Nxivm sex-cult leader Keith Raniere transferred to Arizona prison

New York Post/January 26, 2021

By Rebecca Rosenberg

Nxivm leader Keith Raniere has been transferred to a maximum-security federal penitentiary in Arizona that treats sex offenders — after a judge rejected his bid to remain in a New York facility, records show.

The 60-year-old sex-cult guru is serving a 120-year sentence for running a secret master-slave group out of Albany that mentally and physically abused scores of young women.

He was moved from the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn earlier this month to USP Tucson, a high-security facility that runs a sex offender management program.

Raniere won’t be the only celebrity inmate to have languished behind its barbed wire fence. USP Tucson once housed late crime boss James Joseph “Whitey” Bulger Jr., Elizabeth Smart kidnapper Brian David Mitchell and former USA Gymnastics team physician Larry Nassar, records show.

Lawyers for the self-help svengali had asked US District Judge Nicholas Garaufis to step in and pressure the Bureau of Prisons to let him remain at the MDC.

Raniere’s attorney Jennifer Bonjean, who is handling his appeal, said in a Jan. 5 letter it would be “exceedingly burdensome” to travel to Arizona for meetings in the midst of a pandemic.

But the judge refused to intervene on Raniere’s behalf.

“It’s probably the best facility for him because it’s used to high-profile inmates who are charged with this type of offense,” said his criminal defense lawyer Marc Agnifilo. “Unfortunately, it’s on the other side of the country.”

The shaggy-haired leader, who has compared himself to Einstein and Gandhi, was convicted in 2019 of sex-trafficking, racketeering, child pornography and forced labor.

Members of his twisted slave group were branded with his initials, starved and forced to have sex with him.

One of Raniere’s co-defendants, Seagram’s liquor heiress Clare Bronfman, is serving her 81-month sentence at FDC Philadelphia, records show.

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