Leader of N.Y. sex cult found guilty on all counts

Lodi News-Sentinel - - NATION / WORLD -

NEW YORK — Keith Raniere, the head of the NX­IVM cult who branded women with its ini­tials and treated them as his “sex slaves,” was found guilty on all counts by a Brook­lyn jury Wed­nes­day.

It took about four hours of de­lib­er­a­tions for a jury of eight men and four women to come back with a ver­dict against the long­time leader and fig­ure­head of up­state self­help com­pany in his sex traf­fick­ing, rack­e­teer­ing and rack­e­teer­ing con­spir­acy trial.

As the ver­dict was read Raniere, 58, who was called “Van­guard” by his fol­low­ers, was stoic and whis­per­ing to his lawyer, and sev­eral NX­IVM de­fec­tors were cry­ing and trem­bling.

Raniere was ac­cused of help­ing him­self to women who were re­cruited for his sex­ual plea­sure into a se­cret sect called “DOS.” He had pleaded not guilty, and said his en­coun­ters with the al­leged vic­tims, some of whom were branded with his ini­tials, were con­sen­sual.

Pros­e­cu­tors said his en­tire pur­pose for start­ing the cult, a se­cret sub­group under the NX­IVM um­brella, was to feed him­self an end­less sup­ply of sex­ual part­ners.

He kept nine “first-line slaves,” women who were long­time blind fol­low­ers of Raniere and NX­IVM, pros­e­cu­tors said.

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