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usatoday – NXIVM founder Keith Raniere sentencing: Faces federal court Tuesday

ALBANY, N.Y. – NXIVM founder Keith Raniere, who secretly led a cult-like sorority where women were sexually exploited and branded with his initials, faces up to life in prison when he is sentenced Tuesday in Brooklyn federal court.

Prosecutors are seeking a life sentence for Raniere, 60, who was convicted of seven felonies last year after a wild six-week trial where jurors heard explicit testimony about his polygamous sexual preferences and the many ways he manipulated his devoted followers into performing sex acts or forced labor.

For more than 15 years, Raniere led the Albany, New York, company he founded, NXIVM, which was a purported self-help organization whose participants paid thousands of dollars for various classes and coursework. But prosecutors alleged NXIVM was in actuality a criminal enterprise whose members viewed Raniere as an all-knowing guru and called him “Vanguard.”

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