Keith Raniere had faced as few as 15 years on seven felony convictions involving everything from sex-trafficking to racketeering, child pornography and forced labor amid a yearslong saga of sexual, physical and mental abuse involving scores of young women.
The shaggy-haired supposed self-help guru ran the Albany-based group Nxivm, draining members of dough amid promises of promoting individual growth — all while grooming the women for his sexual pleasure, the feds said.
His reach proved far and wide — from disadvantaged towns in Mexico to Hollywood, luring actresses such as Allison Mack and Nicki Clyne, as well as Seagram’s booze heiress Clare Bronfman and India Oxenberg, the daughter of TV’s Catherine Oxenberg, into Nxivm’s ranks.
He formed a secret master-slave group within Nxivm to carry out his illicit deeds. It was called DOS, or “Dominant Over Submissive.”
Those who spoke against Raniere at the hearing included his first sex slave and a former DOS “maste” identified only as Camila, who finally broke her silence to tell the judge that the cult leader took her virginity at age 15.
“It is difficult for me to utter his name so I will only refer to him as ‘he,’ ” said Camila, recounting how she met Raniere in her native Mexico at age 13.
Nxivm leader Keith Raniere was slammed with 120 years behind bars Tuesday for running a twisted sex-slave cult where women were branded like cattle and forced to sleep with him.
The 60-year-old sicko, who billed himself as a Ghandi for the wayward, only to be unmasked as a perverted master manipulator ,remained defiant till the end, insisting to the judge that his slew of accusers were lying.
She and her two older sisters were all allegedly impregnated by Raniere, then forced to get abortions.
Camila was branded on her body with Raniere’s initials, as were many other members, who described being burned with a cauterizing pen to make the mark above their genitals.
India Oxenberg, 29, wept as she told the judge Raniere starved her to make her look like a 12-year-old — and raped her.
She said that before he forced her to have sex with him, he would sometimes rub his hand over her branding.
It took a jury fewer than five hours to convict Raniere of all the counts against him at trial last year — but Judge Garaufis said the verdict would have come even quicker had Camila taken the witness stand.
“Had she testified, it would have taken a jury 10 minutes to convict him,” the jurist said. “She was groomed from the age of 13 to 15, then was seduced by Mr. Raniere for his sexual pleasure. That’s a fact.”
When Raniere’s lawyer, Marc Agnifilo, tried to argue that his client’s intent was not to hurt anyone, the judge shot back, “Excuse me, pardon me.
“But what do you think intent is when you’re a 13-year-old girl and a 43-year-old man?” the jurist said, referring to Camila and Raniere’s ages when they met.
“I’m not going to tolerate what his intent was when he seduced a 15-year-old girl,” Garaufis said of Raniere. “It’s an insult.
“The branding of Camila was cruel to the part of inhumane. The harm he inflicted on her was incalculable.”
Agnifilo tried again to defend his client, saying, “He was in love with some of these women. … He doesn’t know how to let go.”
But the judge just shut him down again — as Raniere’s victims made faces at each other in disbelief at the lawyer’s assertion.
Still, Raniere continues to have supporters.
Clyne, Mack’s wife who appeared on TV’s “Battlestar Galactica,” was among about 20 of Raniere’s pals who showed up in court Tuesday. The group also included Marc Elliot, who claimed he overcame Tourette syndrome thanks to Nxivm.
“I think Keith is a good man who has helped the lives of thousands and thousands of people, and currently there is only one narrative in the media because another side has been completely silenced until only a couple of days ago,” Elliot said.
Bronfman and Mack have already pleaded guilty to roles in the case, with the heiress landing nearly seven years behind bars earlier this month.