NXIVM Leader Keith Raniere Breaks Silence To Proclaim His Innocence As He Faces 15 Yrs. To Life In Prison

The NXIVM leader admitted he feels there’s been a ‘horrible injustice’ after being found guilty of federal sex trafficking and forced labor charges, in a new interview.

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NXIVM founder, Keith Raniere, who went to prison after being arrested on federal sex trafficking and forced labor charges in 2018, is claiming he is innocent, in his first interview since his arrest made headlines. The 60-year-old was convicted of racketeering and racketeering conspiracy, sex trafficking, attempted sex trafficking and sex trafficking conspiracy, forced labor conspiracy and wire fraud conspiracy in June 2019.

Now that he’s getting ready to be sentenced on Oct. 27, he’s speaking out to explain he thinks there’s been “injustice” in the case.

“One of the things that’s most important in our country is the justice system,” he told Dateline in the interview, which can be seen above. “And although, you know, people can hate me and do, and think I’m an odious type of a character — you know, awful, actually — both the devil and a saint should be able to get the exact same treatment under our justice system.”

Keith Raniere
Keith Raniere, who was the leader of NXIVM, claimed his innocence in a new interview from prison. (Courtesy of YouTube)

Raniere went on to say that he plans on making a statement of innocence at his sentencing. “Yes, I am innocent. And although it is — this is a horrible tragedy, with many, many people being hurt, I think the main thrust of this has been the oppression,” he explained. “But really a different issue, which is hard for me to express — there is a horrible injustice here,” he continued. “And whether you think I’m the devil or not, the justice process has to be examined.”

Although he claims he’s innocent in the new interview, Raniere also admitted to being a part of past behavior that hurt people and apologized for it. “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.”

NXIVM marketed themselves as being an organization that empowered people and helped with tough issues, like emotional trauma, but prosecutors said it was a sexual pyramid scheme that included sex “slaves” and Raniere was running it. “Raniere, who portrayed himself as a savant and a genius, was in fact a massive manipulator, a con man, and the crime boss of a cult-like organization involved in sex trafficking, child pornography, extortion, compelled abortions, branding, degradation and humiliation,” U.S. Attorney Richard Donoghue said, according to CNN.
Allison Mack
‘Smallville’ star Allison Mack, who was involved in NXIVM, is seen leaving a court date. (MEGA)
The pyramid that Raniere, who was known as “Vanguard” in the organization, was at the top of was called DOS, and had tiers of female “slaves” who had the opportunity to become “masters” to the “slaves” beneath them. What some former members described as “a cult” got the attention of law enforcement when it was publicly criticized by actress Catherine Oxenberg, whose daughter India joined the group in 2011, but eventually left.
Authorities also reportedly believe women involved in the scheme had to force over “collateral” and it could later be used to blackmail them. It is believed that this “collateral” is what led the fearful “slaves” to engage in sexual activity with Raniere. In addition to Raniere, other former NXIVM members who previously pleaded guilty to federal charges and are awaiting sentencing are president Nancy Salzman and her daughter Lauren Salzman, bookkeeper Kathy Russell and Smallville actress Allison Mack.