By Dianne Lipson
After lunch, Assistant US Attorney Moira Kim Penza finished her closing arguments in the case of the US v. Keith Raniere. During her closing, Raniere was writing madly on his sticky notes – and lamentably he ran out of yellow sticky notes and was obliged to write on a pad of blue sticky notes.
Penza walked through the counts against Raniere – one by one – explaining why Raniere was guilty of each one.
Penza discussed coercion, isolation, indoctrination, surveillance, shame, humiliation.
She showed passages from the DOS handbook where slaves had to surrender their life, mind and body. And spoke of how a slave master in Raniere’s DOS could get 40 hours of free labor per week.
She said that DOS rules were that the slave labor had to be at the highest level they could work at. If a slave was a lawyer [and one DOS slave was a lawyer] that slave would have to do legal work.
Penza spoke about Nicole and slave labor she had to do for Pam Cafritz’s memorial, something Penza said she would not have done – which included staying up 23 hours to finish it – had she not had collateral held over her.
She spoke of the abuse Nicole experienced and of Allison, of how she wrote a letter as collateral about her own father sexually abusing her, which was false information about him.
She quoted an email of Allison’s where Allison pressured Nicole, asking her, “Why are you scaring yourself? You made a commitment? It’s like an arranged marriage. It’s a choice that you made [to be a slave]. Don’t question, just obey.”
Allison told Nicole to be a good slave.
Penza spoke about Nicole’s sexual assault on the wooden table and that Keith told her she shouldn’t say anything about what happened, and that nothing bad had happened.
Penza said, “I submit he said what happened was not wrong, because he knew it was very, very wrong.”
Penza brought up how the expert witness, Dr. Robin Hughes, had said that, after a sex assault, the victim might send a nice message to the perpetrator but that doesn’t mean the sexual assault was nice.
Nicole had sent numerous messages to Keith after the assault.
Penza said, “I submit all of Nicole’s interactions with Keith Raniere were because of coercion and collateral.”
Penza also spoke about commercial sex – that it had to be for something of value but that does not mean it has to be financial.
Photos of women with their clothes off, were a thing of value for Keith Raniere, she said.
There was also an email from Raniere – Penza reminded the jury – where he’s talking about India having to take off all her clothes to be photographed. And how Allison coerced India to change her flight so that the assignment [where she had to take her clothes off] could happen.
India was in the courtroom while this horror was being mentioned by Penza.
Penza said that Allison admitted that Jaye was supposed to have sex with Keith and told Jaye that sex with him was meant to heal her childhood trauma.
After completing her litany of offenses and foul deeds of the man known to his followers as Vanguard, Penza ended her closing by asking the jury to “trust your judgment, trust the evidence.”
Next up is Marc Agnifilo, on behalf of the defendant, Keith Alan Raniere.