Clare Bronfman (41) has been sentenced in New York to more than six years in prison for her role in the organization that is said to have kept young women as sex slaves.
Bronfman is among the women who have admitted to having had a role in the so-called sex cult NXIVM. She arrived in court in Brooklyn shortly before noon. 17.00 Norwegian time, informally dressed in a sweater, trousers and with a face mask. It was not until more than five hours later that the sentencing took place, reports the New York Times.
The 41-year-old has been sentenced to serve 81 months behind bars, ie about six and a half years.
The trial lasted a long time because about ten female victims obtained diplomas.
The lawyers had submitted a claim that she should be sentenced to three years probation, while the prosecution – which believes Bronfman has financed much of the cult’s operation – demanded to see her sentenced to five years in prison.
Judge Nicholas Garaufis thought she should be judged harder than that. She was also charged with a book worth almost five million kroner.
Bronfman is the daughter of the late Edgar Bronfman, the liquor king behind the Canadian company Seagram, and will be worth several billion kroner. Last year, she pleaded guilty to criminal acts under the auspices of the controversial self-help organization.
The 41-year-old, previously known rider, admitted guilt on two charges – credit card fraud, as well as for having housed an illegal immigrant.
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NXIVM has been based in Albany County, New York and was founded in 1998 by the now convicted Keith Raniere (60).
At the same time as Raniere was arrested in 2018, TV star Allison Mack (37) was also arrested. The actor has later admitted guilt in the indictment, which involves manipulating young women to become sex slaves.
Clare Bronfman is the first member of the network to receive the sentence.
Both Raniere and Mack are still waiting for the sentencing, which was expected last autumn, but has been postponed. Raniere is imprisoned, while Mack is released on bail and zones with foot shackles at his parents’ home. The penalty for what the two have been convicted of is between 15 years and life.
Self-help guru Keith Raniere convicted of sex slavery
Bronfman, for her part, has explained that her motivation was to do something useful for the world and help people, but that she realizes that she has been guilty of crime.
– Honorable Judge, I am blessed with a wonderful gift through my grandfather and my father. With this gift comes an enormous privilege and more importantly – a very great responsibility. That does not mean the right to break the law, the billionaire heir stated in court last spring.
At the same time, she said she was willing to pay a fine of more than NOK 60 million. The fine was thus much lower than this.
Supports the leader
The New York Times writes that the 41-year-old as late as last month is said to have written in a letter to the judge, in which she showed support for Raniere and maintained that she believes he has helped her to have a better life.
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About the Bronfman Group: On the rocks
The NXIVM organization is accused, among other things, of having brainwashed its members into being sex slaves and forced them to brand themselves. Bronfman has been on the board of the controversial group.
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The New York Times has been working for several years to get to the bottom of what has been going on behind the organization’s closed doors. The newspaper is said to have revealed how NXIVM has used bizarre and violent methods to hold on to its members, all women aged 30 to 40 years. Raniere should not only have been the leader, but also the only man connected to the network.
Another well-known member of NXIVM is 29-year-old India Oxenberg. She is the daughter of “Dynasty” actress Catherine Oxenberg (59), who played the role of Amanda Carrington in the popular eighties series. The 29-year-old is mentioned as a victim in the case.
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