Sentencing date set for NY self-help guru in sex slave case

Keith Raniere ran a cult-like organization that won him the devotion of the wealthy and famous

The leader of a cult-like self-improvement group in upstate New York who was convicted last year on charges that he turned some of his followers into sex slaves will face sentencing on Oct. 27, a judge said Friday.

In a conference call, U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis told lawyers for Keith Raniere he was making arrangements for the jailed Raniere to be sentenced in person at a federal court in Brooklyn and for his victims to speak to the court if they want.

READ ALSO: B.C. reporter reflects on covering Charles Manson

“We need to figure out how to configure the courtroom to make sure everyone is safe” in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, the judge said.

At trial, prosecutors told jurors that the 59-year-old Raniere’s organization, NXIVM — pronounced NEHK-see-uhm — operated like a cult that won him the devotion of a wealthy heiress and Hollywood actresses. His adherents included actress Allison Mack of TV’s “Smallville”; an heiress to the Seagram’s liquor fortune, Clare Bronfman; and a daughter of TV star Catherine Oxenberg of “Dynasty” fame.

Prosecutors said he formed a secret subgroup comprised of brainwashed female “slaves” who were branded with his initials and forced to have sex with him.

Raniere is facing 15 years to life in prison.

—The Associated Press

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Mission Mayor Pam Alexis to run for the NDP

Will take on Liberal Simon Gibson in the Abbotsford-Mission riding

MEDICAL MOMENTS: Dr. Andrew Edelson has served Mission for more than 45 years

Why Mission? ‘Mostly because it’s such a wonderful community,’ he says

BC launches 22 new primary care networks, including one in Mission

Will be adding family physicians, a nurse practitioner and a social worker

Missing Chilliwack woman last seen on Wednesday

Friends and family concerned for Joy-Lynn Leon, 42, who was last seen Sept. 23 on Mary Street

Abbotsford has a COVID-19 rate 10 times higher than Chilliwack

Abbotsford has been much harder hit by COVID-19 than its neighbour to the east

B.C. records 98 more COVID-19 cases, most in Lower Mainland

One new senior home outbreak, Surrey Memorial outbreak over

VIDEO: COVID won’t dampen Lower Mainland woman’s Halloween spirit

Langley’s Tanya Reid posted video offering suggestions of how trick-or-treating might look for her

2 British Columbians arrested, 3 at large in massive Alberta drug bust

Eight people are facing 33 charges in what police have dubbed Project Incumbent

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

Father hopes journey to aviation-safety program inspires hope

Former South Surrey resident Greg Sewell hasn’t given up on quest to mandate older-plane retrofits

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

$250K reward offered as investigation continues into Sea to Sky Gondola vandalism

Police also asking for specific footage of Sea to Sky highway around time of incident

Trudeau ‘disappointed’ by RCMP treatment of Sikh officers over mask issue

World Sikh Organization of Canada said taking Sikh officers off the front lines constitutes discrimination

Liberals reach deal with NDP on COVID-19 aid bill, likely averting election

NDP and the Liberals have reached an agreement on COVID-19 sick-leave

Most Read