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A newly filed sentencing memo reveals that attorneys representing NXIVM co-founder Nancy Salzman are seeking a two-year sentence of home confinement with no jail time, reports Law & Crime. She is scheduled for sentencing on Wednesday, September 8th in a Brooklyn Federal Court.
The memo paints Salzman as one of cult leader Keith Raniere’s many victims.
“Nancy Salzman is a 66 -year- old woman who for most of the past twenty years has been fooled, controlled, humiliated, and ultimately led to engage in criminal conduct by an egotistical, self-important, sex fiend who told all who would listen about his (fake) solution for mankind's problems,” her attorneys David Stern and Robert A. Soloway wrote.
Salzman pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy racketeering in March of 2019. Her attorneys wrote that her guilty plea, and acceptance of responsibility, “broke a defense logjam and paved the way for all but the lead defendant to enter guilty pleas.” Others NXIVM members who assisted Raniere, including Allison Mack, have been sentenced to serve prison time.
Federal prosecutors want Saltzman to serve the high-end of the prison range, between 31 to 41 months. They say she, along with co-defendants Raniere and Clare Bronfman, participated in unlawful surveillance and investigation of perceived enemies.
But Salzman’s attorney argued that she is herself a victim.
“How such a path could be taken by an intelligent, talented woman who, until meeting Raniere, had led a scrupulously law-abiding and productive life, is mystifying. But her particular weaknesses combined with Raniere's undeniable powers of control over the human will of certain people and uncanny ability to neutralize the judgment of these individuals, took Ms. Salzman on a terrible decades-long journey which even today she struggles to fully understand,” her attorneys write in the memo.
They also cite Salzman’s age and poor health as reasons why she should be sentenced to home confinement instead of prison and note that she plays an “indispensable” role in the care of her “elderly and very ill mother.”
But survivors of the cult disagree that Salzman is a victim. According to the New York Times many victims say she was responsible for fostering the culture of abuse that defined NXIVM and that she was not only Raniere's business partner and confidant, but his abettor and protector.
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