulnerable victims to them. Don’t you think that one damn person in Keith’s orbit somewhere would say, “Oh, yeah, that dude’s a pervert. He likes little girls.”
It doesn’t make any sense that no one said that.
I think Keith will get out.
Judge Garaufis at the Eastern District of New York or the Second Circuit will have a hearing, and then the government realizes there’s egg on their face, and they fold.
First, the government will do what prosecutors usually accuse us defense attorneys of doing.
They’re going to come up with a bunch of knick-knack intricate explanations for each [anomaly in the digital evidence] that will be so contrived that every circumstance lines up exactly because of a mistaken coincidence, so that it looks like a grand conspiracy.
It’s going to be bullshit.
When Keith gets out of prison, I won’t sign up and take his classes. I’ll take him to coffee. I would love to. I look forward to our first conversation outside the big metal door.