Great Britain

NXIVM ‘sex cult’ boss Keith Raniere’s bid for retrial OPPOSED by US government as he faces life in prison

THE US government has opposed “sex cult” NXIVM leader Keith Raniere’s bid for a retrial.

The government, in court papers obtained by The Sun, claims his motion for a new trial filed earlier this week is “untimely” and “meritless”.

Raniere is facing life in prison after he was convicted last June on seven felonies, including sex trafficking, forced labor and racketeering - and is due to be sentenced on Tuesday.

He is accused of running a sinister master-slave group called DOS at the heart of NXIVM, where women were starved, branded on their groins, forced into sexual acts and made to hand over damaging collateral such as naked pictures.

Raniere - who followers called "Vanguard" - was also found guilty of acts of extortion, identity theft and the production and possession of child pornography.

Now, Raniere and his followers are calling for a retrial, claiming they have evidence of "misconduct" by prosecutors.

He claims that the government "initimidated" his followers Nicki Clyne and Michelle Hatchette - both DOS 'slaves' - from testifying in his defense - claims the government rejects.

The new papers, filed on Thursday, claim that Battlestar Galactica actress Clyne - a DOS "slave" and "master" - told the "slaves" to hand over their collateral gave it to her attorney then told the women to destroy it.

The documents state: "As trial preparation began, the government received information that Nicole Clyne was in control of DOS-related materials, including collateral and other records, which were in the possession of her attorney, Edward Sapone, Esq.

"Specifically, the government learned that after the existence of DOS became known within the Nxivm community, Clyne instructed DOS 'slaves,' including Michele Hatchette and India, to transfer DOS-related
digital materials, including collateral, to hard drives that Clyne provided.

"After the materials were saved to the hard drives, Clyne instructed the group of DOS “slaves” to delete the DOS materials from their own computers.

"Months later, Clyne told India that she had given the hard drives and other DOS-related materials to Clyne's attorney."

Clyne hit out at the claims telling The Sun in an exclusive interview: "This is categorically false it never happened.

"I never gave anyone hard drives and I never asked anyone to hand anything over to me. That never happened."

Her fellow "slave" Michele Hatchette also confirmed to The Sun she never did this.

The documents also reveal that Clyne refused to hand over: “any and all records in your possession, custody or control related to ‘DOS,’ ‘the Vow,’ or ‘the Sorority,’ including audio and video recordings and collateral, when subpoenaed.

She declined to provide this, on the advice of her lawyer, according to the documents.

Clyne broke her silence speaking publicly for the first time since Raniere's arrest in an interview with The Sun.

The star leapt to the defense of NXIVM and DOS claiming she was proud of the work she had done in the group - and said everything she experienced - including being branded - was "positive and consensual".

She said: "Right now the most important thing is that the world knows that I am saying, ‘I am proud of who I am, the choices I’ve made and I believe that it was very positive for me.'

"We made bold choices. I accept that. I was part of a group that really tried to uphold accountability, discipline, honor, and trust amongst women, which is something I think is important and needed.

"I think there were misunderstandings and things that are still misunderstood."

Clyne's interview comes after Raniere made a last-ditch plea for help from behind bars to have his conviction overturned.

In a bizarre voice recording, shared with The Sun, moaning Raniere asks his "nemesis" Frank Parlato - the man widely credited with destroying Nxivm and bringing him to justice - for help.

The cult leader claims he is facing a huge "injustice" and "oppression" and that they need to unite for the "greater" good.

New court documents also state: "Raniere falls well short of establishing any one of the three requirements necessary to establish the government violated his right to present a defense.

"Raniere has failed to show that he was deprived of material, exculpatory evidence.

"He has also failed to demonstrate that the government acted in bad faith.

"Lastly, Raniere has failed to show that his trial was fundamentally unfair."

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