Nxivm’s co-founder Nancy Salzman was hit with three and a half years in prison Wednesday for her unwavering support of sex cult leader Keith Raniere — and her vicious targeting of his enemies and critics.
Wearing a white blouse and black slacks, Salzman appeared in Brooklyn federal court and apologized for her senior role in the twisted group that drained its members of their cash and operated a secret sorority that groomed young women as sex slaves for Raniere.
But Salzman, 67, claimed she, too, was a victim of the sick Svengali, telling Judge Nicholas Garaufis she didn’t deserve to go to prison.
But the jurist rejected her plea for leniency.
“You were Mr. Raniere’s second-in-command and shared his power,” railed Garaufis. “You enabled and facilitated Mr. Raniere’s heinous crimes. In your 20 years at Nxivm, the door was always open but you never left.”
Salzman won’t start serving her time until January 19 after undergoing an undisclosed medical procedure.
Prosecutors had lobbied for a prison term of more than three years, arguing that Salzman’s blind devotion to Raniere, 61, and the cruel actions she took as Nxivm’s former president helped him perpetrate his most depraved acts. But she dodged the maximum penalty of 51 months under federal sentencing guidelines.
Before Garaufis handed down his sentence, Raniere’s ex-girlfriend and an early member of the cult, Toni Natalie, delivered an emotional victim impact statement blasting Salzman as the guru’s “evil partner.”
After Natalie escaped the group and her abusive relationship with Raniere, she said she was terrorized by his followers for decades.
“It was you, Nancy, you who let the monster out,” Natalie seethed. “When Keith found you, he found his perfect match, his perfect evil partner. You knew early on of his attraction to young girls and with you by his side, look what he was able to do with so many of them.”
Raniere’s first sex slave, Camila, told the court in a quivering voice that she was just 15 when she was brought from Mexico to the upstate compound to become Salzman’s personal maid — forgoing a high school education.
Soon after, Camila, still a virgin, was recruited into Nxivm’s clandestine sex ring known as DOS and repeatedly raped and tormented by Raniere, then 45.
“Nancy promoted all the twisted ideas her co-defendant [Raniere] used to groom and assault me, including the notion girls were capable of sex as soon as they were capable of conceiving,” said Camila, urging the judge to show no mercy to her abuser.
Salzman has maintained that she knew nothing about DOS — although her daughter and co-defendant Lauren Salzman was a “slave master” in the group. Young women — including Camila — were branded with Raniere’s initials and forced to have sex with him.
Slaves who displeased Raniere were starved, whipped and imprisoned.
Nancy Salzman, a former psychiatric nurse, co-founded the purported self-improvement and professional development organization with Raniere in the 1990s — and the two were briefly lovers.
She pleaded guilty to one count of racketeering conspiracy for hacking into the emails of the group’s opponents and destroying evidence that could’ve been used against the Albany-based cult.
Salzman is the fourth of Raniere’s five co-defendants to be sentenced in the case.
After a sensational trial, Raniere was slapped with 120 years in prison for sex trafficking scores of young women and child pornography for taking nude photos of Camila and other crimes.
After cooperating with the government and testifying against the sadistic leader, Lauren Salzman got time-served.
Disgraced “Smallville” actress Allison Mack was hit with three years in prison for luring women into DOS.
Seagram’s liquor heiress Clare Bronfman, who bankrolled the organization, got nearly seven years behind bars.
Meanwhile, longtime Nxivm accountant Kathy Russell pleaded guilty to visa fraud and is awaiting sentencing.
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