NXIVM guru to pay for victims’ brand removal as restitution

Crime

FILE – In this June 18, 2019, file courtroom artist’s sketch, defendant Keith Raniere, center, sits with attorneys Paul DerOhannesian, left, and Marc Agnifilo during closing arguments at Brooklyn federal court in New York. Raniere, the former leader of the cult-like NXIVM group, has been ordered to pay $3.5 million to 21 victims of a sex-trafficking scheme. (Elizabeth Williams via AP, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — The former leader of the cult-like NXIVM group has been ordered to pay $3.5 million to 21 victims of a sex-trafficking scheme.

The sum announced Tuesday includes the cost of surgically removing scars from branding rituals performed by a secret sorority.

The brands depicting the initials of Keith Raniere were meant to symbolize the womens’ status as sex slaves for the self-help guru who once had an international following.

He’s serving a 120-year prison term following his conviction at a 2019 trial.

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