Lawyers for a man accused of trafficking women for his “sex cult” said he's the victim of a government frame-up.
Keith Raniere, co-founder of Albany-based NXIVM, should be released on bail, his lawyers argued in a legal brief filed on Tuesday, because the group, while unconventional, and “bold,” was not a cult and Raniere did not force, coerce or trick women into doing anything.
Raniere and actress Allison Mack face a three-count felony indictment charging them with sex trafficking, conspiracy to commit sex trafficking and forced labor — charges that carry a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison.
“These were not trafficked women.” Marc Agnifilo, one of Raniere’s lawyers and co-author of the brief, said in an interview with Oxygen.com. “They’re actresses who now have the opportunity to be in screenplays. They’re actresses who are now making movies."