Keith Reniere, founder of self-help sex cult Nxvim, was sentenced today to 120 years in prison for racketeering, sex trafficking, human trafficking, and sexual exploitation of a child. Fifteen female victims spoke up at the sentencing. Raniere isn't the least bit sorry. Curiously, the HBO documentary about the cult, titled The Vow, just finished its first season two weeks ago. From the New York Times:
At Mr. Raniere's trial, prosecutors lifted the veil on a sordid side to Nxivm (pronounced NEX-ee-um). A primary focus was a secretive women-only group inside the organization. During a videotaped initiation ceremony, the women lay naked on a table, saying, "Master, please brand me," as a cauterizing pen seared their skin without anesthesia.
Some of those women testified that they thought they were joining a women's empowerment group, only to discover that they were directed to have sex with Mr. Raniere.
The women, referred to as "slaves," needed permission to eat and were regularly required to hand over collateral like sexually explicit videos, which they constantly feared would be released. Prosecutors called it extortion.
On Tuesday, a former "slave" identified only as Nicole told the judge that the collateral was the only thing stopping her from spitting in Mr. Raniere's face during her time in the group, which she described as the most degrading experience of her life. […]
Mr. Raniere himself has expressed no regrets, accusing the federal judge, Nicholas G. Garaufis, of corruption and demanding a new trial.
"He is not sorry for his conduct or his choices," his lawyers wrote in a court filing last month, adding that he "intends to fight this case with all of his might, confident that he will one day be vindicated."