NXIVM sex cult leader Keith Raniere could be moved to violent jail dubbed ... trends now
Sex cult leader Keith Raniere is set to be moved to a violent, highly-segregated prison to live out the rest of his 120-year sentence - as his legal team launches a bid to block the transfer because he fears he'll be killed inside.
Convicted criminal Raniere, 62, could transfer to one of the Federal Bureau of Prisons' two Communication Management Units (CMU) - known commonly as 'Guantanamo North' - which house some of the country's most violent offenders, terrorists, and extremists.
The cult leader was convicted in 2019 on charges of sex trafficking, forced labor conspiracy, wire fraud conspiracy and racketeering charges with underlying acts that included possession of child pornography, extortion and identify theft.
He was jailed at the US Penitentiary in Tucson, Arizona in January 2021 - but in September last year was the victim of an 'unprovoked' jail attack, his lawyers claim. As a result, he was sent to the prison's 'torturous' segregation housing unit for nearly 200 days.
Now, Raniere faces being moved to either the CMU in Terre Haute, Indiana or Marion, Illinois. The prison branches are designed to completely isolate prisoners from other inmates and the outside world.
Keith Raniere, the leader of notorious sex cult NXIVM, was told he will be transferred to a CMU- the Communications Management Unit, a prison that is designed to house violent inmates. Raniere, 62, was jailed at the US Penitentiary in Tucson, Arizona in January 2021
The entrance of the Federal Bureau of Prisons in Terre Haute, Indiana, that houses one of the CMU- the Communications Management Unit - that Raniere may be sent to. Raniere's power-of-attorney Suneel Chakravorty believes the transfer is 'retaliatory' since the cult leader is trying to challenge his conviction on the grounds that the FBI allegedly 'tampered' with evidence in his case
One of the Federal Bureau of Prisons' CMUs are located in Marion, Illinois (pictured). They house some of the country's most violent prisoners including terrorists and extremists
CMU’s house inmates who 'require increased monitoring of communications with persons in the community to protect the safety, security and orderly operation of Bureau facilities and the public.'
Raniere's power-of-attorney Suneel Chakravorty believes the transfer is 'retaliatory' since the cult leader is trying to challenge his conviction on the grounds that the FBI allegedly 'tampered' with evidence in his case.
He told DailyMail.com: 'CMUs are designed to clamp down on inmate communication. At this point, we have seven computer forensics experts, including four former FBI examiners, willing to testify about clear evidence of FBI wrongdoing.'
Prisoners are banned from physical contact with visitors - and the prison manages and monitors all outside communication.
Raniere opposed his transfer to the CMU and in the coming days plans to file a 2241 habeas petition asking that a judge order that he not be moved. But it is at the discretion of the Bureau of Prisons to determine whether he will be transferred to a low or medium security facility.
In July 2022, Raniere was beaten up and knocked unconscious by Maurice Withers, 33, who was put behind bars on sex trafficking crimes in Madison, Wisconsin. He had also been housed with an intersex inmate next to a cage smeared with human feces.
Chakravorty added: 'For the last 196 days, Keith Raniere has been kept in a windowless cell for 23 hours a day. He was placed there after he was the victim of an unprovoked attack.
'While his attacker is no longer at the prison, Keith has been kept in these torturous conditions ever since with no true explanation. His legal team has attempted to have him placed back in the general population but the treatment has continued for months months, and now a judge has ordered the prison to provide an explanation.'
A court sketch of Raniere in June 2019 when he was convicted of seven counts including child porn and sex trafficking. Now, Raniere is