A lawyer for Nxivm co-founder Nancy Salzman says she was abused and fooled by sex slave-branding cult leader Keith Raniere — and doesn’t deserve to go to prison.
The plea for leniency comes one day before Salzman, 66, is slated to be sentenced in Brooklyn federal court after pleading guilty to racketeering conspiracy and cooperating with prosecutors.
“[Salzman] for the past twenty years has been fooled, controlled, humiliated, and ultimately led to engage in criminal conduct by an egotistical, self-important, sex fiend,” wrote defense attorney David Stern in a letter to Judge Nicholas Garaufis, which was made public on Tuesday.
He humiliated her and forced her to starve herself until she was stick thin — like he did to his other acolytes, her attorney wrote. The pair were initially lovers before Raniere, 60, ended the romance and turned his sadistic attention to her daughter.
In an earlier filing, prosecutors asked the judge to impose a prison term of over three years for Nxivm’s former president once known as Prefect, arguing that her unwavering support enabled Raniere’s most depraved crimes.
Salzman has said she didn’t know anything about Raniere’s secret sex cult within the organization called DOS, where women were branded with his initials like cattle and forced to have sex with him. Her daughter and co-defendant, Lauren Salzman, was a slave master in the twisted group.
The younger Salzman, who had a 17-year relationship with the sick Svengali, testified against him at his sex-trafficking trial — and admitted to holding a woman captive in a locked room for two years at his request.
Nancy Salzman will be the fourth of Raniere’s five co-defendants to be sentenced in the case.
Raniere was slapped with 120 years in prison for his heinous crimes. Lauren Salzman got time-served in July in light of her cooperation.
TV actress Allison Mack, who was a slave master in the sex-cult and lured women into the group, got three years in prison. Seagram’s liquor heiress Clare Bronfman got six years and nine months behind bars.
Longtime Nxivm accountant Kathy Russell is awaiting sentencing.