A federal judge has denied convicted NXIVM cult leader Keith Raniere’s second request for a new trial based on his accusation that prosecutors intimidated “Battlestar Galactica” actor Nicki Clyne and another potential witness who would have testified in his favor.
U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis nixed Raniere’s motion, saying it was filed too late after his conviction last year on racketeering, racketeering conspiracy, wire fraud conspiracy, forced labor conspiracy, sex trafficking conspiracy and two counts of sex trafficking. In the order written on Friday, Garaufis also rejected the claim that Clyne and Michelle Hatchette could have provided information that was otherwise unknown to Raniere’s defense team.
“The substance of the testimony that Ms. Hatchette and Ms. Clyne allege that they would have given is also not new; indeed, far from containing some sort of evidentiary revelation, the hypothetical testimony described in their affidavits covers ground that is well tread in this case,” Garaufis wrote. “They allege principally that they would have countered the testimony of various witnesses for the prosecution who described elements of DOS, including the use of collateral, assigned labor, and certain members’ sexual contact with Mr. Raniere, as products of coercion and psychological manipulation…The substance of the testimony that Ms. Hatchette and Ms. Clyne claim they would have offered was not unknown to Mr. Raniere, and certainly was not outside the realm of evidence that he could have discovered through due diligence.”
Raniere was convicted in June 2019 after a six-week trial in federal court in Brooklyn. He is facing the possibility of life in prison as he awaits sentencing on Oct. 27. The saga of the NXIVM and sex cult DOS that Raniere spearheaded in tandem with “Smallville” star Allison Mack, another one of his celebrity followers, has been amplified in recent weeks by the HBO docu-series “The Vow.” That nine-part series made use of copious amounts of video that Raniere and his cohorts produced over the years to recruit customers for NXIVM’s pricey self-help courses and other activities.
Click here to read the court filing in full.
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