The MDC houses about 2,000 inmates. About 3 percent of these are women. The inmates – who never get outdoors and live in fetid, putrid conditions, with extreme fluctuations of temperatures – are mainly serving short sentences or in custody awaiting trial.
Keith Raniere is one of the latter, having been denied bail after being charged with sex trafficking, sex trafficking conspiracy and forced labor conspiracy.
In 2016, a federal judge said MDC’s conditions made it sound like it was a prison in “some third-world country.” When former congressman Anthony Weiner was to be sentenced for sex crimes, his lawyers pleaded with the judge not to send him to this hell hole where prisoners are treated like wretched beasts – deprived of the slightest semblance of recognition that they are humans susceptible of one day regaining their dignity.
The cruel and unusual conditions at MDC are exacerbated – in some instances – by the type of guards that work there. Yesterday, a former lieutenant at MDC was convicted on sexual assault. In Federal District Court in Brooklyn – the same court where Raniere is to be tried – a jury found Eugenio Perez, 47, guilty of forcing five female inmates to perform oral sex on him.
The attacks took place in Perez’s office in the jail; it could be called his “sex lair” – where Perez could avoid security cameras.
Many of Raniere’s attacks took place in his sex lair on Hale Court in Clifton Park where Raniere used cameras to film his victims naked.
Perez called himself “Caballo” (the Spanish word for horse).
Raniere calls himself Vanguard [the Latin word for the leading force of an armed aggression].
Perez treated his victims like they were his stable.
Raniere called his victims “slaves.”
Perez chose vulnerable women to assault — some had been subjected to disciplinary measures, others were awaiting immigration proceedings — and used those vulnerabilities against them, warning that if they spoke of the attacks there would be further repercussions.
Raniere chose vulnerable women to assault — some he subjected to disciplinary measures, others he arranged to elude legal immigration — some he arranged for fake marriages – and used those vulnerabilities against them, warning that if they spoke of the attacks, or the secrets of his deviancy – he would release blackmail worthy material held against them which he called “collateral.”
Perez’s assaults against the women took place over three years – from 2013 to 2016.
Raniere’s assaults against women took place over 38 years – from 1980 to 2018.
Perez’s assaults tended to follow a pattern. Perez would request the women be placed on work details to clean the lieutenant’s office.
Raniere’s assaults tended to follow a pattern. Raniere would request that the women become his students and take his courses.
During the Perez trial, all of the victims testified under aliases.
At the upcoming Raniere trial, the victims – now identified as Jane Does – will likely testify using aliases.
Prosecutors said Perez would expose himself to them, force them into oral sex and ejaculate into paper towels he eventually disposed of.
Perez faces a possible maximum sentence of life in prison.
Raniere faces a possible maximum sentence of life in prison.
In addition to Perez, in January, another former lieutenant at the jail, Carlos Richard Martinez, was found guilty of repeatedly raping a Dominican woman in the MDC .
In addition to Raniere, in April, Raniere’s lieutenant in the sex slaver cult, Allison Mack was indicted on the same charges as Raniere.
A third corrections officer, Armando Moronta, pleaded guilty in November to sexually abusing three other female inmates at the jail.
Assistant US Attorney Moira Penza told the judge in Raniere/Mack’s case that she expected there would likely be others charged as the investigation widens in the Bronfman-Raniere crime organization probe.