The heiress of the Seagram distillery empire, Canadian Clare Bronfman, was sentenced to 81 months in prison on Wednesday 30th for the scandal involving the sex slave sect Nxivm.
In 2019, the heiress pleaded guilty to credit card fraud and hiding an immigrant to help the organization created by guru Keith Raniere.
In June 2019, Raniere was found guilty of maintaining a harem with about 15 to 20 sex slaves, one of whom is 15 years old.
Slaves were forced to have sex with Raniere whenever he wished. Some were marked with a symbol that represents the guru’s initials.
“There is no doubt that Raniere would not have been able to commit the crimes for which he was convicted without powerful allies like Bronfman,” prosecutors said.
Bronfman’s lawyers, 41, asked his client to be sentenced to three years probation.
The defense claimed that although he confessed his guilt in two crimes, Bronfman was unaware of the sexual abuse committed by Raniere through a criminal organization parallel to Nxivm, the “DOS”, which had “lovers” and “slaves”.
Of the six people accused in this scandal, revealed in March 2018, Bronfman is the first to be convicted.
Raniere, 60, said the sexual relations he had with members of the sect were consensual and should be sentenced on October 27th.
Another four people pleaded guilty.
Among them is actress Allison Mack, from the television series “Smallville”, who pleaded guilty to extortion and criminal association.
The Nxivm scandal is the subject of two television and film adaptations: a series of documentaries, “The Vow” on HBO, which insists on the non-sexual side of the organization, and a film by Lisa Robinson, “Escaping the Nxivm Cult ”, 2019, on the testimony of a mother who tried to get her daughter out of the organization.