Self-help guru convicted in lurid sex-trafficking case

In this courtroom artist's sketch, defendant Keith Raniere, center, sits with attorneys Paul DerOhannesian, left, and Marc Agnifilo during closing arguments at Brooklyn federal court, Tuesday, June 18, 2019 in New York. A federal prosecutor said Raniere used his NXIVM organization to "tap into a never-ending flow of women and money." Attorneys for the defendant say he had no criminal intent and that his sexual encounters with followers were consensual. (Elizabeth Williams via AP)

The former leader of an upstate New York self-help group has been convicted in a federal case accusing him of turning women into his "sex slaves."

NEW YORK — The former leader of an upstate New York self-help group has been convicted in a federal case accusing him of turning women into his "sex slaves."

It took a jury less than five hours to find Keith Raniere (rah-NEER'-ee) guilty of sex-trafficking and other charges Wednesday in federal court in Brooklyn.

Prosecutors said the 58-year-old Raniere's organization, called NXIVM (NEHK'-see-uhm), was more like a cult. They said he formed a secret subgroup comprised of brainwashed female "slaves" who were forced to have sex with him and branded with his initials.

There also were accusations that he began having sex with one follower at age 15 and took nude photos of her.

Lawyers for Raniere said he never had any criminal intent and that his encounters with the women were consensual.

You may also like these

After storm halts tribute, A-Rod doubles in...

Aug 13, 2016

His pregame tribute ended by a storm, Alex Rodriguez began his final game with the New York Yankees...

At 93, legendary climber Fred Beckey still...

Aug 13, 2016

Legendary Seattle climber Fred Beckey is the focus of a new documentary film about his life

Box Office Top 20: 'Sausage Party' scarfs up...

Aug 15, 2016

It was a feast for the raunchy animated comedy "Sausage Party" at the box office this weekend

Brian Williams to anchor late campaign newscast...

Aug 16, 2016

MSNBC's Brian Williams is getting a regular time slot, at least for a couple of months

'American Horror Story' coming to Halloween...

Aug 17, 2016

The ghosts, vampires and other freaky misfits from "American Horror Story" are coming to Universal...

Sign up now!