First of all: There is reportedly another underage girl – besides Jane Doe #2 – who was sexually exploited by Keith Raniere and at least two of Raniere’s racketeering co-defendants knew about and facilitated the sexual exploitation of the other underage girl.
We’ll have more on this later. It is not Rhiannon, by the way.
Today’s posts have generated lots of questions – and a lot of speculation – about the impact of the prosecution’s decision to dismiss four of the eleven pending counts against the four remaining defendants in the case of the U.S. v. Raniere: Keith Raniere, Allison Mack, Clare Bronfman, and Kathy Russell.
The four counts that are being dismissed are as follows:
• Count Three: Sexual Exploitation Of A Child – Jane Doe 2
– Keith Raniere
• Count Four: Sexual Exploitation Of A Child – Jane Doe 2
– Keith Raniere
• Count Five: Possession Of Child Pornography
– Keith Raniere
• Count Eleven: Conspiracy To Commit Identity Theft Regarding Jane Doe 7
– Keith Raniere, Clare Bronfman & Others
Although several readers of the Frank Report have speculated that the dismissal of those counts will lessen the pressure on Clare and Allison to take plea deals, I don’t think that’s the case.
To begin with, even with the dismissed charges no longer part of the EDNY case, Clare and Allison are still facing the same maximum sentences that they were before: i.e., a maximum of 20-years for Clare – and a potential life sentence for Allison.
In addition, the evidence that was going to be introduced to support the charges of sexual exploitation and possession of child pornography will still be introduced as part of the EDNY trial.
That’s because there has been no indication that the prosecution plans to drop any of the alleged predicate acts that support the Racketeering charge. And those predicate acts include sexual exploitation of a minor – and possession of child pornography.
The EDNY prosecutors have made their intentions very clear: “The government plans to admit evidence that Bronfman, Mack, and Russell recruited and groomed sexual partners for Raniere, within and outside of DOS – and were aware of and facilitated Raniere’s sexual relationships with underage victims.”
Finally, there are still three counts in the EDNY case that involve sex crimes:
• Count Eight: Sex Trafficking Conspiracy (Keith Raniere, Allison Mack & Others)
• Count Nine: Sex Trafficking Regarding Jane Doe 5 (Keith Raniere, Allison Mack & Others)
• Count Ten: Attempted Sex Trafficking Regarding Jane Doe 8 (Keith Raniere, Allison Mack & Others)
Some have questioned whether the prosecutors in the Northern District of New York will actually bring charges against Raniere and his cohorts – and, if they do, whether they will be diligent in their prosecution of those charges.
To begin with, the EDNY prosecutors made it very clear in their recent filing that “The undersigned have been in contact with the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York and will determine how to proceed on Counts Three, Four, Five and Eleven following their dismissal in this matter”.
In addition, the EDNY investigators and investigators have already put together all the evidence that will be necessary to prosecute the four charges that are being dismissed from the EDNY case.
Plus, NDNY prosecutors have already indicated on two separate occasions that they are interested in bringing charges against people involved with the NXIVM/ESP criminal enterprise. On both occasions, they were told they’d have to wait until the EDNY case had been concluded.
Finally, the NDNY office is going to be heavily scrutinized as it moves forward with its investigation and prosecution of people involved with NXIVM/ESP. In addition to this case becomingly increasingly high-profile in the media, it is also one of the most high-profile cases in the DOJ itself.
We’re expecting at least two more plea deals to be announced before the start of the trial in the EDNY.
And it would not be at all surprising if both of them were announced before the start of the jury selection process on April 8th.
We will likely see the unsealing of a third superseding indictment sometime next week. That one will drop Lauren as a named defendant — and eliminate the four counts that are being dismissed.