This is Dani’s cross-examination part 3.
After eliciting from Dani that her father was disappointed that she stole money, Marc Agnifilo started asking Dani about her father.
He elicited that he attended college on a scholarship, was a good athlete, placed value on her education; and value on sports and competition, that he was a successful businessman who owned a company that manufactured tools for drilling, and was a good provider as a father.
Then he shifted to her first 16-day Nxivm intensive in Mexico and Lauren Salzman. He briefly questioned her about Mexicans in Nxivm: Emiliano Salinas, Loreta Garza, the Garza family, Omar and Edgar Boone, and Rosa Laura Junco
He asked her about the mathematical equation she had earlier testified about – about Keith predicting the end of the world if not enough people took Nxivm courses.
Agnifilo questioned her about her decision not to go to high school in Switzerland but come to Clifton Park to join Nxivm.
“Yes,” she said, “it wasn’t to pursue the teachings but to be able to help the mission.”
Dani said, “I thought that … this great man was going to in some way help change the course of things.”
Agnifilo then had her recount her first meeting with Keith and her impressions, which were favorable.
He then questioned her about Marianna.
Q … your older sister Marianna was back in Mexico and she was kind of struggling, fair to say?
Q And Marianna, you said, was in trouble with your parents?
Q And that she had been grounded?
Q Do you remember how long a period of time Marianna had been grounded?
Q Do you remember what she did to get grounded?…
A … [she and friends] broke a piñata in a supermarket…
Q And she was grounded for a number of days; correct?
A I don’t remember….
Q By grounded, she wasn’t permitted to leave the family home; right?
A No. No, that’s not what grounding is.
Q Go ahead, what’s grounding?
A At least in my home, how it worked is, you know, not allowed to go to parties, in her case.
Q So, for a period of time… there were certain things she couldn’t do?
A Yeah. I think strictly going to parties.
Q … she could do everything else?
A Yeah, I think so.
Q … you were worried about her though?
Q She had been acting out so much, you were worried about her?
A Yes. Amongst other things, the acting out.
Q And you told her that she should come and stay with you in Clifton Park; correct?
Q And she did…. And I think you said that Marianna and Pam Cafritz became very friendly very quickly?
Q … Pam and Marianna… they started living together; correct?
Q So it was Keith, it was Pam Cafritz, it was Kristin Keeffe, it was Karen Unterreiner, and then it was your older sister Marianna; correct? All living together at one point in time?
A At one point in time, yes.
Q And I think you said when Marianna got to Clifton Park, she started playing tennis again?
Q And she was sort of doing better than she was back in Mexico?
A I thought so, yes.
Q When she was in Mexico, before she ever came to Clifton Park, she had an eating disorder; is that fair to say?
Q Okay. She suffered from bulimia?
A Yes, she did.
After trying to establish that Marianna improved after coming to Albany, Agnifilo shifted gears, or seemingly so. He asked Dani about her work in Nxivm in the administration office, in 2003, and how she had testified she was bored with her work.
Q And you had a conversation with Keith about this, right?
A Yes, I did.
Q And you approached Keith and you said, ‘I’m working in the administration office and this isn’t what I want to be doing. I want to do more than this.’ Something along those lines, right?
Q And Keith was attentive to what you were saying to him; fair to say?
After going over the meeting Dani had with Keith about her work, Agnifilo returned again to the stealing theme. Dani had taken $6,000 at work and then returned it without anybody knowing it and without spending a dime of it.
Q Okay. … did you steal the $6,000 before or after this exchange with Keith?
A I don’t remember exactly.
Q So at one point you said you stole the $6,000; right?
Q Okay. And it’s cash in Karen Unterreiner’s drawer?
Q And it’s just sitting there and you take it and you walk out with it; right?
Q And then you said you felt guilty about it and you put it back.
Q All right. And you told Keith what you had done; right?
A Yes, I did.
Q And why did you tell Keith?
A As I said before, I — I was conflicted in myself. I — I knew what I had done was really wrong and beyond just putting it back. I was having a very hard time understanding why; how I had been capable of even doing that. I think that, as I said, part of it was like a desire to — to confess in a way and so that was — that speaks to my desire to say it. Why [confess] to him [Keith]? In particular?
A Because I — I — I think because I trusted him and because I saw him as a — well, essentially as a man who knew more than me, maybe knew more about human nature. So that might help me understand, yes.
Q Did you … remember telling him that you took it because you were bored?
Q Do you remember telling him you took it just to see if you could take it and get away with it?
Q What’s the reason you told him you took it?
A I was struggling to understand the reason.
Q And you and he talked about that; correct?
Q He didn’t yell at you; right?
A No, he did not.
Q He didn’t take a harsh tone with you; right?
A No, he didn’t.
Q He didn’t reprimand you or say you were a bad person or anything like that; right?
Q He treated it as sort of an exploration, really, why did you do it; right?
A In part.
Q And he said at one point when you’re talking about this, that a moral — immoral decisions last forever. Do you remember him saying that?
A I don’t remember him saying that.
Q And that these decisions sort of define us. You know, we define ourselves by these moral decisions that we make?
A I don’t remember that.
Q Well, what do you remember about the conversation between you and him?
A What I remember about that conversation was mostly like his reaction to it.
Q Which was what?
A I felt it was one of understanding. Like, he understood; a receptiveness. It was stern. It was stern. Definitely, it was a serious subject, but it wasn’t taken lightly. But it — it was one of, I felt, understanding.
Q Understanding. On Keith’s part?
Q Okay. But then he told other people in the community; right?
Q And he told your father.
A I don’t know if he was the one to tell my father, but my father ended up knowing; yes.
Q Okay. And your father and you had discussions about this; correct?
A Yes, we did.
Q Okay. And your father expressed disappointment specifically about this act; correct?
A Yes, he did.
Q Did you ever steal money other than the money from Karen Unterreiner’s drawer?
Q Nothing else?
A No. There was — as I said before, I — I — I took several times money from Flintlock.
Q Okay. But other than taking money from Flintlock and taking money from Karen Unterreiner’s drawer, you never took money from the little cup where people put the cash [in the Nxivm café]?
Q And how did your father react when you told him about the $6,000?
A He was disappointed.
Q What did he say?
A I don’t remember. I just remember the emotion.
Agnifilo has so far focused a lot on Dani’s honesty – thereby trying to set the stage that she, not Raniere, is guilty. But he was far from done. Indeed Agnifilo was only warming up.
Stay tuned for Part 4 of Dani’s Cross Examination.