Nxivm Leader Keith Raniere Ordered to Pay 21 Victims $3.46 Million in Restitution
A federal judge ordered Keith Raniere to pay Nxivm victims funds to remove branding and receive mental health services
During a restitution hearing on Tuesday, Raniere, 60 — who appeared in court virtually from prison — was ordered by U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis, who presided over Raniere's trial, to pay funds to victims who were in an all-female group called DOS, characterized by many as a sex cult.
Investigators said that Raniere, who was known as "Vanguard" to his followers, occupied the top of the DOS pyramid, with tiers of female "slaves," each of whom could become a "master" to slaves beneath them. Prosecutors said DOS members were held down and branded with Raniere's initials just below their bikini lines.
At Tuesday's hearing, Garaufis ordered Raniere to pay $2,500 to victims who were branded in order to cover the costs of having them removed and additional restitution payments to victims for mental health services due to his "psychological torture," CNN reports.
According to the outlet, prosecutors said the victim who was ordered to receive the highest amount ($500,000) was 15 years old when she was branded, forced to have sex with Raniere, and coerced to take pornographic photos as a minor.
Raniere is currently serving his 120-year prison sentence at a federal facility in Arizona.
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RELATED VIDEO: Actress Allison Mack Sentenced to 3 Years in Prison for Role in Nxivm Sex Cult
The restitution decision comes just weeks after disgraced Smallville actress Allison Mack was sentenced to three years in federal prison for her involvement as a prominent leader within Nxivm. The U.S. Attorney's Office in the Eastern District of New York announced the sentence on June 30, which also includes a $20,000 fine.
NXIVM and the criminal cases of Raniere and Mack have since served as the focus of two documentary series: HBO's The Vow (already renewed for a second season) and the Starz series Seduced: Inside the NXIVM Cult.
If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual abuse, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor.