Nxivm leader guilty in sex cult trial

Nxivm founder Keith Raniere has been found guilty on all counts for running the upstate sex cult in which women were branded like cattle and forced to have sex with him.

Jurors in a New York federal court reached a verdict on Wednesday afternoon (local time) after less than five hours of deliberations - convicting him of racketeering, a charge that could put him away for life, and other counts.


An artist’s depiction of Keith Raniere in a Brooklyn court. Picture: AP
An artist’s depiction of Keith Raniere in a Brooklyn court. Picture: AP


The seven-week trial included testimony from some of Raniere's sex slaves, who recalled in dramatic detail the self-styled guru's twisted teachings, reports the New York Post.

Within Nxivm, Raniere ran a secret society called DOS, in which slaves were tasked with recruiting slaves of their own. The women were starved, branded with Raniere's initials and forced to sleep with him or perform other sex acts, according to testimony.

Raniere was also accused of having sex with a 15-year-old girl named Camila prior to forming DOS, which stood for Dominant Over Submissive.

Other members of Nxivm were charged alongside Raniere and have all pleaded guilty. They include Nxivm president Nancy Salzman, her daughter Lauren Salzman, Smallville actress Allison Mack and Seagram liquor heiress Claire Bronfman, who bankrolled the group for years.

Raniere - who was known to his slaves as "Grandmaster" and "Vanguard" - did not testify.