Dad of Keith Raniere victim praises sex cult leader as ‘always honorable’

New York Post/October 20, 2020

By Rebecca Rosenberg and Tamar Lapin

A man whose daughter testified about being groomed as a sex slave for Keith Raniere continues to support the Nxivm leader — even praising him as “always honorable” in court documents unsealed Tuesday.

The father, identified only by his first name Héctor, wrote a glowing letter about Raniere to a Brooklyn federal judge, crediting the Svengali-like figure’s teachings with inspiring him to run for four marathons.

“When I think of him the words that come to mind are: Honest, Whole, Brilliant Intelligence,” Héctor wrote, “always ready to help, Cheerful and In Love with Humanity.”

The stream of admiration came despite Raniere being convicted last year of racketeering and sex-trafficking charges for running a master-slave group within his self-help organization called DOS, in which women were branded with his initials like cattle and forced to have sex with him.

In May 2019, Héctor’s daughter Daniela — who hails from Mexico — recalled on the stand how Raniere allegedly “groomed” her for sex on her 18th birthday — but balked because she wasn’t thin enough.

She then described how she and her two sisters all had sexual relationships with the self-help guru in their teens and early 20s.

Daniela testified in detail about how she was held for two years in a room with only a foam mattress and a pad of paper and pen as punishment for kissing another man — saying she contemplated killing herself by drinking cleaning supplies during her captivity.

Daniela’s parents, who had become Nxivm devotees, had immigrated from Mexico and moved into the home where she was confined, near the group’s upstate headquarters.

When Daniela, who was in the country illegally, finally fled the room in 2012 and confronted Raniere, she said her own dad drove her to the U.S.-Mexico border and dumped her there with no documentation and the equivalent of $75 in pesos, and she walked back to her home country alone to start her life over.

In his letter, her dad claimed that Daniela had been a troubled teen and that the family decided to follow Raniere’s advice to keep her in the room in their house so she could “think about what [she] really wanted,” adding that she “could leave at any time.”

“What was intended to be a short time to think things over turned into something very long (about two years) with no change in Daniela’s destructive attitude; constant requests for more opportunities and tireless broken promises,” Héctor claimed.

He continued to throw his child under the bus, writing: “Daniela was not willing to change her behavior from not putting in effort, lying and being a burden to the community.”

“The perception of this single event is so twisted and wrong that it makes it impossible for Keith to get a fair trial with this lie at trial,” he added.

Héctor was one of dozens of supporters who penned gushing letters of support for Raniere ahead of his sentencing for sex-trafficking next week, where he faces life in prison.

Now in her 30s, Daniela ended up joining a 80-plus-plaintiff lawsuit from January that alleged that Raniere and his upstate cult swindled followers out of their life savings and forced them into sexual slavery.

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