US attorney asks court to deny Nxivm leader Keith Raniere’s bid for new trial

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A US prosecutor has asked a court to close down a third motion by former Nxivm sex cult leader Keith Raniere for a new trial, arguing that Raniere’s claims that the government manipulated evidence against him were “untimely and meritless”.

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Raniere, 62, was sentenced to 120 years in prison following his 2019 conviction on charges of federal sex trafficking, racketeering and possession of child sexual abuse images. He has claimed that he is entitled to a new trial because “the government manufactured child pornography and planted it on a computer hard drive to tie it to him”.

It is Raniere’s third attempt to obtain a new trial based on alleged witness or government malfeasance, including purported “newly discovered evidence of government intimidation of potential defense witnesses”.

The earlier motions were denied in July and October of 2020.

In a court filing released on Sunday, the US attorney for the eastern district of New York wrote that the government had proved at trial that in 2005 Raniere “produced and possessed child pornography images of Camila, a child he was sexually abusing”.

A sworn declaration submitted to the court by one of his victims, known as Camila, said that she “vividly” recalled Raniere “reaching over a ledge next to the bed and grabbing a camera. He then proceeded to position my body and photograph me. I was shocked and confused, and expressed my discomfort, but he did it anyways.

“It was an unforgettably humiliating and degrading experience,” the victim added.

The filing opposing Raniere’s efforts to secure a new trial comes two weeks after Allison Mack, the former Smallville actor and a high-ranking member of Nxivm’s inner circle was released from prison after serving a three-year sentence.

Mack pleaded guilty to racketeering and racketeering conspiracy charges soon before Raniere’s trial was set to begin. In a letter of apology to the court, Mack wrote: “I lied to you, again and again, in order to protect the delusion I was so deeply committed to believing.”