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Perth
October 18, 2019
Latest USA World

Nxivm founder trial: Jury watches video of Raniere discussing views on child sex

After the conclusion of testimony in the trial of Nxivm founder Keith Raniere, the jurors watched a video of the leader of the cult-like group discussing his views on child sex abuse.

The prosecutors after nearly six weeks of testimony played a video of Raniere, 58. In the video, the Raniere is heard talking about how the age of sexual consent differs in various countries and states.

“Most people scream abuse, and a lot of times the screaming of abuse is abuse in itself,” Raniere said, facing the camera as he sat at a kitchen table. “Some little children are perfectly happy with it.”

Prosecutors did not say when the video was shot.

Raniere is facing charges including racketeering, racketeering conspiracy, human trafficking, sex trafficking and sexual exploitation of a child. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges. If convicted, he faces life in prison.

Prosecutors have accused Raniere of having a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old girl. Earlier this week, they showed jurors graphic photos of the teen that were found on a computer believed to be his.

Raniere’s attorney, Marc Agnifilo, contested the time-stamping of the photos, saying it could be unreliable and easy to alter.

But prosecutors pointed to testimony that the girl had a noticeable scar on her lower right abdomen from an appendectomy she had when she was 16. FBI case agent Michael Weniger, who investigated the case for nearly two years, testified the girl did not have that scar in the graphic photos presented in court.

After prosecutors rested their case against Raniere on Friday, Agnifilo told US District Judge Nicholas Garaufis that he was not going to present a case in court. Raniere chose not to testify.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys are expected to make their closing statements Monday morning. The jury, made up of eight men and four women, with four alternates, is expected to begin deliberations by Tuesday.