Leader Keith Raniere’s inner circle, who is also a former member of NXIVM, has been reportedly charged in his sex trafficking enterprise avoided prison during the sentencing on Wednesday after the prosecutors cited her incredible cooperation.
Lauren Salzman was sentenced in Brooklyn federal court to five years probation for her active role in the scandal-ridden, cult-like secret society of the brainwashed women that included actors and millionaires. The judge has reportedly ordered her to perform 300 hours of community service.
Two weeks back, in a letter to Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis, the prosecutors noted that her guilty plea to racketeering would normally call for a sentence of seven to nine years in prison. But however, they cited her extraordinary and detailed testimony against Raniere at his 2019 trial as the reason for leniency.
Salzman, who is a one-time member of VXIVM’s executive board, who also pleaded guilty and agreed to become a government cooperator, was one of the two witnesses to testify at Raniere’s trial about submitting to a barbaric ritual that was meant to show his slaves devotion towards him.
Additionally, Salzman also testified about being held down in 2017 while another Raniere devotee caused a cauterizing pen to imprint his initials into an area near to her pelvis that described a bizarre initiation process.
Just before she was branded, she also recalled saying, ‘Master please brand me. It would be an honor’. She testified that it was one of the most painful experiences she has had ever. She went on to testify that she had organized other brandings that included inviting women to her house, where they were required to strip naked and sit blindfolded in a circle as a part of the ritual.
The first woman who was branded said that she was squealing and screaming. In her letter to the judge prior to her sentencing, Salzman wrote that she wishes that she could take her participation back and also wished that she had been stronger and seen things sooner. She wrote that she can’t even imagine the pain, the feelings of betrayal, the feelings of violation, and the lasting emotional trauma that the victims have experienced so far. And at the sentencing, she also apologized to the NXIVM’s victims.
Hector J. Diaz, Salzman’s attorney said after her sentencing that his client looks forward to closing a very difficult and incredibly unfortunate chapter to her life and today she has marked another step towards her new set goal.
He further added that she wants to be respectful of the victims in this case and shall not make further statements at this moment. Instead, she looks forward to living a productive and private life.
It was last October when Garaufis had sentenced Raniere to 120 years of prison for turning some adherents into sex slaves branded with his initials and also sexually abusing a 15-year-old.
Also, Smallville actor Allison Mack was sentenced to three years in prison for her role in NXIVM.