New York - The New York man who started a secret society in which female "slaves" were branded with his initials and ordered to have sex with him may have led an unconventional life, but he did not break the law, his lawyer told jurors on Monday.
"The conduct, looked at objectively, is pretty out there," Marc Agnifilo, lawyer for Keith Raniere, said in his closing argument in Brooklyn federal court. "That doesn't make it a crime."
Raniere, 58, is on trial facing charges including racketeering, sex trafficking and child pornography. Prosecutors said he used his organization, Nxivm, which billed itself as a self-help group, to hide the secretive sorority, called DOS.
Raniere faces a possible sentence of life in prison if convicted.
In her closing argument earlier on Monday, Assistant US Attorney Moira Penza said members were tricked into handing over compromising photos and confessions, called "collateral," that could be used to blackmail them. She described Raniere as a "a con man, a predator, a crime boss" who operated "through abuse and control."