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Artvoice Analysis of Raniere’s bail motion; Attorneys show Raniere as dedicated family man and sentimental ‘significant other’

Keith Raniere’s lawyers have made a motion for him to be released on $10 million bail. The case is in the US District Court Eastern District of New York: USA v. Keith Raniere.

Raniere’s attorneys are Marc Agnifilo, Jacob Kaplan and Tery Geragos of Brafman & Associates and Paul DerOhannesian II and Danielle Smith of DerOhannesian and DerOhannesian.

The plain text is the language of the motion. My comments are in [BOLD and brackets].

MOTION FOR RELEASE ON BAIL

Preliminary Statement

Through this case, the United States Government seeks to curtail the ways in which independent, smart, curious adults [DOS slaves] may legally search for happiness, fulfillment and meaning [by giving coercive collateral and getting branded]. By condemning DOS as a criminal enterprise and the teachings of Keith Raniere as fraudulent and criminal, the Department of Justice has made itself the morality police.

The federal Government apparently does not approve of the way hundreds of women [are there hundreds of DOS women?] are searching for happiness, fulfillment and meaning in their lives and is now seeking to incarcerate a number of them [This suggests others in NXIVM are going to be arrested and charged] as well as Raniere, whose ideas inspired this group.

To accomplish this unimaginable result, the Government resorts to the Sex Trafficking statute, which… does not apply to this conduct…. [the prosecution clearly disagrees.]

While some may view certain elements of Raniere’s teachings as bold [others say brutal], there are many others who have said, and one day will testify in this very courtroom, that these teachings improved their lives or gave their lives greater meaning. [This will be Raniere’s defense – happy students negate brutalized women].

Keith Raniere will wage a vigorous and principled defense to these charges, and the Government’s intolerant version of reality will be disproven.

For the time being, however, Raniere asks only to be released from prison so that he and his lawyers may wage this exhaustive and important fight.

Accordingly, we request a prompt hearing … to determine whether a combination of restrictive conditions exists that would permit Raniere, a United States citizen previously residing in Albany, New York, with no criminal record, to be released pending trial….

[The next few paragraphs cite cases and the law on bail. view the complete bail application document]

… [T]he Government’s Complaint and Detention Letter contain significant factual errors. … the Government has not met its burden of establishing by clear and convincing evidence that Raniere is a danger to the safety of the community or … a flight risk. Therefore, Raniere should be released.

Proposed Conditions of Release

…. Raniere offers the following conditions … to ensure Raniere’s appearance during this case and ameliorate any of the risks asserted by the Government:

(1) A $10M bond signed by Raniere; [But he has no money?]

(2) Travel restricted to the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York {Raniere would remain in NYC and not go back to Albany];

(3) Surrendering of Raniere’s passport, and an agreement not to secure new travel documents;

(4) Strict Pretrial Services supervision;

(5) Home detention with GPS monitoring at a residence selected by the security company called TorchStone, under the supervision of Mark Sullivan, former Director of the U.S. Secret Service with thirty-five years of federal law enforcement experience;

[TorchStone provides security for wealthy individuals. Bronfman or Raniere money will purchase the services of this high priced private security company, headed by a former Director of the US Secret Service. It will be expensive – $200,000 per month is my estimate. The house Raniere/Beronfman will pay to let Touchstone select will no doubt be a lavish home/mansion and Raniere will, in essence, have ex secret service people guarding him in luxury. Possibly running errands].

(6) Raniere’s presence at this residence to be secured by TorchStone with the following provisions:
a. 24-hour armed guards;
b. Two guards per shift;
c. One supervisory security professional overseeing and scheduling the security detail;
d. Security both at the residence and accompanying Raniere whenever he leaves the residence pursuant to bail conditions; [He will travel like the president]
e. TorchStone will provide a security vehicle with driver whenever Raniere must travel to counsel’s office, court, or medical treatment (with prior
notification to Pretrial Services); [This will allow Raniere to meet at his lawyers’ offices instead of them having to see him in jail.] and
f. TorchStone will communicate with Pretrial Services, the Court and/or the Government in regard to any violation of any condition imposed by the Court; [This is a classic case of the fox hiring the hens to watch him. Still TorchStone will obviously have to try not to let him escape since that would ruin their reputation.]

(7) That while Raniere shall be granted access to a computer in order to review the discovery provided in this case and other case-related materials provided by his lawyers, he shall not be permitted internet access;

(8) That Raniere is permitted access to one telephone that will provided and approved by Pretrial Services to make and receive calls to and from phone numbers agreed to by counsel for Raniere and the Government (including the phone number of the mother of his child) [Here the defense is painting a picture of good papa Raniere. The mother of his child is presumably Mariana Fernandez and not Kristin Keeffe – who also had a child with him and who fled from him in terror and is in hiding. ); and

(9) That Raniere will not directly or indirectly associate or have contact, outside the presence of his counsel, with his co-defendants, alleged co-conspirators, or any individual currently or formerly employed by or associated with Nxivm or any affiliated or constituent entity; [In other words, Raniere can meet with any and all NXIVM members provided one of his numerous attorneys are present, at $300 -$800 per hour, at his secured home/mansion].

[Note: The Prosecution was advised of Raniere’s proposal and asked to consent to it before the judge. They refused and will oppose it with the court.]

Summary
Keith Raniere is 57 years old…. He has lived and worked in the Capital region of Albany, New York, steadily over the past almost forty years [He worked? at what?]….

In a word, Raniere is an ethicist [Ethicist definition: “An ethicist is one whose judgment on ethics and ethical codes has come to be trusted by a specific community, and is expressed in some way that makes it possible for others to mimic or approximate that judgment.” In other words Raniere is someone who created his own standard for ethics that others follow. Other Ethicists include Charles Manson and Jim Jones.]

His ethical teachings, which have focused on raising the level of humanity within each person, [what does “raising the level of humanity” mean? Is there a measuring device? Perhaps Raniere has a patent?] have been a source of help and inspiration to thousands of people. He has been recognized by no less than the Dalai Lama. [That is not true. The Dalai Lama asked that Raniere be investigated. See Dalai Lama’s complete statement on Raniere and NXIVM].

The accomplishments of Raniere and others working with him are too numerous to recite here. Two of the more notable accomplishments include a film called “My Tourette’s,” an award-winning feature length movie about Tourette’s syndrome and the use of teaching methods developed by Raniere and others to overcome debilitating symptoms of Tourette’s and a successful peace movement in Mexico to curb drug cartel violence.

In 1998, Raniere and his business partner incorporated Executive Success Programs (“ESP”) with the goal of helping people permanently improve and change their lives with reproducible technology. ESP consists of thousands of multi-hour “modules” and classes [for sale] which help create the foundation necessary to acquire and build skills for success.

In 2003, Raniere and others founded Nxivm Corporation and have created other Raniere inspired companies since that time. … Jness—was founded in 2008 to promote the furtherance and empowerment of women throughout the world. …. Rainbow Cultural Garden, a child development program which promotes children’s cultural, linguistic, emotional, psychical and problem-solving potential. [There is no evidence provided that these companies are helpful to women or children.]

Nxivm Corporation exists to scientifically study education and technology to help its student’s excel, thereby creating a rational and ethical world. In 2015, a group called DOS or The Vow was created. DOS was inspired no doubt by Raniere’s teachings but it is a group created by and for women. [Raniere knew nothing] In addition, while Nxivm and DOS have similar curricula and many members in common, they are not structurally related. The Complaint seeks to connect Nxivm and DOS by alleging that “DOS masters recruited slaves mostly from within Nxivm’s ranks.”…

This is misleading for several reasons.

First, rather than being recruited, women joined DOS because they were genuinely interested in being part of a sisterhood of strong, independent women and in the benefits provided by a union of this type. Second, prospective members were not targeted. Rather, the possibility of joining DOS was offered as a way of coping with, and hopefully overcoming, basic challenges facing many people. Third, to the extent there is overlap between Nxivm and DOS memberships, this is because women who are friendly with each other due to Nxivm asked each other from time to time to join DOS.

… As part of a woman’s membership in DOS, her commitment is offered by agreement to provide “collateral.” …. The form of collateral was the individual choice of the woman, i.e., what would be sufficient for that woman to view her voluntary membership in DOS as a meaningful life commitment. [evidence may show otherwise] If a particular woman does not wish to provide collateral, she is absolutely free to choose to not join the group. She is also free to discuss the collateral with the woman bringing her into the group [Yes, many times the master discussed with the slave that her collateral was not good enough]. However, there has never been an instance where a woman provided collateral against her will, or where she was compelled to join DOS against her will. [That is disputed by the prosecution.]

Rather, every woman who provided collateral in connection with her admission into DOS did so knowingly, intelligently and with full knowledge and awareness of her actions.

[The defense fails to mention that some women claim that after they gave their initial collateral, they were coerced into providing additional collateral against their will. The DOS Masters did not tell women when they first gave collateral that DOS would require new collateral be submitted monthly. It is a potent argument against collateral being voluntary. The demand for women to continuously provide collateral was sprung on women – only after they had given their initial collateral.]
Moreover, counsel is aware of no instance where the collateral of anyone was actually released as a punishment or for any other reason. The collateral is akin to “consideration” in a contract or as a form of commitment to one’s membership in DOS. The view shared by many DOS members [BUT NOT ALL] is that DOS is effective precisely because it requires a tangible commitment, and that the collateral [potential blackmail material] is central to the personal commitment that makes DOS effective.

In a novel effort to fabricate the element of coercion as part of the sex trafficking count, the Government artificially links collateral to a requirement of sex with Keith Raniere. [The government has stated that DOS masters coerced DOS slaves to have sex with Raniere – while the DOS slave knew she had given blackmail worthy collateral to the DOS master – and that is coercive.]

However, we expect that the Government has by now spoken with numerous women who have stated to the investigators and prosecutors that collateral was wholly unrelated to sex or an expectation of having sex with anyone, let alone Raniere. [The government has also spoken with women who say otherwise].

Another feature of DOS membership – one on which the Government focuses – is the fact that several of the women in DOS chose to voluntarily brand themselves. There are several instances of women who joined DOS who chose not to be branded and were not. The decision of some DOS women to brand themselves was absolutely knowing and voluntary, and a product solely and exclusively of their free will. In fact, the woman being branded typically placed the stencil on her body where she wanted the brand to be located. The Government does not allege (because there are no such instances) of a woman branded against her will, nor of a woman branded who did not expect and voluntarily choose to be branded. …

Finally, while there may be instances of someone branded who later second-guessed or regretted her decision, the evidence will be clear that the decision was knowing, voluntary and based on free will at the time it was made. [There is also evidence to the contrary – that consent was not given and that branding was sprung on women – who were told that it was to be a mere tattoo and, as previously noted, this was done only after they had given blackmail-worthy collateral].

The evidence is overwhelming that the collateral was a function of a woman’s membership in and commitment to DOS, and nothing more [I disagree. This is a triable question of fact].

3 It is worth mentioning that members of a number of male fraternities and social groups regularly brand themselves to signify their membership. [But they don’t likely give collateral and are not ordered to have sex with the secret leader]… However, the Government rushes to judgment that women who similarly brand themselves must be victims, [gender inequality – i.e. women should be allowed to brand themselves just like men do] a notion that is anathema not only to the principles underlying the very creation of DOS, [i.e. women’s empowerment – while being slaves to a man] but also to the freedom of choice we are all afforded. [And truth, justice, and the American way].

The Government’s overarching premise is that DOS was created as a way of Raniere having access to women who were brought into DOS on an ongoing basis. [and they are absolutely right] This is absolutely false and will be soundly disproven through the testimony of the actual DOS members who will testify at the trial….

Raniere Should Be Released on Conditions Because He Is Not Danger to the Community or a Flight Risk

1. Raniere Is Not a Danger to the Community
The Government claims that the defendant is both a danger to the community and a risk of flight. ….

Government states that “[a]ccording to confidential sources, the defendant had repeated sexual encounters with multiple teenage girls in the mid-to-late 1980s and early 1990s.”

Raniere flatly denies this unsubstantiated and inflammatory statement relating to supposed events from three decades ago. Moreover, these allegations were investigated by law enforcement and Raniere was never charged. [for a counterpoint to Raniere’s denials, the women who were raped by him when they were teens spoke on the record in the Albany Times Union story In Raniere’s Shadow]

The Government also states that Raniere ordered the “long-term confinement” of a Nxivm member for an ethical breach….. However, the Government failed to inform the Court that this supposed “long-term confinement” was more akin to “grounding” than confinement, as it was in a bedroom of the woman’s own home with the door unlocked and her family present. [This is the case of Daniela Fernandez – and it was not in her home but rather a home owned by Clare Bronfman.]

There are no actual facts that this defendant, with no prior criminal record, is a danger to anyone. However, even if Raniere was a danger – and he clearly is not – the conditions proposed above would eliminate any potential danger that could otherwise exist. Therefore, in light of the proposed conditions of house arrest, electronic monitoring and armed security by an elite security team, Raniere is not in a position to pose a danger to the community and should be released.

2. Raniere Is Not a Risk of Flight
Raniere is likewise not a flight risk. He is a United States citizen who has lived in the United States and upstate New York his entire life. There is no basis to believe he will do anything but fight this case hard and will return to court each time to do so. As shown below, he has never evaded this, or any, investigation. On the contrary, in the Fall of 2017, when Raniere became aware of a potential investigation, he employed the former United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts, Michael Sullivan, for legal representation. Inquiries were made to different prosecutorial offices including the New York State Attorney General and the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York (NDNY), where Nxivm and Raniere were located.

Raniere, through his counsel, was interested in sharing his side of the story with the NDNY [US DOJ Northern District of New York]. Mr. Sullivan, on Raniere’s behalf, contacted the United States Attorney for the NDNY, Grant Jacquith, on or about March 15, 2018 and understood based on that call, that there was not a criminal investigation being conducted by the NDNY, [That is quite true the Northern District DOJ has never done anything to inhibit Raniere’s criminal activities. However, the February 14th arrest warrant for Raniere shows otherwise] nor did it appear that the NDNY was aware of a criminal investigation by another District. Mr. Sullivan understood the NDNY would attempt to determine if another District had opened a matter related to Raniere and if it had, would make that District aware of Mr. Sullivan’s interest in speaking with them on behalf of Raniere . After a few days, Sullivan again contacted the NDNY, at least once and possibly twice, in an attempt to see if there was an open matter in order to provide the Government information that would dispute and undermine the assertions being made in the media. To this date, Mr. Sullivan has not received a response from Mr. Jaquith or anyone in his office.

In addition, the Government’s repeated statements that Raniere fled to Mexico due to this investigation are patently false….. the Government has continually argued that Raniere “fled” to Mexico to avoid the consequences of the investigation.

Having an attorney reach out to the United States Attorney is the antithesis of running, hiding or fleeing investigators.

Specifically, in the Government’s Complaint and Affidavit in Support of Raniere’s arrest, Special Agent Michael Lever swore to the following facts:
In or about October 2017, the New York Times published an article revealing the existence of DOS. Several weeks after that article was published and after the FBI began interviewing witnesses, Raniere flew to Mexico with an heiress [Clare Bronfman] “the “Heiress” who is a member of Nxivm’s Executive Board and is a known financial backer of RANIERE and Nxivm. Prior to this trip, RANIERE had not flown out of the country since 2015, when he visited the Heiress’s private island in Fiji. RANIERE is currently believed to be residing in Monterrey, Mexico, where Nxivm maintains a center, with a branded DOS slave.

Complaint ¶ 34. The nearly exact same paragraph is included in the In Rem action filed recently to seize third-party properties in Albany. See United States v. Real Property at 8 Hale Dr. et al.,

Dkt. No. 1 ¶ 34. Furthermore, the Government argues in several points in their Detention Letter that “[a]fter law enforcement began interviewing witnesses about the defendant’s criminal conduct, he fled to Mexico where he was apprehended only after a month-and-a-half of active searching.”

(“Shortly after the government began interviewing witnesses and victims in November 2017, the defendant flew to Mexico.”). The suggestion is clear: Keith Raniere went to Mexico because of an investigation and newspaper article.

These statements are inaccurate and are belied by documents and records in the Government’s possession which they have overlooked and not provided to the Court. Contrary to paragraph 34 of the Complaint, Raniere had flown out of the country prior to his trip to Mexico in November 2017, and the circumstances surrounding his trip to Mexico were not to evade law enforcement’s investigation.

In fact, Raniere and the mother [Mariana Fernandez] of his child were seeking to comply with United States law. The goal was not to travel south to Mexico, but rather north to Canada. [Oh, he was going to Canada but wound up in Mexico]. The mother of Raniere’s child is a Mexican citizen, who most recently entered the United States on a B1/B2 visitor’s visa on April 15, 2017. Pursuant to that visa, she was only authorized to remain in the United States until October 14, 2017. … This means that she was required to leave the United States no later than October 14, 2017 or be in violation of United States law. On advice of counsel, Raniere and the mother of his child were advised to arrange for her to leave the country. Wanting to be close to his home and business, Raniere and the mother of his child rented an Airbnb in Canada for the family to live in while they resolved the immigration issues. See Ex. 2: Airbnb Rental. However, when they attempted to enter Canada on October 13, 2017, Immigration, Refugees and
Citizenship Canada (“Immigration Canada”) denied them entry. With less than 24 hours to be in compliance with United States immigration law, on October 14, 2017, to comply with the visa, Raniere [the good papa] the mother of his child and his child flew to San Diego and entered Mexico by crossing the San Ysidro port of entry…. As shown by both Raniere’s passport …. and the mother of his child’s passport… they both entered Mexico on October 14, 2017. Therefore, documentary evidence conclusively shows that Raniere and the mother of his child left the United States on the precise date that her visa was to expire and that they did so to avoid any violation of United States law. [and not to escape jurisdiction? The problem with this is is that Raniere was never such a fond father and traveled with Mariana before].

Additionally, their entry into Mexico was prior to the publication of The New York Times article “revealing the existence of DOS.” [Raniere knew the story was coming out since the Times tried to reach him and other NXIVM people repeatedly]. Ironically, and contrary to the Government’s flight theory due to The New York Times story, the day The New York Times published the article on DOS, Raniere flew back to Albany from Mexico. … His flight itinerary was sent to his Yahoo! email account, on which the Government has executed a search warrant, yet they have still represented in their multiple public filings that prior to November 2017, he had not flown out of the country since 2015—ignoring that Raniere had traveled to Mexico weeks earlier.

Raniere stayed in Albany until November 10, 2017 (several weeks after The New York Times published its article), to be at his former partner’s home [Pam Cafrtiz] on November 7, 2017, the one year anniversary of her passing. Raniere’s open return to his New York home for several weeks while under threat of prosecution [But on the other hand, he did not know he was under the threat of prosecution since his attorney was told by the Northern District NY that he was not under investigation by that office. He cannot have it both ways. He didn’t know about the investigation when he went to Mexico and he didn’t know about it when he came back to the USA] and having his attorney communicate with the Justice Department militates against detention. After several weeks in Albany and the one-year anniversary of her [Cafritz’s] death, [I just don’t buy his sentimentality – that he came all the way back up to the US just to be at their house on her death anniversary – it’s preposterous and a typical Raniere lie] Raniere flew back to Mexico to be with his child and the mother of his child [such a good family man – wants to be with his family while having DOS slaves have sex with him – touching really. His other child by Keeffe he denied being the father of until she ran away. Now he is very eager to be with the new baby – once he is under investigation] ….

To support its flight theory, the Government asserts that Raniere “flew to Mexico” and “[f]inding the defendant was difficult because the defendant purposely concealed his location.”… This is demonstrably false. Documents in the Government’s possession, and turned over to the defense in discovery, show that while in Mexico, Raniere filed documents in Saratoga County Surrogate’s Court which identified by name and location the Mexican notary before whom he appeared. On December 20, 2017, Raniere appeared before Notario Publico Jose Guillermo Meza Garcia to sign a document renouncing his role as executor of the estate of Pamela Anne Cafritz, his deceased long-time significant other. [By that time, there was no secret of his being in Mexico – Frank Report had already published his location. After which he shortly fled to Puerto Vallarta]

The exact timeline is set forth below:

Nominated Executor. The Notario indicated his name and address on the apostile. Id. Raniere’s renunciation was filed as a public document in the Saratoga County Surrogate’s Court and scanned into the court file on January 17, 2018. Raniere was not hiding in Mexico. He was openly appearing before a Mexican legal official and openly filing a document in the courts of New York. The Government was in possession of this document.

April 15, 2017 Mother of Raniere’s child admitted to the United States on a visa which expires on October 14, 2017.

October 13, 2017 Raniere, the mother of his child, his child, and one other drove to Canada to stay in a rented Airbnb, but Immigration Canada denied them entry [Why did Canada do that?].

October 14, 2017 The mother of Raniere’s child’s visa is set to expire at midnight; so she, Raniere, and the child fly to San Diego, to drive to Mexico.

October 17, 2017 Raniere flies back to Albany, NY from Monterrey, Mexico. October 17, 2017 The New York Times article is published. (Available online). [Raniere’s return seems coincidental to the Times online story. He did not likely know when it would be published and came out online late in the day or evening online. It appeared in print the following day]

Raniere was Pamela A. Cafritz’ power of attorney and the nominated Executor of her estate. Raniere renounced his authority to manage the estate [who took over as Executor?] through this document. Ms. Cafritz’ estate assets are to pass to a trust she created, although, as of this date, this has not yet occurred, pending certain legal work related to the trust. Nonetheless, Raniere has no control over the estate assets [Really?Then why was he using her accounts?] and will renounce his right to manage the trust, of which he is an alternate trustee and sole beneficiary [Cafrtiz left all her money to Raniere in a trust – so he would not have to touch money]. Defense counsel agrees to keep all interested parties updated as to the creation of the trust and the disposition of these assets.

November 7, 2017
On the one-year anniversary of Raniere’s 20-year long partner’s death, Raniere spends the day in the Clifton Park home they lived in to celebrate her life. [Any one else there to celebrate with him?}

November 10, 2017 Raniere flies back to Monterrey to join his family and to celebrate the mother of his child’s birthday. [Wow, what a sentimental guy. So dedicated to the women in his life.]

November 15, 2017 The mother of Raniere’s child’s birthday.

December 20, 2017 Raniere appears before Notario Publico Jose Guillermo Meza Garcia to sign a document renouncing his role as executor.

January 17, 2018 Raniere’s renunciation was scanned into the Surrogate’s Court file.

March 15, 2018
Raniere’s attorney, former United States Attorney Michael Sullivan, contacts NDNY United States Attorney Grant Jaquith. [But somehow does not contact the Eastern District of New York despite the New York Times article of December 15 saying it is the Eastern District – not the Northern District – that is investigating Raniere. This is either colossal incompetence or a lie by Raniere or his attorneys. The Ny Times on Dec. 21 specifially states it is the Eastern Distrcit not the Northern Distrct – this appeares to be a bad lie on Raniere’ lawyers part. The Times wrote -“The United States attorney for the Eastern District of New York, which is reportedly leading the inquiry,” ]

Accordingly, any suggestion that the timing of this visit to Mexico was due to the U.S. investigation or that Raniere was hiding in Mexico is provably false based on records maintained by the Government.

Another fact that makes flight far less plausible is that Raniere’s case, as well as his image and his popularity make him instantly recognizable. It is well-known, and not disputed, that there is a group of critics of Nxivm and Raniere who located him in Mexico and took photographs of him and others. His activities in Mexico were reported on and photographed by detractors. Indeed, the members of Nxivm had, and continue to have, reason to be afraid of this group, which has utilized aggressive methods to intimidate Nxivm members and has engaged in significant criminal conduct. {For instance what?]

On this point, it bears mentioning that if Raniere and others utilized different phones and email addresses on occasion, it was not to evade law enforcement but rather this well-organized anti-Nxivm group which has harassed Raniere and others for several years. Moreover, his attorney left a phone number with the Department of Justice on two occasions by which he could be reached.

The Government’s Case Is Unsupported by the Facts

While the Government is using fearsome statutes with lengthy minimum sentences, its attempt to transform a volitional union of free-minded, educated, intelligent, willful, successful adult women into a helpless band of victims is baseless. With the exception of a few people,

7 Among a few former-Nxivm-members-turned-critics who are speaking to the Government are a former DOS member who has secured a docu-series since Raniere was arrested [Sarah Edmondson – she does not have a docuseries – yet], another who has launched a podcast [Toni Natalie], another who has secured a book deal [Catherine Oxenberg] and a fourth who is under Indictment in the Western District of New York [Frank Parlato]….

The evidence in this case lacks two critical elements required by the statute. First, there is no evidence of force, threats of force, fraud, coercion or any combination. None of the women have stated, nor could truthfully state, that Raniere had sex with them against their will.

This is not a case of non-consensual sexual conduct. Rather, the Government seems to be manufacturing a case where women feel compelled to remain in DOS because they voluntarily gave collateral when they joined. But, this is in essence a contract. Also, there is no evidence that the collateral has any connection whatsoever to sexual conduct [wonder why the collateral consists of graphic nude shots then]. Instead, the collateral relates solely to that person’s commitment to DOS. Therefore, there will be no evidence that there was ever any sexual conduct based on force, fraud or coercion.

Second, there is no evidence that anyone engaged in a commercial sex act, within the meaning of the statute. As noted, the element of “commercial sex act” means any sex act, on account of which anything of value is given to or received by any person…..

Plainly, this case does not involve prostitution in any regard. There is no allegation, nor could there be, that anyone in this case was involved in prostitution or anything remotely similar to it. While the Government may believe that the sex trafficking statute is sufficiently broad to cover this conduct, we are confident a jury will not share the Government’s view.

Accordingly, while it is admittedly too early to litigate the merits of the Government’s claims, the Government faces substantial legal and factual issues.

The Facts of This Case Require That Raniere Be Released
Given the fact that Raniere is a United States citizen without a criminal (or arrest) record who has lived and worked his life in New York State, he should be released under a traditional personal recognizance bond secured by property and co-signors subject to pretrial supervision. In other words, the defense should not have to resort to the extreme conditions set forth above involving, among other things, full house arrest with a GPS monitor and armed twenty-four hour guards.

However, in order to ensure that the defendant is released, we are willing to do so. A review of other cases where conditions similar to these had been proposed by the defense shows that Raniere should be released on the proposed conditions. Over the past ten years, there have been a number of noteworthy cases where conditions such as house arrest with security guards have been proposed. [Several instances are cited, including Bernie Madoff.]

The ultimate decision as to whether the court releases the defendant based on these conditions turns on a number of factors all of which weigh in
defendant’s favor here. First, many of the decisions turn on the citizenship status of the defendant. Second, several turn on whether the offense conduct comprises threats to witnesses or charges of obstruction of justice. Third, several of the cases focus on whether the defendant lied to the court in regard to his financial resources or as to assets overseas.

A review of several of the recent decisions in this area indicates that the current case is one where release on conditions
should be granted.

A Review of These Cases Shows That Raniere Should Be Released
A comparison of these cases to the instant case indicates that Raniere should be released on appropriate conditions. First, Raniere is a United States citizen. Second, Raniere does not have wealth [Really? Then how is he going to be able to pay for the mansion and the armed guards. He may or may not have wealth but he has access to great wealth?]. As noted above, while Raniere did spend some time recently in Mexico, he did not flee there, as alleged by the Government. Also, when the United States wanted his appearance in Court, it arrested him in Mexico and took him across the border in a matter of hours. So, any concern that Raniere might flee to Mexico is eliminated by the fact that the U.S. authorities have full access to U.S. citizens residing in Mexico. Third, unlike some of the above cases, there is no allegation [Yet] that Raniere has millions of dollars in overseas assets. [He has access to Bronfman millions, some of which are overseas – Fiji being one]

Fourth, the instant case does not involve allegations of witness tampering or obstruction of justice. Accordingly, a review of other cases with similar proposals indicates that Raniere should be granted release on the conditions proposed.


About the author

Artvoice

Artvoice

News and art, national and local. Began as alternative weekly in 1990 in Buffalo, NY. Publishing content online since 1996.

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