2020 has felt like the year of non-stop shit, but here we have one good thing 2020 has done. What’s that phrase about a broken clock being right at least twice? Well, we’re still waiting on the second right thing 2020 could give us, which – hey, don’t lose hope! After all, there’s still Allison Mack’s sentencing. But right now we’ve got the news that Keith Raniere, leader of NXIVM’s self-help pyramid scheme-turned-abusive sex cult, has been sentenced to 120 years in prison.
CNN says that 60-year-old Keith appeared yesterday in a Brooklyn court to receive sentencing for all the torture and sex abuse he did while masquerading as a self-help guru. Keith was arrested in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico back in March of 2018. After a seven-week trial, he was found guilty on all counts in June 2019, which included racketeering, racketeering conspiracy, wire fraud conspiracy, forced labor conspiracy, sex trafficking, sex trafficking conspiracy, and attempted sex trafficking. Up until that time, he had maintained he was innocent, and that everything he did was consensual.
Except there’s a little thing called “victim impact statements,” and 15 victims either showed up in court, or wrote letters, explaining that no, nothing was consensual, and Keith was very much guilty of being a monster. The victims detailed the horrors of Keith’s inner circle, or DOS. India Oxenberg, one of Keith’s most high-profile victims, has previously alleged that Keith she was recruited by Keith’s second in command, Allison Mack, and then starved, abused, made to perform physical labor tasks, branded with Keith’s and Allison’s initials, and forced to have sex with Keith. Many victims argued that they were completely brainwashed into staying, or that they were so mentally broken and exhausted they couldn’t have plotted an escape, even if they wanted to.
US District Judge Nicholas Garaufis, who described Keith’s abuse of one girl as “cruel to the point of inhumane,” clearly wasn’t playing around when it came time to sentencing. He went with a 120-year sentence for Keith. Keith is 60, so it’s safe to say he’ll probably peace-out of this life in prison. Bye bitch!
One of Keith’s victims, who claims she was recruited into Keith’s DOS at 15 years old, wrote a victim impact statement for his sentencing:
One of those victims was the 15-year-old girl at the center of the sexual exploitation of a child charge that Raniere was convicted of. A redacted copy of her victim impact statement was posted to the court record, in which she said she was 15 and he was 45 when they began to have sex, and that he took nude photos of her.
“While he hid our sexual relationship from others, he explained it to me by telling me that I was very mature for my age. And I know now that it was false – I was a child,” her victim impact statement read. “He used my innocence to do whatever he wanted with me – not just sexually but also psychologically.”
And it was also reported that Keith was only half remorseful about his behavior. via The New York Times:
Raniere spoke before the court at his sentencing, maintaining his innocence, saying some of the victims were lying but also saying he was “deeply sorry.”
Pending appeals and parole, Keith will probably die in prison. Although, Keith is a slimy puddle of bacteria, and I know some of those bacteria puddles have infinite lifespans. I hope he’s got more human DNA than slime, for the sake of justice.