'Nxivm' Leader Keith Raniere Guilty of Felony Charges: What Will His Sentence Be?

The leader of the sex cult known as "Nxivm" was convicted on Wednesday in a trial that exposed abuse, the physical branding of women and other squalid phenomena.

Keith Raniere, 58, set up a harem of sex slaves who were branded with his initials and kept obedient by blackmail, but the cult leader was found guilty in New York of racketeering, sex trafficking and forced labor conspiracy—among other felony charges.

But for how long will he go to prison? Reports say Raniere could serve a life sentence.

NXIVM operated under the cover of a self-help organization based in Albany, New York, but was actually a pyramid scheme and cult-like secret society, in which recruits were exploited sexually and for labor.

Six weeks of testimony in federal court revealed that members of Raniere's cult were misled about the nature of the group and were told it was a women's empowerment group. The women later found that they were required to be 'slaves' and expected to have sex with Raniere, send him nude photos and allow themselves to be branded.

Women were ceremonially branded near their bikini lines with Raniere's initials.

"This trial has revealed that 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 for the Eastern District, Richard P. Donoghue, told reporters on Wednesday.

A teenager from Mexico, identified only as Daniela in her testimony, said she worked for NXIVM and was groomed for a sexual relationship with, and by, Raniere. She said the two had sex for days when she was 18, while Raniere was in his 40s, according to reports.

Daniela said she later found out the NXIVM leader was also having sex with both of her sisters. All three sisters apparently got pregnant by Raniere at different times and had abortions at his urging.

When she admitted she had feelings for another member of NXIVM, Raniere convinced her family to keep her confined to her room.

Raniere was emotionless as the verdict was read, according to CNN.

Raniere was arrested by the FBI in Mexico last year. He had reportedly fled the United States with several members of his inner circle following the publication of a damning 2017 New York Times exposé that alleged Raniere was the leader of a sex cult.

In his case, Raniere pleaded 'not guilty' to all charges brought against him. His lawyers told reporters on Wednesday he plans to appeal.

Allison Mack, an actress who starred in Smallville and who was apparently a former 'master' in the cult, pleaded guilty to racketeering and racketeering conspiracy in April, in relation to Raniere's cult.

Raniere is due to be sentenced on September 25, 2019.

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Keith Raniere was found guilty of running a sex cult and sex trafficking organization. YouTube/Keith Raniere Conversations