Just before Keith Raniere — who is the cult leader of NXIVM and sexually abuses women — hit the courtroom on Tuesday, October 27, to await sentencing for his crimes, NXIVM survivor India Oxenberg revealed her thoughts on the situation.
"He’s a predator and he’s a pedophile," Oxenberg, 29, said on CBS This Morning. "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."
Raniere, 60, arrived at the Brooklyn federal court in an unmarked car earlier today. Raniere’s victims — which include Oxenberg — are expected to speak at his sentencing. Nicki Clyne, who is married to fellow NXIVM cult member Allison Mack, supported Raniere outside the courthouse.
Last year, the jury found the NXIVM founder guilty on all counts. He was convicted of racketeering, racketeering conspiracy, wire fraud conspiracy, forced labor conspiracy, sex trafficking, sex trafficking conspiracy and attempted sex trafficking. The businessman was also convicted on all 11 underlying counts of racketeering that fell under the wire fraud charge.
"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."
Despite maintaining his innocence, Raniere owned up to his actions. “I apologize for my participation in all of this pain and suffering,” he told Dateline. "I’ve clearly participated. I’ve been the leader of the community."
"It ended up being something entirely opposite, something criminal, something cruel, something very devious," Oxenberg — who revealed she was branded and made to have sexual relations with Raniere — said about her time in the cult.
"What I believed DOS really was was a grooming and filtering system for Keith and for his personal desires," she said. "It’s hard to explain but they’re like invisible chains. I know they’re not there but you feel them. I think this just shows you that mind control is real and doctrination is real, cohesion is real and these people are still being used as pawns for his agenda."
Fortunately, Oxenberg is doing well since she escaped the cult and will be releasing a documentary about her experience called Seduced: Inside the NXIVM Cult via STARZ.