On June 22, Judge Nicholas Garaufis granted the DOJ a 30-day extension to respond to Keith Raniere’s Rule 33 motions for retrial based on “newly discovered evidence.”
Raniere submitted two Rule 33 motions – one submitted by his lawyer Joseph Tully in May 2022, which contained allegations that the FBI tampered with digital evidence, and an “expert report” by former FBI forensic examiner, Dr. Richard Kiper, which described anomalies in the metadata of alleged contraband photos.
Kiper also documented several process violations in how the FBI handled evidence. Five additional forensic experts corroborate Kiper’s findings.
Raniere also filed a second Rule 33 motion pro se in June 2022. It contained affidavits from former NXIVM members who said they would have testified at Raniere’s trial had they not felt threatened by the prosecution and other evidence Raniere alleges might have swayed the jury had it been presented in court.
Frank Makes Affidavit
Among the affidavits was a stellar one by Raniere’s nemesis, Frank Parlato. His powerful statement called for due process even for his enemy.
I stand indicted by the bad faith efforts of the US DOJ and Keith Raniere – starting in 2011. I am not a supporter of Keith Raniere. I… never was a member of NXIVM….
I have published around 5,000 stories on NXIVM and Raniere. These stories have had more than 20 million views. The New York Times acknowledged… “Many of Mr. Raniere’s followers learned of the secret society from a website run by…Parlato Jr. [who has] been locked in a long legal battle with two sisters, Sara and Clare Bronfman, who are members of Nxivm…. In early June , Mr. Parlato published the first in a torrent of salacious posts under the headline, ‘Branded Slaves and Master Raniere.'”
Sarah Edmondson told her story to HBO. She said, “I told Frank about my branding experience, so that he could expose DOS in time to stop the next session…. We were successful. The word about Frank’s blog spread in the community. And because of this heat, the next branding ceremony was called off.”
DOS ended with my reporting…. No woman was branded again.
India Oxenberg told her story on Starz ‘Seduced.’
“As soon as the [Frank Report] posts started coming up, there was a ton of questions, and a lot of chatter. My slaves left immediately after that. And none of them had to complete the seduction assignment or be branded. That was a huge relief.”
Her mother, Catherine Oxenberg… wrote, “Frank was fearless. And once I’d given him this information, he ran with it. And he didn’t stop…. He was an unstoppable force.”
Vicente from the Vow: “When Frank came out with the news it set the whole organization into panic. A lot of people began asking questions. And that was the idea – it’s not just to expose what’s going on, it was also about getting people to leave, getting people away from danger.”…
I am Raniere’s adversary. I am opposed to Raniere and deplore what he has done. I believe Raniere is guilty of abusing the victim, Camila. He abused her. It was child sexual exploitation….
I do not claim to know the definitive answer. We are not prosecutors who seek only evidence of guilt and wear trial, or truth blinders….
At a pretrial hearing, AUSA Moira Penza said Camila “goes throughout this case. I mean, there will be almost ~ there’s very little evidence in this case that does not relate to that victim.”
It became a trial about Camila without Camila. An FBI SA agent actually portrayed her on the witness stand, reading her texts for hours, as an AUSA read Raniere.
They presented her medical history. Her sister and others spoke about her. Her landlord, her nurse, and others spoke. An FBI agent testified he saw so many naked photos that he could identify dates without the metadata. Another agent discussed the evidence of dating her photos with metadata. Then there was the most dramatic scene in the trial. An FBI agent walked her photos in, in a red binder – and everyone sat in stony stillness. She opened the red binder before the judge, and he turned away. The jury saw, and then she brought them the binder – of Camila. The jury shuddered. They looked down. They turned away. All the while, she was not at the trial.
Her abortion records, her appendectomy. Her extremely private texts were read. The most private personal texts. Her diary was shared. They had pictures of her and discussed the reasons for an alleged suicide attempt. Pictures, medical records and hearsay.
She was a conspirator when that let evidence in, and a victim when that helped. Despite being the crucial victim, Camila did not testify at the trial.
This was a trial about Camila without Camila. And digital evidence supplanted the live witness.
Raniere’s counsel did not get the digital evidence either. The evidence that convicted him – the digital evidence – was withheld until days before trial. Some of it was never provided. It is understandable that the government might not have wanted her to testify. She was no longer a child. She was 28. She was one of the First Line of DOS. A DOS First Line master.
AUSA Penza said of the First Line. “Every member of the first line was a co-conspirator. There is no question; there’s no distinction about that… When they joined DOS, they knew that the defendant was their grandmaster…. They conspired with the defendant to conceal his identity and to recruit new people… to get naked pictures. To get property. And… to get women to have sex with the defendant. Camila was part of the scheme that confined her sister, Daniela.
At trial. Judge Garaufis would ask: Is Cami a co-conspirator? AUSA Hajjar: Your Honor, she was involved — as Daniela and Lauren Salzman testified, she was involved in the confinement of Daniela in the room, and so, in that respect, she was assisting in a criminal scheme. She is, however, a victim in other respects.
The Judge later said, “she is a co-conspirator, or alleged to be a co-conspirator.” The allegation came from the prosecution, not the defense.
And Camila participated in the sex trafficking count. When Raniere blindfolded and tied Nicole to a table in her apartment. There was very little evidence that did not relate to that absent victim. New evidence suggests the DOJ calculated they did not want her as a witness. New evidence suggests the DOJ could have called her, but decided not to. They might have put in place mechanisms available to federal prosecutors to have a witness come to court and testify.
Yes, she is a victim. I was present when Camila said she was a victim of sexual abuse at Raniere’s sentencing. She spoke after the trial, after his conviction. I heard Camila say Raniere abused her when she was 15.
I heard her say he took pictures of her when she was 15. 1 believe her.
But the forensic evidence is questionable.
Evidence seems to have been withheld from the defense. Expert witnesses seemed to have made misrepresentations. The FBI bungled evidence. There were instances of evasive testimony. And new evidence contradicts the idea that the DOJ could NOT produce her….
The photos and the digital evidence are at the heart of the allegations… Camila stated Raniere abused her and took photos of her. I believe her. But the question is, are the photos the government used as evidence that they purport were her at 15, found accidentally as they claim?
Are the forensic dates accurate? Or were they tampered with?…. If the photos are accurate, were they found where the FBI said they found them? I am not interested in proving Raniere did or did not take photos of Camila. I assume he did. What I want to know is did the government tamper with evidence to convict Raniere of a crime he DID commit?…
I have reviewed enough evidence that I believe Raniere abused Camila. And I believe the FBI may not have had the evidence to prove it. I think it is also likely that the FBI did not “accidentally discover” the evidence as they claim. Some evidence causes me concern… Either the photos were there at 8 Hale or they weren’t. Either they were there from the start or they made a belated arrival.
Either they are Camila when she was 15, or they are not.
A non-party may have supplied evidence beneath the nose of official actors. Or maybe the photos were there – for years hiding in plain sight. Despite evidence contradicting it. I reject these false equivalences: Camila said Raniere abused her when she was 15, hence the evidence used by the FBI is competent. Raniere is guilty, so the FBI evidence is competent. Camila said Raniere took photos of her when she was 15, so the evidence must be competent. The DOJ made this argument. It is illogical. Camila has not identified the actual evidence….
The FBI should not present tampered evidence against a guilty defendant. If we allow this perfidious camel to nose into the tent of our enemy, we invite his presence in all our tents. He will be our constant companion. Camila is a victim. Raniere committed the crime. But the FBI has to prove it. They cannot cheat the jury.
Historically, Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis has not ruled favorably for Raniere, but there may be a chance of a favorable ruling if the tampering evidence is compelling enough.
Time will tell.
Judge Garaufis will at least give the DOJ the extra 30 days they need – though it is not as if they just got the motion. It’s been filed for more than a year.
Judge Garaufis ruled:
The court is in receipt of the Government’s 1205 request for an extension of time to file. This request is GRANTED. The Government is DIRECTED to file its consolidated response to Defendant Raniere’s motion for a new trial and motion to compel on or before July 23, 2023.