Judge to keep Nxivm jurors’ identities secret for their own safety

The New York Post/July 2, 2019

By Emily Saul

The Brooklyn federal court judge who oversaw the trial of convicted Nxivm sex cult leader Keith Raniere says he won’t release jurors’ names — because he’s afraid the group’s litigious acolytes might go after them in court or smear them in the media.

“The court is concerned for the jurors’ security,” Judge Nicholas Garaufis wrote in the Tuesday decision.

Prosecutors argued at trial that Nxivm targeted suspected foes in a variety of ways, including litigation, and the judge said he didn’t want to open jurors up to the possibility of reprisals.

“Evidence at trial suggested that Raniere’s associates would go to great lengths to antagonize his perceived enemies,” the ruling reads.

“Additionally, the government has informed the court that a Nxivm defector’s collateral was released during trial and published by the Mexican media, suggesting that Raniere’s alleged criminal enterprise may continue to exist notwithstanding his incarceration.”

Raniere, 58, was convicted last month of racketeering, sex trafficking and other charges for running a secret master-slave organization called DOS in which women were forced to hand over damaging photos and other “collateral” before they were branded with his initials and forced to have sex with him.

Ahead of the guilty verdict, prosecutors revealed in open court that an unspecified Mexican media organization had released footage of the naked branding ceremony of DOS slave Sarah Edmondson.

The ruling also cites the “sensational” nature of the coverage, saying that “being a juror publicly identified with this case is a far greater burden than being publicly identified within a typical criminal trial.”

“Several jurors privately asked the court not to release their names even after the trial concluded,” the judge added.

Raniere faces up to life behind bars when sentenced on Sept. 25.

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