LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The leader of a sex cult who was said to have enslaved women was found guilty Wednesday.
Keith Raniere will be sentenced in September on the multiple sex trafficking and racketeering verdicts.
It took jurors just a couple of hours to decided on a guilty verdict.
Raniere led a group called NXIVM that was promoted as a self-help organization.
According to prosecutors, the group was actually a sex slave operation led by Rainiere.
Prosecutors said Rainiere and others, including “Smallville” actress Allison Mack, would recruit women and convince them to turn over nude photos and admit embarrassing details about themselves that Rainiere would then use as blackmail.
The daughter of actress Catherine Oxenberg was among one of Rainiere’s victims.
Oxenberg has since released a book about the group and spoke with CBSLA last year about the ordeal of seeing her daughter sucked into the cult.
According to the book, Rainiere brainwashed women, forced them to starve, brand themselves with his initials, and have sex with him.
Oxenberg was at the courthouse Wednesday when the verdict was read and called her daughter to report the news.
“She’s in shock and I’m in shock as well because this has been kind of a culmination of a year and a half of such an incredible fight,” Oxenberg told reporters.
U.S. Attorney Richard Donoghue told reporters, “This trial has revealed that Rainiere, who portrayed himself as a savant and a genius, was, in fact, a massive manipulator, a con-man, and the crime boss of a cult-like globalization, involving sex trafficking, child pornography, extortion, compelled abortions, branding, degradation, and humiliation ”
Raniere’s lawyers insisted the encounters were consensual.
Raniere could spend the rest of his life in prison.
His sentencing is set for Sept. 25.