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Nxivm: Sex cult leader Raniere found guilty in New York

Nxivm leader Keith Raniere

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Reuters

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Nxivm leader Keith Raniere appearing in court in New York, Brooklyn

Leader of sex cult Nxivm Keith Raniere has been found guilty of all charges against him in a New York court.

Jurors issued the verdict against Raniere, 58, after a six-week trial in Brooklyn.

Prosecutors accused him of overseeing a “slave and master” system in his group.

He was charged with crimes including racketeering, conspiracy, sex trafficking and possession of child pornography.

Raniere, who had pleaded not guilty to all charges, could face life in prison.

During the trial, the court heard how female recruits in the group were branded with his initials and coerced into having sex with Raniere.

Raniere maintained that Nxivm (pronounced nexium) was a self-improvement organisation, but investigators said it was a sex-trafficking operation disguised as a mentoring group.

Recruits were told it was an all-female group and were asked to hand over compromising materials that were later used to blackmail them, prosecutors said.

Raniere was arrested by the FBI in Mexico last year. His defence team said the alleged sexual relationships were consensual.

When the verdict was read out in court, former members of Nxivm gave the prosecution team a round of applause.

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Keith Raniere Conversations/YouTube

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Prosecutors claim Mr Raniere oversaw a “slave and master” system in the group

What is Nxivm?

On its website Nxivm describes itself as a “community guided by humanitarian principles that seek to empower people and answer important questions about what it means to be human”.

Based in Albany, New York, the group was founded as Executive Success Programs in 1998 and says it has worked with more than 16,000 people.

Members of the group are reported to include the son of a former Mexican president and Hollywood actresses.

According to the group’s website, it has suspended enrolment and events because of the “extraordinary circumstances facing the company at this time”.

Nxivm: Sex cult leader Raniere found guilty in New York

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