The leadership of the notorious NIXVM sex cult, which made headlines for the branding of its female members as well as forced sexual activities, was found guilty on numerous charges. Its leader, Keith Raniere, may face life in prison, the New York Post reported Wednesday.
After almost five hours of deliberations, Raniere was found guilty of seven counts of racketeering, racketeering conspiracy, sex trafficking, sex trafficking conspiracy, attempted sex trafficking, forced labor conspiracy and wire fraud conspiracy. The first conviction alone is enough for a life prison sentence, according to the report.
Witnesses, who included Raniere’s ‘sex slaves’, said they were branded with his initials, starved and forced to have sex with the cult leader. They also said that he ran a secret inner circle called DOS (for Dominant Over Submissive), in which slaves were tasked with recruiting slaves for themselves.
The cult leader is also accused of having sex with a 15-year old girl, the report says, but no counts of pedophilia were included in the verdict.
Other members of the cult, including NXIVM president Nancy Salzman, her daughter Lauren Salzman,“Smallville” star Allison Mack and Seagram liquor empire heiress Clare Bronfman - who provided the cult with easy cash - were charged alongside Raniere. All have pleaded guilty, according to the Post. Raniere pleaded not guilty to all charges, according to BBC.
Sentencing is scheduled for 25 September.