New York City: Accused NXIVM sex cult leader Keith Raniere has been denied bail for a third time by a federal court judge. According to new court documents, the judge overseeing Raniere’s racketeering and sex trafficking case vehemently ruled that he does not deserve to immediately get out of prison, despite the fact that the facility has been lacking heat and hot water.
Raniere’s attorneys filed paperwork last week claiming the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, N.Y, where he is housed, was lacking electricity, heat and had noxious fumes due to a fire.
“The living circumstances that Raniere has described are tragic, inhumane, and greatly disturb the court. At the court’s February 5 2019 hearing, MDC representatives reported that, as of that morning, conditions at the facility had returned to their usual standard and the problems that Raniere identified are no longer as acute,” Judge Nicholas Garaufis wrote to Raniere’s lawyers on Feb. 5.
Due to the remedy at the prison, the judge continued that “the court does not believe they require Raniere’s release under the Due Process Clause.”
Plus, the judge said he’s also denying Raniere’s request because he’s still a flight risk.
“The court has twice found that Raniere is a flight risk. The court’s view has not changed. Raniere remains a flight risk for the reasons that the court has previously articulated,” the document stated.
Raniere requested to be released from prison on bail twice in 2018. Both requests were previously denied by the judge.
Raniere is joined by Smallville actress Allison Mack, Seagram’s heiress Clare Bronfman, former NXIVM employees Kathy Russell and mother-daughter duo Lauren and Nancy Salzman in the NXIVM case. The defendants face charges of racketeering, wire fraud conspiracy, sex trafficking and identity theft.
The judge explained that the only difference in Raniere’s third request for bail as compared to his previous two is that it included “an additional surety who will post (US)$300,000.”
Still, the judge claimed, “This one medication does not lead the court to alter its conclusion.”
Raniere’s denial comes on the heels of the judge confirming he is running out of money to pay his legal fees.