NXIVM sex cult leader Keith Raniere is arguing he’s being mistreated in jail so the prison can stop him from fighting back in court!
In new legal documents obtained by The US Sun on Wednesday, Keith claimed he was placed in solitary confinement after an attack in late July “left [him] dizzy for days and [he] could not get out of bed.” He was allegedly attacked in the dining hall by prisoner Maurice Withers, 33, who is serving 18 years for trafficking five women, including at least one minor. Keith claims he “did not fight back,” but he was placed in segregation pending an investigation. His attorneys stated he “suffered a black eye, swelling, nausea, and dizziness for over a week,” and that he was hit so hard, he “has limited knowledge of the assault.” Wow.
According to the 62-year-old convicted sex offender’s lawyers, following this incident, he was placed in a cell with an intersex woman to wait out the investigation — and the two of them have faced horrendous conditions ever since!
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As a refresher, back in 2020, Raniere was sentenced to 120 years behind bars after he was found guilty of sex trafficking, racketeering, child pornography possession, and other crimes.
He’s currently trying to appeal his conviction and even filed an affidavit listing the alleged abuses he’s suffered while behind bars at USP Tucson in Arizona as part of the ongoing legal process. In his appeal, he alleges the FBI tampered with the photos used as evidence at his trial, which the government has called “frivolous.” Now, according to his team, he believes the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) is purposefully forcing him to live in inhumane conditions to stop his legal action. Stacy Scheff, the former sex cult leader’s lawyer, said in the legal docs:
“Mr. Raniere is the subject of ongoing retaliation by the Bureau of Prisons. Mr. Raniere was retaliated against by having his contacts and call list scrubbed the day after he filed a motion exposing FBI malfeasance. Mr. Raniere filed a grievance about that retaliation and was shortly thereafter assaulted by another inmate. Following the assault, Mr. Raniere was placed in the SHU [Special Housing Unit] to investigate the assault.”
It remains unclear why he was attacked. Some supporters believe the violence could have been prompted by the fact TNT reportedly re-ran an episode of Rich and Shameless the day prior. The show was titled The Heiress and the Sex Cult and featured former members of NXIVM who accused Raniere and Clare Bronfman of wrongdoing. Seems reasonable that could have stirred up some emotions from other prisoners.
But lawyers think more is going on. According to the latest report, the criminal is still being held in the SHU where he is required to spend 23 hours of the day in a tiny cell alongside the other inmate, despite the attack having happened several weeks ago. He is allowed one hour of recreation in a small cage — but even this can be in gross circumstances. Stacy continued:
“That investigation cleared Mr. Raniere of any culpability. According to BOP policy after the investigation was concluded, which was weeks ago now, Keith should have been returned to his normal housing, but the retaliation continues as he remains in the SHU. Currently he is allowed one five-minute phone call per month, he cannot have a razor, he has no access to legal resources, and given books ‘at staff discretion.’ This is particularly egregious because Mr. Raniere is still actively fighting his case in the courts.”
On the inhumane treatment he and his cellmate have dealt with, she noted:
“Recently, Mr. Raniere was held in a cage for four hours next to day-old human feces, which was on the floor and had been smeared all over the wall. He was even forced to eat lunch here. Mr. Raniere has been given no explanation as to why he remains in these unacceptable and inhumane conditions.”
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Despite his shameful crimes, Keith still has plenty of supporters, one of whom is now speaking out on his behalf. Actress and former NXIVM member Nicki Clyne said in a video to The US Sun:
“Keith is concerned for his safety, because he is constantly being cycled through cellmates, and all it takes is one bad cellmate in solitary to end his life.”
You can see her video HERE. Former NXIVM member Eduardo Asunsolo also told the outlet:
“Keith has lost pounds since being in solitary, where he was placed for the sole reason of being the victim of an attack. This is a human rights issue.”
Perhaps if he really cared about human rights, he wouldn’t have sexually abused so many women! Just saying! Thoughts?
[Image via Keith Raniere Conversations/YouTube & Eastern District of NY]