A judge sentenced Keith Raniere, founder of the Nxivm cult, to what amounts to life in prison Tuesday.
U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garufis handed down Raniere’s 120-year sentence in a Brooklyn federal courthouse, The Daily Mail reports. Fifteen of his victims delivered impact statements at the sentencing, sharing sexual, physical, and mental abuse stories.
Raniere, 60, was arrested in March of 2018 and convicted in 2019 on racketeering charges, sex trafficking, sexual exploitation of a child, and human trafficking.
The cult leader turned his followers into sex slaves, even branding his initials above their genitals. If they refused to have sex with him, he would starve them.
Raniere has maintained his innocence and has denied all the allegations against him. He told the judge at his sentencing, “I do believe strongly that I’m innocent of the charges.”
“I do feel deep remorse, but I do not feel remorseful for the crimes I did not commit,” he added.
The judge said the cult leader had shown no signs of being remorseful before handing down the life sentence and that he maintains “to this day that he’s done nothing wrong.”
“Mr. Raniere remains unmoved. … [He] has therefore failed to demonstrate remorse,” Judge Garufis said, according to The New York Post.
One of the victims who spoke out at the sentencing was India Oxenberg, daughter of TV actress Catherine Oxenberg. She accused him of starving her to make her look like a child and raping her.
Another victim, identified only as “Camila,” who delivered a statement, alleged that she was only 15-years-old when a 45-year-old Raniere began having sex with her.
Last month, the judge handed down a 7-year sentence to Raniere accomplice and Seagram’s heiress, Clare Bronfman. Prosecutors had asked for a 5-year sentence for Bronfman.