Trial Begins for NXIVM’s Leader as First Witness Testifies

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NEW YORK—Opening arguments in the high-profile trial of Keith Ranier, the leader of the purported self-help organization NXIVM, began on May 7, as the prosecution divulged that Raniere’s “most trusted associates” will testify in what is expected to be a six-week-long court case detailing a master-slave society within the group.

Raniere, who was formerly known as the “Vanguard” by his group’s devotees in the United States and Mexico, faces a maximum sentence of life in prison for seven criminal counts, including sex trafficking, forced labor conspiracy, and racketeering.

The courtroom at the Eastern District of New York in Brooklyn was so full on the first day of the trial that reporters were directed to an overflow courtroom to watch the proceedings live on video.

Although the prosecution didn’t explicitly state that Raniere’s co-defendants—who have all since pleaded guilty—would testify against their alleged former master, NXIVM’s ex-publicist and whistle blower Frank Parlato told The Epoch Times in an interview outside the courthouse that former “Smallville” actress Allison Mack and Lauren Salzman, the daughter of the group’s president, may testify. He noted a “50/50” chance that Nancy Salzman would testify as well.

Reports have indicated that Mack and Lauren Salzman may have agreed to cooperate to testify against Raniere.

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