Raniere, 60, was convicted on federal sex trafficking, racketeering and possession of child pornography charges after he formed the controversial group. The NXIVM founder, who branded young woman he kept as sex slaves, is now the second member of the group to be sentenced in this case, which shocked the world.
Before he was sentenced, the criminal arrived to the Brooklyn federal court house in an unmarked car. Raniere’s victims were supposed to speak during the sentencing.
“Keith maintains his innocence. It’s a very sad day for him,” his lawyer Marc Agnifilo said after the verdict. “I think he’s not surprised, but he maintains that he didn’t mean to do anything wrong.”
“I am innocent,” Raniere said on Dateline. “This is a horrible tragedy with many, many people being hurt. There is a horrible injustice here. And whether you think I’m the devil or not, the justice process has to be examined.”
However, during the interview, Raniere fessed up to his mistakes. “I apologize for my participation in all of this pain and suffering,” he said. “I’ve clearly participated. I’ve been the leader of the community.”
While being a part of the cult — which was compromised of young women — Raniere had sexual relations with the ladies and even ordered them to lose weight, which included limiting the girls to just 900 calories a day so they weighed under 100 pounds. Raniere also branded the women with his initials.
India Oxenberg, who was a part of the cult, recently spoke out about being a victim of Raniere’s. Before he was sentenced, she told CBS This Morning that he should be convicted for his actions. “He’s a predator and he’s a pedophile,” the 29-year-old said. “Nobody deserves to have their life taken from them or to be abused. I hope the judge gives him life in prison. I think he is a dangerous man, and if he is released, he will do exactly what he’s always done and that puts me and other women and men at risk.”
For access to all our exclusive celebrity videos and interviews – Subscribe on YouTube!