Nxivm leader Keith Raniere didn’t need to create a secret sex cult to get laid — because he was already bedding hordes of willing women, his lawyer argued Monday.
“He doesn’t need DOS to generate intimate partners,” lawyer Marc Agnifilo said of his client, referencing the alleged master-slave society Raniere created within his supposed self-help group Nxivm. “One has nothing to so with the other. This is just his lifestyle.”
Prosecutors claim the 58-year-old Raniere founded the alleged sex cult to supply himself with a steady stream of women, but Agnifilo pointed out to jurors his client was already juggling at least a dozen lovers — despite his alleged erectile dysfunction — before he founded DOS in 2015.
“I don’t think there’s anything to suggest he created DOS to have sex with people,” the lawyer said of the group, in which women were kept on near-starvation diets, branded with Raniere’s initials, and allegedly forced to have sex with him.
“DOS isn’t for everybody,” Agnifilo told jurors of the so-called sorority. “It’s strong medicine.”
“That doesn’t make it a crime, it’s just pretty out there,” he said.
Raniere is facing sex trafficking and other charges. If convicted, he faces up to life behind bars.
Jurors are expected to get the case as early as Tuesday.
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