This is Part 4 of In Depth: Dani’s Testimony.
In Part 3, Dani testified that she was being groomed for sex with Keith Alan Raniere. She thought it would happen on her 18th birthday, but Raniere did not meet her that day. She felt rejected.
About a week after her 18th birthday, they met at an office building in Rome Plaza in Clifton Park [where Raniere used to have his offices for Consumer Buyline.]
Dani is testifying in Brooklyn at the trial of Keith Alan Raniere.
She testified: When we got to Rome Plaza… he led me through the hallways. I think it was the second floor at the end of the hallway on the right way facing from the front…. one of the last offices. … inside that office, there was a smaller room…. this room [had] dim lighting… I couldn’t see very well. There were stacks of…. boxes, stacks of things and… on the floor there was… old, dirty carpet and… a dirty mattress. It had raggy, used sheets on it. … that bed wasn’t made up. … he asked me to take my clothes off and lay down and I did. There was … no talking. He didn’t remove his clothes. He just starting doing oral sex on me. And that went on for a while. I don’t know how long. I was a little bit in shock with everything and then he took off his clothes and he climbed on top of me for a little while, and he gave me a hug, like a long hug … and then he just kissed me, got up, helped me up and got dressed and I drove him back to Flintlock.
Q Did you feel the defendant have an erection?
Q Did you feel the defendant penetrate you?
Q Was there any evidence that the defendant had ejaculated?
A No, no there was no kind of substance or anything like that. Nor did I bleed.
Q What happened next?
A … after I dropped him off, he calls… and … tells me, ‘ I know that you’re too shy to talk when we’re together…. so I’m calling you so we can talk about what just happened.’
Q And what did he say?
A He … asked me how I was and how I felt about it and all of these different things and one remarkable thing he said was, ‘you’re a responsible person. How come you didn’t ask me to use protection?’ And confusion ensued because I couldn’t understand why he was asking me to use protection if I didn’t feel he penetrated me. So I didn’t think we needed it [but] I understood that he was telling me that he did penetrate me and I did lose my virginity, but I did not feel that. So we were debating that point.
Q Did that continue to be a point of debate later?
A Yes. That’s still a point of debate.
Q How did you feel about what had happened at that time about him saying he had penetrated you when you hadn’t felt that?
A I feel very sure of what I felt. I was there. It’s my body so it’s very confusing to have contradictory information. I mean, I’m sure he didn’t penetrate me then.
Q Would later he actually provide you with explanations — did you have a conversation later about why there was this disconnect?
A Yeah, a few days later, we were on a walk and we were talking about this. He was asking me about this and he was kind of having, like, an EM type of conversation, like an exploration… ‘Why do you think you didn’t feel anything?’ Like, clearly …he … was right and I needed to figure out why I didn’t feel it. I stuck to my guns. To this day, I’m sticking to my guns… he was, like, doing this exploration with me and… by the end, the concluding questions: ‘So Daniela why do you … think that you would not want to feel [his penetrating her]… Why would you not… have felt what happened?’… I [thought] … I know the right answer[that he is looking for] and … I gave what I thought was the right answer and I said ‘Maybe I didn’t want it and so I blocked it out.’ I thought that that was the right answer. He corrected me and he gave me the ‘right’ answer. He said, ‘no, the reason why you didn’t feel it was because you were too in your head,’ which is an expression from ESP, when someone is thinking but not feeling. ‘You’re too in your head all the time. That’s what you need to work on. That ‘why.’
Q Were there later other instances where you would know something had happened and the defendant would try to convince you that it had not happened?
Q Did you see that with other women as well?
Q Later on when you had additional sexual experiences with the defendant, were there times when he had difficulty getting or maintaining an erection?
Stay tuned for Part 5