Sex cult leader sentenced to five years’ probation by Brooklyn’s Judge Garaufis
Lauren Salzman, a leader in the Upstate sex cult NXIVM, was sentenced to five years’ probation by Brooklyn Federal Court Judge Nicholas Garaufis.
The sentence also included five years of probation, 300 hours of community service, and forfeiture. Salzman, the daughter of Nancy Salzman, one of the co-founders of the cult, was an actress in the TV series “Smallville.”
A document submitted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District asked for leniency on the grounds that Lauren Salzman “provided the government with detailed information regarding the criminal activities of her co-defendant Keith Raniere and his co-conspirators, including significant information regarding DOS, the secret organization led by Raniere.
“She provided credible, detailed testimony at Raniere’s trial before this Court in May and June 2019. The extent of Lauren Salzman’s cooperation and the significance of her assistance to the government were extraordinary.”
Salzman had pleaded guilty to being a first-line DOS “master” who recruited several women into DOS as her “slaves.” After her mother and Raniere trafficked one woman for two years, Salzman threatened the woman that if she even left the room, the cult would send her to Mexico without any identification documents. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the victim, identified as Daniela, was held in the same room for two years.
In 2017, Lauren Salzman was recruited to be a “master” in DOS, a secret organization led by Raniere that recruited and commanded groups of slaves. When recruiting “slaves,” Salzman falsely described DOS as a secret women’s empowerment group. Once they were recruited, the “slaves” were coerced into providing labor and services for their “masters.” Many of the “slaves” were also commanded to have sex with Raniere.
Beginning in 2019, Salzman admitted her involvement in the crimes she was charged with and provided detailed information about crimes committed by Raniere and others. Because of her close, decades-long relationship with Raniere, Salzman knew a significant amount of information about the group’s criminal activities.
“Not only was Lauren Salzman’s cooperation critically important in securing Raniere’s conviction, it is highly likely that the fact of her public guilty plea was a factor in other defendants’ decisions to plead guilty,” said Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District Jacquelyn Kasulis.
Raniere was sentenced last year to 120 years in prison and was ordered to pay his victims nearly $3.5 million in restitution.
As part of the deal, Salzman agreed to forfeit houses in Waterford, N.Y.; Halfmoon, N.Y.; Clifton Park, N.Y.; and several houses in Albany as well as more than $400,000 in cash seized by the feds from the Waterford property.
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