Keith Raniere, founder of NXIVM, has been sentenced to 120 years in prison following convictions for racketeering, sex trafficking, sexual exploitation of a child and human trafficking, federal prosecutors announced Tuesday. Prosecutors say the 60-year-old showed no empathy for his victims, many of whom gave impact statements ahead of the sentencing.
“You stole seven years of my life,” India Oxenberg told Raniere in court. She also said she had been labeled a “brainwashed sex slave,” and described the moment when she says Raniere’s initials were branded onto her skin.
“He’s a predator, and he’s a pedophile,” she said. “It’s hard to explain, but they’re like invisible chains. I know that they’re not there, but you feel them."
She was one of several former followers of NXIVM to give court statements. The group, which is often labeled as a sex cult, is also the subject of two explosive documentaries: “The Vow” on HBO and “Seduced” on the Starz Cable Network.
“People bond through pain. They don’t bond through ha-ha happy,” Raniere says in one clip.
Raniere appeared to show no remorse as he recently spoke out in a podcast from behind bars.
“Women have been treated terribly in this country, by people of power, by people like me. But that doesn't mean that I did those things, and it certainly doesn't mean that I'm guilty of these charges,” he said.
Five women who were part of NXIVM have pleaded guilty to crimes related to the group.