The leader of a cult-like self-improvement group that attracted heiresses and Hollywood actresses in the US is requesting a new trial in his sex-trafficking case.
A jury convicted Keith Raniere in June on all counts of sex-trafficking and coercing women into sex.
He and his lawyers filed a motion on Monday in Brooklyn federal court for a new trial, arguing that two witnesses perjured themselves when they denied they were planning to sue him after the trial.
The two women who testified at Raniere’s trial are part of an 80-plaintiff lawsuit filed in January against Raniere and members of the group’s top leadership, according to the motion. Some plaintiffs claim they were recruited as sex slaves and were forced to have Raniere’s initials branded on their bodies.
Attorney Neil Glazer, who represents the two women, told the New York Post they did not initially intend to join the lawsuit but changed their minds after they saw how much evidence was revealed during the trial.
Raniere ran a once-thriving organization based in Albany, New York, called NXIVM, pronounced NEHK-see-uhm.
Raniere was accused of turning his female devotees into his sex slaves through shame, punishment and nude blackmail photos.
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