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More on Thursday’s court hearing: Allison and Clare kiss and hug; Geragos tells reporters ‘Monday is Clare’s 40th birthday’

Before the judge appeared, Allison Mack and several lawyers joked in the courtroom. Mack was wearing dark pajamas and leopard-print sneakers. Her hair was tied, and with a decorative red pencil, in a messy bun.
At one point Mack tried to hide her laughter by tucking her mouth into a scarf.
When they saw each other, Mack and Bronfman hugged for a long time and kissed each other on the cheeks.  Bronfman wore an off-white sweater with a pattern of a flower on the back.
Keith Raniere, unshackled, with his handcuffs removed outside of court, was led in wearing a tan jail jumpsuit, with a tan long sleeve shirt underneath.  His hair was gathered in a man bun.
During the proceedings, Judge Nicholas Garaufis dismissed three charges against Raniere (two charges of sexual exploitation of a child and one charge of possession of child pornography) – and one charge against Clare Bronfman (Visa fraud) – because the alleged crimes took place in the Northern District of NY and not the Eastern District of NY where the trial is to be held. All the dismissed charges were referred to the Northern District.
All four remaining defendants face racketeering and racketeering conspiracy charges in the EDNY.
Raniere also faces charges for conspiracy to alter records, conspiracy to commit identity theft, labor trafficking, and sex trafficking,
Mack also faces charges for extortion and sex trafficking.
Bronfman also faces a money laundering charge.
The judge asked prosecutors and defense attorneys if they will be ready for trial by April 29.
 Raniere’s attorney, Marc Agnifilo said, “I’m going to make it work.”
Mark Geragos, attorney for Clare Bronfman, said yes.
Sean Buckley, the lawyer for Allison Mack – and Justine Harris, the lawyer for Kathy Russell – said their clients would be ready but added they are in plea negotiations with the government.
Harris told the judge, “I think substantial progress has been made” for Russell.
Buckley said he and prosecutors were having “what continue to be fruitful discussions of a possible resolution.”

Assistant U.S. Attorney Moira Penza doubted Raniere’s lawyers would be ready for trial given the need for them to review new material handed over by prosecutors.

She also noted that prosecutors have a challenge too: They have yet to see some 27,000 documents related to Raniere and another 2,000 related to Bronfman that a lawyer for NXIVM has argued are privileged.
“We’re at trial in less than a month, and we haven’t seen these documents,” Penza said of the privilege claim, calling it a “real problem.”
The judge said, “I would ask everyone to redouble their efforts to be ready.”
Penza said there would be no risk to the case if the trial were adjourned two or three weeks.
The judge said he did not want to delay the trial more than a week to 10 days.
Penza told the judge a “technical discovery issue” had arisen — a hard drive provided in discovery to Raniere’s defense team contained, among other discovery documents, the child pornography images which will be used as evidence at trial.

It is illegal for anyone to possess or distribute child pornography. Prosecutors typically allow defense attorneys to review evidence of illegal images at a government location.

Penza said the FBI was working to provide a new version of the drive — without the nude photographs of the underage victim[s], including Jane Doe #2, a then 15-year-old Mexican girl that Raniere photographed in sexually explicit poses. The child’s nude poses were similar to nude poses in images he possessed of Allison Mack, Lauren Salzman, and Kathy Russell.

Agnifilo said the government sending him Raniere’s child porn, was a “wrinkle” in his review of the discovery.

The judge ordered an anonymous and “semi-sequestered” jury, which means jurors will be brought as a group into and out of court by US Marshals and not arrive individually.
Judge Garaufis said jurors’ names will not be released “before, during, or after” the trial. They will be free, however, to reach out to media after the trial concludes.

Garaufis issued the ruling, he said, “to protect jurors from unwanted interference when they’re coming to and from the courthouse.”

“It would appear there’s no actual danger to jurors,” Garaufis said, but he did not want them bothered by reporters or “interested persons” after the trial.

They will likely be forbidden to read the Frank Report or other media accounts during the trial.

Defense attorneys supported the partial sequestration.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Penza began to offer what seemed to be an objection.  The judge cut her off, noting that the prosecution often asks for a semi-sequestered jury.
“I don’t care what you think,” the judge told Penza. “Don’t bother bringing it up with anybody unless you plan to go to the Second Circuit” — meaning unless she wanted to appeal his decision with the U.S. Court of Appeals.
When the hearing was over, Mack looked serious as she left with her lawyer. Reporters asked them questions but she and her lawyer said nothing.

Bronfman walked outside the courtroom with her attorney Mark Geragos, who told reporters that Monday will be Clare’s 40th birthday.

Someone said, “Happy birthday.” Clare smiled awkwardly and mumbled, “Thank you.”

When asked if Clare had a sexual relationship with Raniere, Geragos declined to comment.

***

Notes:
Sources tell Frank Report that the Northern District is eager to level child porn and sexual exploitation charges against Raniere and to possibly expand the investigation into other crimes.
“They are rather embarrassed that the racketeering and sex trafficking cult was in their district for 20 years, that numerous people filed complaints with them, but they saw nothing, heard nothing, did nothing. The Eastern District had to come in and solve their crimes.  They came, saw and conquered Nxivm. Very embarrassing to the NDNY. So they want to atone and make up for their incredible dereliction,” said one legal source familiar with the case in both districts.
Another source told Frank Report that Raniere has been trying to cut a plea deal but the two sides are “miles apart.”
More on that later…

 

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Frank Parlato

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  • Clare’s thought when the parties noted AgniSTEALo might be illegally holding onto Ranieres kiddie porn… OOOF!

    And that VanCreeper posed all his women in the same spread EAGLE pose on a chair… DOUBLE OOOF!

    AgniSTEALO tried to play it off as a ‘WRINKLE’.

    WTMF is wrong with these people? They absolutely have no shame as to their crimes and try to pass off child pornography as a wrinkle. GTFOH

  • Nobel peace prize! I’m an outsider with nothing to do with the cult. So many people who took oaths to uphold the law missed the mark. Frank and company have been riding out a great and powerful storm for so many years. You all are amazing and loyal to the cause. You have changed the course of history. I hope that your recognition comes before your lives pass. Thank you to all that gave a voice to the voiceless.

    As a survivor of many years of sexual abuse, it is a pleasure to read the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth. May God be with all of you, even Keith, in his darkest day will cry out to have mercy on his soul.

  • kiss kiss bang bang. All is fair in love and war. You mess with the innocence of children, then may only God, jury and the Great judges of the great city of New York have mercy on your souls. The whole world will lead by example. And I’m sure the ones watching will be paying close attention to our merciful leaders.

    • “I find it curious that Mack and Bronfman are so cordial.”

      AnonyMaker
      I’m not surprised that Bronfman and Mack are so coordial.
      From the beginning I’ve said that NXIVM is really a Lesbian Love Cult.
      If you have a society where women are allowed sex with only one man, a tiring old Lothario at that, you will find the women having sex with each other.
      My posts have raised questions about the financial relationships between Allison and Clare.
      Did Clare buy Allison’s BMW?
      Did Clare help finance Allison’s acting school, The Source?
      Did Clare help finance Allison’s real estate activities in Clifton Park?
      Did Clare help finance Allison’s gorgeously decorated apartment in Brooklyn?
      Couldn’t you tell that Clare and Allison were intimate?

      • Interesting take on things.

        Could there really be that much of a sisterhood that still exists, after all the water over the dam?

        Could it just be lonely Clare desperate for any kind of human affection, and Allison the actress willing to play into it? Both seem to me like pathological personalities accustomed to manipulating others, more than having real relationships.

        Normally, I would expect that they would be at odds with one another at this point, unable to communicate directly and driven by the suspicion that each is selling the other out in plea negotiations. But the other possibility is that they have effectively joined forces to turn on Raniere and try to save themselves, a sort of ex-polygamous-wives’ club orchestrated at a distance by their teams of attorneys who might be cooperating with each other.

      • Shadowstate,

        why has not evidence regarding Allison and the underage girls been admitted intk evidence and come out during discovery?

        I’m confused , Help please

  • I find it curious that Mack and Bronfman are so cordial. I’d expect that at this point, they’d be suspicious of how each might be trying to sell out the other in plea negotiations. Do they feel the need to put on a show, or do they really have some reason for solidarity?

    And it’s interesting that Raniere might be involved in plea deal negotiations at all. My guess is that his attorneys may feel that they need to make a due diligence effort in that regard, but that he is insisting on virtual exoneration, which would indeed put them in an impossible “miles apart” situation. I suppose I could see him agreeing to plea to something like conspiracy, which could be explained away to his followers as just a matter of government overreach and technicalities (much as Scientology did when much of their leadership, including founder Hubbard’s wife, was convicted of conspiracy and other charges in the 1970s), agreeing to forfeitures and possibly a short stint at club fed. But the feds understandably aren’t going to settle for anything less than an admission of guilt to multiple charges including some of the most damning sex-related ones, as well as a long enough time in prison that he couldn’t return to pick back up with NXIVM. I expect he’ll prefer to take his chances with legal proceedings, perhaps hoping that his brilliance will lead to exoneration or else that, and high-priced lawyers, will get him off on technicalities; and that if not, at least he can be a martyr for his ideas, and retain a few diehard followers who will believe that he was railroaded by the Illuminati conspiracy or whatever.

    And we can only hope that NDNY really does make up for their dereliction.

    Thanks, as always, for the reporting and cultivation of sources.

  • If I were Raniere, I would opt for a plea. Having 5 potential co-defendants testify against you is a lot to overcome whether one is guilty or not. If the prosecution offered 15 years, I’d take it. That means 12.75 real years – 1+ year for time served so about 11.5 total more years in prison. That’s a lot better than life.

    Having the case resolved even with the knowledge one will spend considerable time in prison allows one to focus on one’s future and new life going forward. One can think about how one can arrange one’s life in prison. There are opportunities in prison for redemption. The best means is to live honestly and with respect for others. One can do that by serving others and there are often concrete means to do that. For example, teaching GED classes, teaching basic life skill classes such as reading, math, business skills, communication skills etc. Being involved in 12 step addiction programs is another means for achieving humility and serving others.

    Rainiere may have done terrible things but he does not have to be a terrible person the rest of his life. He has options even in prison and it begins with living each day humbly, honestly and serving others.

    • The man is a classic narcissist who exhibits marked symptoms of sociopathy. He has lived the same way his entire life. What on Earth makes you think he will change now? Also, the older people get the more stubborn and set in their ways they become. Even now KAR still believes he did nothing wrong. He will do whatever he can to win his freedom – even fake humility (which he has also done) and correction – and he would become even more arrogant and brash if he somehow did. Some people repetitively prove themselves to be lost causes.

    • Having 5 potential co-defendants testify against you

      Those five co-defendants are each as evil and vile and rotten as Keith Raniere.
      They all ought to rot in hell with Raniere.

      • I think Clare and Raniere are the most culpable because it was Raniere who ran the cult and orchestrated the criminal activities and it was Clare’s money that funded the whole thing.

        Lauren and Allison are cogs in the wheel who probably never would have done anything criminal in their lives but for knowing Raniere and his cult members.

    • The quandary is that people like Raniere who get themselves in these sorts of situations due to their disregard for society’s norms and their fellow human beings, are often warped or pathological personalities who don’t necessarily think like most of the rest of us, and thus don’t act like most of the rest of us.

      I still think that someone like Raniere is unlikely to admit guilt, and instead thinks that their intelligence, cunning, and skill at manipulation will once again get them off the hook somehow. Plus the cunning calculation is that even going down as a sort of martyr professing his innocence and fighting for his theories, is what will retain at least some of his loyal following. If he admits guilt, then everyone is likely to abandon him and he would have nothing to come back to, whereas if he fights on, he will continue to be the center of attention, and if he ever gets out there will probably still be someone willing to take him in.

      We could only hope that Raniere might realize the error of his ways and turn his life around, but I think history shows that to be unlikely. Followers will be the ones to have jailhouse conversions – exactly the sort of dynamic that played out in the Manson case.

    • Your thoughts are very generous indeed and I would say they could apply to a good many people who’ve gone down a wrong path. But, IMO Raniere is not capable of ANY of that. He will never live “honestly with respect for others” despite his blather about ethics. It saddens me to say he either came into this word irreversibly damaged or was irreversibly damaged at a young age. He is hardcore sociopath, apparently a pedophile and a hater of women. From what information is available, he never did a kind spirited thing for anyone in his life. Any seemingly “nice” things he may have done were strictly aimed at garnering him control over others, putting money in his pocket or at his disposal, and getting females (underage and not) into his bed. He also has an insatiable desire to be served, obeyed and adulated.

      It would be astonishing to me if he were to reform in any meaningful way, even though the opportunity is there.

      • “into this world”, not “into this word”. I am far from the best proofreader. Yokee dokee do do ya ya..

        Just kidding, folks!

  • “When they saw each other, Mack and Bronfman hugged for a long time and kissed each other on the cheeks.”

    It’s what I’ve always said, NXIVM is a Lesbian Love Cult led by a perverted old man.
    Is there now any doubt that Allison and Clare were intimate in more ways than hugging and kissing?

    Indeed Clare complained to the Judge months ago that she was being denied intimate contact with her many NXIVM friends.
    No doubt the friendly Allison Mack was one of those “special friends” Clare was pining for.

    Lots of people know Clare Bronfman.
    To start with all of the people who have been litigated into bankruptcy by Clare.
    Or Sarah Edmondson who was reported to the Vancouver Police by Clare and Clare’s false charges of theft in an effort to prevent Edmondson from exposing the NXIVM sex cult and the ritual branding.
    Do Clare’s many victims feel like hugging and kissing her.
    Maybe with the “Kiss of Death”.

    Only an equally evil person could love the gangster Clare Bronfman.

  • I think the hugs and kisses was recognition it was the last time they may see each other not wearing handcuffs or in a prison onsie. Bend over and kiss your a$$e$ goodbye, “ladies.”

  • “Mack was wearing dark pajamas and leopard-print sneakers. Her hair was tied, and with a decorative red pencil, in a messy bun.”

    Who shows up to court wearing pajamas? Sounds like she has cracked and is finally realizing what kind of trouble she faces. Of course she hugged Clare and kissed her on the cheek….she needs Clare’s money. And they are both on the same sinking ship.

  • Recently I made a comment regarding abortion. I would like to explain my position. My personal belief is abortion is a decision that should be left for women to decide. Roe vs Wade does no affect me or other men because we can not get pregnant.

    If you happen to be a man and are against abortion, simply use a condom and you will have nothing to worry about.
    It’s that simple.

      • NiceGirl,

        How is my comment offensive to you?

        I am only stating that I believe women should make the decision and not men.

        I think my opinion is about as neutral as it gets.

  • Hey Frank.

    Regarding your claim that the NDNY is ‘eager’ to prosecute NXIVM…

    Can you CONFIRM, for the record, that your ‘source’ is NOT the same ambulance chaser who goes by the name of ‘Claviger’ and ‘Albany Defense Attorney With Big Ears’?

    Please tell me your ‘source’ is NOT that ignorant clown.

    Please tell me you have a REAL source who’s not an established liar.

    I’m not asking for any info about your source, other than the fact that he’s not Claviger.

    I’m guessing you’ll remain silent and not answer my question.

    Thus, I’ll interpret your silence as confirmation that it’s really Claviger serving as your ‘source’ for this story.

    Which means your story has about as much credibility as a Bugs Bunny cartoon since Claviger has ZERO connections to the NDNY. Heck, even his jailhouse snitches have all proven to be known liars — since he keeps claiming that Keith is in the SHU (protective custody) yet he then simultaneously claims that Keith keeps getting ‘beat up’ by other inmates repeatedly, LOL, which isn’t possible in the SHU.

  • Your fortieth birthday is supposed to be a milestone that causes you to reflect upon your life thus far. In a non-Raniere world, perhaps Clare would have married, had children, or, with her money, spearheaded and supported a host of good causes. Maybe she would have designed and constructed a lovely home/refuge in which to nurture her family and friends. She could have done so many things other than what she actually did.

    It must be a bitter pill to look back and see all the harm you’ve done by age forty, laid out no less in the press and all over the internet. And, to be facing imprisonment at the prime of your life.

    I wonder if she will conduct an in-depth exploration of meaning – of her own life.

    I wonder if she will ever be remorseful for ruining the lives she’s ruined.

    • Very appropriate musings.

      It seems to me that Clare has a very dark side, and Raniere figured out how the exploit that while leading her to believe that she was doing good. It might have required a very strong positive influence in her life, for her to have actually lived out her better nature.

      One of the things that groups like NXIVM tend to do, is to reproduce their leaders’ pathological personalities in their followers. Unfortunately, that tends to be most effective with those with pathological tendencies to begin with, though it also brings out the worst in many people who might otherwise have been mostly good.

      If Bronfman is ever truly remorseful, she’d have to demonstrate it by spending as much money making people whole again, as she did on trying to ruin them. I suspect that instead we’re most likely to see an attempt to rebuild her reputation by distracting from her NXIVM past, and spending money on entirely different things.

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