December 3, 2022

Nxivm founder alleges FBI tampered with key evidence in his case, asks conviction be vacated

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Rainier was convicted on seven counts, including fraud, conspiracy to commit fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, forced labor, sex trafficking, conspiracy to commit sex trafficking and attempted sex trafficking. Raniere was sentenced. He spent the rest of his life in prison.

In a motion filed on Tuesday, Rainier’s lawyer, Joseph Tolley, called for the sentence to be commuted because of “false testimony and the use of evidence by the government.”

An FBI spokesman declined to comment.

Raniere’s lawyers are set to present oral arguments appealing his sentence Tuesday afternoon, as are his co-defendant Claire Bronfman’s lawyers, who are seeking legal redress for people who are not in the United States for financial gain. Pleaded guilty to conspiracy to conceal and harbor Fake identification. Bronfman was sentenced to almost seven years in prison.

Raniere was accused of creating a sex cult within the self-help group Nxivm, an all-women group known as DOS, whose members acted as “slaves” and “masters”. used to.

Several women testified. At trial, she was misled into joining the group, which she described as a “women’s empowerment” group. They later learned that they would become “slaves” who would be expected to have sex with Rainier, send him nude photos, and have his initials marked on his body.

The allegations in Tuesday’s motion were part of Rainier’s appeal, but evidence of the motion’s details was allegedly altered to show the metadata of a file card, while the FBI was asked to disclose it. Nude photos of a captured woman were taken in 2005, when the woman was at the center of a juvenile evidence of child pornography charge in which Rainier was convicted.

In the filing, the team called for an evidence hearing where lawyers could question several forensic examiners, special FBI agents involved in the case, two federal prosecutors, two witnesses and others. A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York declined to comment.

In a timeline summarizing the alleged evidence of tampering, Rainier’s lawyers said that in March 2018, a camera, camera card and hard drive were found in a house attached to Rainier, and authorities kept the equipment for 4.5 months. Kept The summary alleges that in September 2018, “an unknown person accidentally gained access to the camera card”.

A former FBI Special Agent has submitted an expert report stating that he believes the tampering took place “definitely” while the equipment was in the custody of the FBI, and that this is his expertise. The opinion was that “the FBI must have been involved in tampering with such evidence.”

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