The alleged sex-cult’s bookkeeper refused to provide prosecutors the thin on the upstate group, invoking her proper to stay silent greater than 80 instances throughout grand-jury questioning — even when requested one thing as mundane as her weight.
Kathy Russell, 61, invoked her Fifth Modification privilege in opposition to self-incrimination 50 instances throughout her first one and a half hours of testimony and one other 32 instances after coming back from a break, in keeping with newly unsealed court docket papers.
The slender numbers-cruncher appeared earlier than the grand jury final summer time because it investigated the group and its chief Keith Raniere, who was accused of sexually abusing younger ladies.
“The Authorities … engaged Russell in an prolonged dialog about whether or not she had ever requested Raniere about allegations that he had sexually abused minors or raped a selected girl,” the papers say. “The Authorities famous that it had proof that Keith Raniere had had intercourse with underage ladies.”
Russell declined to reply any associated questions.
However she additionally “invoked on all kinds of matters, a few of them seemingly mundane, together with her stage of schooling” and her weight, the court docket doc mentioned.
Russell was indicted on two counts of racketeering conspiracy a month later, in July 2018, for her function within the group, which prosecutors say operated a secret part known as DOS through which girls have been starved, branded and groomed to have intercourse with Raniere.
Russell is in persevering with plea negotiations with prosecutors.
Different high-level Nxivm members, together with “Smallville” TV actress Allison Mack and front-line DOS grasp Lauren Salzman have since pleaded responsible. Nxivm co-founder Nancy Salzman has additionally entered a responsible plea.
Raniere and his benefactor, Seagram’s heiress Clare Bronfman, are anticipated to take their circumstances to trial.
Opening statements are scheduled for Might 7.