On Tuesday, a federal judge ordered NXIVM founder Keith Raniere to pay $3.46 million in restitution to 21 alleged sex cult victims.
U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis ruled that 17 victims were eligible to receive restitution under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000, which applies to crimes including forced labor, sex trafficking and document servitude.
Another four were entitled under restitution under the Mandatory Victim Restitution Act of 1996, related to crimes such as racketeering, racketeering conspiracy and wire fraud conspiracy.
Raniere was convicted of racketeering, racketeering conspiracy, wire fraud conspiracy, forced labour conspiracy, sex trafficking, sex trafficking conspiracy, and attempted sex trafficking and was sentenced to 120 years in prison in October.
Former members of NXIVM, an Albany, N.Y.-based self-help group he created, testified during his trial and imprisonment that he preyed on insecure people who thought they were joining a women’s empowerment club and were later pushed into having sex with him and blackmailed to remain silent.
Some women were also recruited into the Vow, or D.O.S., a secretive sect within the group, where they were branded with Raniere’s initials.
Garaufis ordered victims who were branded to receive $2,500 for costs associated with removing the brands, stating that “virtually all low-ranking members of D.O.S. were victims of conspiracy” involving forced labor.
He also ordered that Raniere return “collateral” ranging from sexually explicit photos of themselves to letters making false and damaging statements about loved ones to the victims.
Raniere, however, said at the hearing that he has “never handled the collateral.”
The largest restitution payment was $507,997, paid to a victim who was 15 years old when Raniere began sexually abusing her including inducing her to submit to pornographic photography sessions.