Amanda Knox (pictured) has joined a bid to help NXIVM sex-cult leader Keith Raniere, according to reports
Amanda Knox has signed a petition calling for federal prosecutors to answer questions about the sex-trafficking case of NXIVM cult leader Keith Raniere, according to reports.
The 33-year-old, who herself had her murder conviction overturned in Italy in 2009, is demanding that Brooklyn authorities reassess alleged evidence, jury and witness tampering.
Raniere, 60, wrote up the petition that ten of his loyalists later delivered to prosecutors asking them to respond to ‘eight simple statements’ about their conduct by Wednesday.
‘I was contacted by some former members of NXIVM who claim that Mr Raniere has been wrongfully convicted and that the story being told in the media is wrong,’ Knox told The Albany Times Union on Sunday.
‘I personally do not know enough about the case to make any judgments about whether his conviction is wrongful or not.
‘These supporters of Mr Raniere asked me to sign a petition asking the prosecutors in the case to affirm some principles of prosecutorial conduct that any prosecutor should be able to affirm, such as not engaging in perjury, not tampering with evidence, and not threatening witnesses.
‘I signed the petition because violation of these practices would constitute prosecutorial misconduct, regardless of Mr Raniere’s guilt or innocence.’
Raniere was arrested at a Mexican hideout in 2018 following an investigation into the NXIVM group.
NXIVM started out as a purported self-help group in Albany, New York, before members were turned into sex slaves (cult leader Keith Raniere pictured)
Some plaintiffs in the case against Raniere claim they were forced to have Raniere’s initials, K A R, branded on their bodies (pictured)
He was the sole defendant to go to trial, resulting in his June 2019 conviction for racketeering, sex trafficking, and other crimes.
Raniere is due to be sentenced on October 27 with prosecutors asking the judge to sentence him to life in prison.
In a submission to the court earlier this month, Raniere’s lawyers said he had no remorse and stands by his innocence.
He has accused the government of misconduct and says he deserves a new trial.
Throughout the pandemic several cult followers have danced outside the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn where he is being held in a show of support for their leader and ‘master’.
Seagrams liquor heiress Clare Bronfman, 41, will also be sentenced this week as she refuses to denounce her loyalty to sex cult and its notorious leader.
Prosecutors are demanding she serve five years in prison.
Seagrams liquor heiress Clare Bronfman, 41, (right) will also be sentenced this week as she refuses to denounce her loyalty to sex cult and its notorious leader
NXIVM started out as a purported self-help group in Albany, New York, but members were turned into sex slaves.
They were made to live off just 500 calories a day, branded with Raniere’s initials and groomed to have sex with him.
The cult fell into the national spotlight for its famous members including actress Nicki Clyne of Battlestar Gallactica; actress Allison Mack of TV’s Smallville; India Oxenberg, daughter of TV star Catherine Oxenberg of Dynasty fame; and physician Danielle Roberts.
Who is Amanda Knox?
The body of the 21-year-old British exchange student Meredith Kercher was found by police in the Perugia apartment she shared with Amanda Knox on November 2, 2007.
Officers discovered Kercher’s throat was slashed and she had been sexually assaulted.
Knox and her then-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito were arrested and later convicted of murder and sexual assault in 2009.
The couple maintained their innocence, insisting that they had spent the evening together at Sollecito’s home watching a film, smoking marijuana and being intimate.
Amanda Knox (left) was convicted of murdering her roommate, British exchange student Meredith Kercher (right), in their Perugia apartment in 2007 – but she was later cleared of the killing
Describing her ordeal earlier this year, Knox said: ‘I was interrogated for 53 hours over five days, without a lawyer, in a language I understood maybe as well as a ten-year-old.
‘When I told the police I had no idea who had killed Meredith, I was slapped in the back of the head and told to ‘Remember!’
‘I trusted these people. They were adults. They were authorities. And they lied to me.’
In 2011 the Perugia Court of Appeal acquitted the pair of the more serious charges, though upholding a minor conviction for Knox.
She returned to the United States that year.
Knox and her then-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito (pictured together) were arrested and later convicted of murder and sexual assault in 2009
In a flip-flop series of court decisions in her absence, her murder conviction was reinstated and then finally overturned again in 2015.
In the final ruling judges cited flaws in the investigation and said there was a lack of evidence to prove their wrongdoing beyond reasonable doubt, including a lack of ‘biological traces’ connecting them to the crime.
Italy’s highest court did, however, confirm a conviction against Knox for falsely accusing a Congolese bar owner.
Rudy Hermann Guede, an Ivorian, is serving a 16-year sentence for Kercher’s murder.
Earlier this year a European court awarded Ms Knox €18,400 (£16,350) in damages after finding that Italian authorities had ‘violated her human rights’
Earlier this year a European court awarded Ms Knox €18,400 (£16,350) in damages after finding that Italian authorities had ‘violated her human rights’.
She is now engaged to fiancé Christopher Robinson, a novelist who proposed to Knox with an elaborate sci-fi-themed display last November.
During the proposal he took her into their front yard where he had staged a fake meteor, which contained a ‘data crystal’ describing their ‘coalescence’.
They have been dating since February 2016 and Knox made the relationship public with a change in her Facebook status later that year.
The couple met after Knox – who became known as Foxy Knoxy during her ordeal – had reviewed Robinson’s book, War of the Encyclopaedists, on her blog.