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Closing Arguments At Raniere Trial

Picture of a judge's gavel
WikiMedia Commons

A federal prosecutor says the former spiritual leader of a cult-like self-improvement group was a "con man" and a "crime boss."

The prosecution delivered closing arguments on Monday at the trial of Keith Raniere, recounting testimony that Raniere had some of his brainwashed female followers branded with his initials, forced one to have sex with another woman and confined a third to a room for nearly two years for defying his orders.

The prosecutor said Raniere "was a ruler with no limits and no checks on his power." who used his NXIVM organization to "tap into a never-ending flow of women and money."

Attorneys for Raniere say he had no criminal intent and that his sexual encounters with followers were consensual.

© 2019 AP

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.
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