Over a year after being convicted on multiple charges involving his leadership role in the sex cult NXIVM, Keith Raniere has been given a sentence, and it’s a doozy. As per NBC News, the disgraced self-help guru has been awarded 120 years in prison on charges of sex trafficking, racketeering, and possession of child pornography.
Raniere is the second higher-up in the cult to be sentenced. Last month Seagram heiress Clare Bronfman was sentenced to six to nine months for her role as funder and leader. Another member of the top brass, former Smallville actress Allison Mack was convicted for recruiting women into a movement that transformed into a sex cult. Mack is still awaiting sentencing.
On Friday, Dateline aired an interview with Raniere, in which he maintained his innocence. “This is a horrible tragedy with many, many people being hurt,” he said. “There is a horrible injustice here. And whether you think I’m the devil or not, the justice process has to be examined.”
NXIVM has been the source of much media scrutiny, and not just over the trials. The cult has inspired two competing premium cable docuseries: The Vow on HBO and Starz’s Seduced: Inside the NXIVM Cult. Last year the podcast Uncover devoted a season to it, entitled Escaping NXIVM. They depict an organization that began innocently enough, indoctrinating members by starting off as a self-help group before taking increasingly sinister turns. A number of Hollywood players were sucked into its orbit, including actors Sarah Edmondson and India Oxenberg, daughter of Dynasty star Catherine Oxenberg.
Raniere is currently 60 and he will likely spend the rest of his life in jail.
(Via NBC News)