New York: The New York man who started a mystery society wherein girl “slaves” had been branded along with his initials and ordered to have sex with him may also have led to an unconventional existence, but he did now not destroy the regulation, his lawyer told jurors on Monday.
“The behavior looked at objectively is quite accessible,” Marc Agnifilo, the lawyer for Keith Raniere, stated in his closing argument in Brooklyn federal court. “That would not make it a criminal offense.” Raniere, 58, is on trial going through prices that include racketeering, sex trafficking, and toddler pornography. Prosecutors stated he used his business enterprise, Nxivm, which billed itself as a self-assist institution, to cover the secretive sorority, referred to as DOS.
Raniere faces a possible sentence of lifestyles in jail if convicted. In her remaining argument in advance on Monday, Assistant US Attorney Moira Penza said participants had been tricked into handing over compromising pics and confessions, known as “collateral,” that might be used to blackmail them. She described Raniere as an “a con man, a predator, against the law boss” who operated “via abuse and manipulated.”
Agnifilo countered that Raniere never meant to launch collateral and, most effective, meant to help the girls with their private boom. He even counseled that one of the former DOS contributors who testified within the trial, a woman recognized most effective as Nicole, could have been helped with the aid of her time as a “slave.” “Maybe it labored,” Agnifilo said.
Nicole testified that she becomes tied to a table and subjected to an intercourse act with another woman in opposition to her will. At the same time, Raniere watched, coerced into having sex with Raniere in numerous instances, and subsequently branded together with his initials. The 6-week trial has featured testimony from a couple of girls who said Raniere victimized them, including Lauren Salzman, daughter of Nxivm co-founder Nancy Salzman and a longtime member Raniere’s internal circle.
Raniere declined to testify, and his defense called no witnesses. Other contributors of Nxivm, that’s mentioned “Nexium,” have been charged. They encompass Nancy Salzman, actress Allison Mack, and Seagram liquor heiress Claire Bronfman. They have all pleaded guilty to crimes but have now not yet been sentenced.
The group first became regarded for its “Executive Success Program” guides, which purported to give college students the capability to acquire their life goals by using overcoming intellectual blocks. Witnesses testified that the business enterprise leaders psychologically manipulated and abused its individuals and demanded total obedience from them.