Claire Bronfman, the heir who helped finance NXIVM for more than a decade, was sentenced to six years and nine months in prison for her role in the organization, known as the “sex cult” . It is nearly two years longer than requested by federal prosecutors – and legal experts say Judge Nicholas G. Garafis is sending a strong message to everyone.
Bronfman, 41, was the first prominent member to be convicted of concealing and harboring aliens for financial gain and fraudulent use of personal identity information. Prosecutors contend Bronfman, the successor to Siegham’s liquor fortune, used his funds and social status to promote founder Keith Raniere’s “self-help” organization that actually operated as a criminal enterprise.
“The judge is sending a clear message – that Bronfman’s wealth, status and influence cannot save him from justice and punishment by the court,” Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Silva Majordichian tells Yahoo Entertainment. “Bronfman essentially functioned as an ATM machine for the organization.”
Nine victims of NXIVM spoke at an emotional hearing on Wednesday about how their lives were destroyed by Bronfman new York Times, As he helped to leave behind ruined marriages, careers and reputations. Bronman has not yet condemned NXIVM, nor has he apologized to the victims.
“It’s a big impact on a sentencing judge,” Megerditchian says. “He never took accountability – in fact, he actually thanked his ‘fans’ in court. These actions are not seen with kindness by a judge who listened to the victims, Bronman harmed them. All but one. Taken together: its wealth and influence, lack of accountability and direct harm to victims, judge decides [is] Can be understood “
Bronfman repeatedly denied Raniere, who was convicted of a number of offenses including sex-crimes and child abuse offenses. MajorDichian believes that this “absolutely” affects the decision of Judge Zarafis.
What’s fascinating with Bronfman facing the will of the judge and prosecutors, [she] Still not condemned the person who caused so much harm and pain to so many people. The CEO of SLM Law says that it played a big role in the judge’s sentence. “Had she apologized and condemned the organization and Raniere, her punishment would have been greatly reduced.”
Raniere and four other leaders are involved. Smallville Star Allison Mack awaits sentencing. And much can be learned from Bronman’s hearing.
“Other defendants should avoid the fact that the judge is not looking at the behavior of the defendants inside and outside their court. I must remember that Ms. Bronfman used her endless funds to appoint lawyers and investigators to ruin the lives of NXIVM’s critics, ”explains Megerdichian. “He never apologized nor condemned the organization. She seemingly did not cooperate with prosecutors. These other defendants should note that the judges are taking the victims’ accounts seriously and believe that their lives were ruined due to the actions of NXIVM and their supporters. “
Mac has become one of the most prominent faces of NXIVM as he was the first-line “master” in the organization, DoS, the secret female-branding anguish. During the ritual, the “slave” was said to accompany Raniere and Mac’s initials, “Master, please brand me, it will be an honor.” Several victims have claimed to have instructed them to engage in sexual acts with Raniere.
“Allison Mack should be concerned,” says Megerdachian. “His defense counsel advised him to apologize for his actions, contradict the court and somehow amend his actions. Any cooperation with prosecutors would help him gain more sympathy from the court. “
Mac pleaded guilty to intimidation and conspiracy, but how much he is working with the government is unclear. If Mac condemns the Queen and NXIVM, it may help him in the Judge’s eyes.
“It would help to show sympathy to the court by explaining that he was brainwashed by the organization himself. Without these proactive steps, Ms. Mack would likely receive the same increased punishment that Ms. Bronfman received – and possibly worse, given that she was the face of the organization, ”says Megerdichian.
Mac has expressed remorse before the court and has taken responsibility for recruiting women to the NXIVM.
“I was lost,” she told the judge in April 2019, explaining that she had joined the group to “find purpose” because she was dissatisfied with her acting career. He said, “I should take full responsibility for my conduct.” new York Times.
During last year’s hearing, Mack did not directly state whether the “slave” was forced to have sex with Raniere, but admitted receiving “labor and services” from two unnamed women. He apologized to those who hurt him through “misleading Keith Queen’s teachings.”
A sentencing date has not been set for Mac and the government is yet to issue a memorandum. The queen will be sentenced on 27 October.