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Keith Raniere: NXIVM sex cult leader knocked unconscious in jail, forced to eat lunch in cage next to human feces

Raniere claims that after the attack, he was put in solitary confinement and 'left dizzy for days and could not get out of bed'
UPDATED JUL 18, 2023
Keith Raniere was sentenced to 120 years in prison back in 2020 (Keith Raniere Conversations/ YouTube, Eastern District of NY)
Keith Raniere was sentenced to 120 years in prison back in 2020 (Keith Raniere Conversations/ YouTube, Eastern District of NY)

Warning: Graphic content, readers’ discretion advised

TUCSON, ARIZONA: Keith Raniere, the convicted leader of a sex cult, was assaulted and rendered unconscious by another prisoner while being held in squalid conditions next to a cage covered in human feces in Tucson, Arizona. According to legal documents, Raniere claims that after the attack, he was put in solitary confinement and "left dizzy for days and could not get out of bed," reported The US Sun.

After being found guilty of seven felonies, including sex trafficking, forced labor, racketeering, the production and possession of child pornography, extortion, and identity theft, the NXIVM leader was sentenced to 120 years in prison back in 2020. 


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The convicted leader of the sex cult who is serving his first 12 months of a 120-year sentence, claims that Maurice Withers assaulted him in prison as he was carrying food to his table one morning and though he did not fight back he faced disciplinary action for fighting. The 33 -year-old Withers punched Raniere in the face while he had never spoken to him before being imprisoned for sex trafficking offenses in Madison, Wisconsin. Raniere sustained a black eye and felt queasy for a week as a result. 

In the sworn declaration on September 6, 2022, Raniere claimed, "I was assaulted while going to the table with food in the dining hall. I did not fight back." He added, "I was given a disciplinary ticket for ‘fighting’ and my privileges revoked and set aside in ‘pending investigation.' I had no contact with Withers before the attack on me."

While Withers allegedly has a tattoo that reads "Ain't no money like hoe money," prosecutors claim that Raniere branded his female "slaves" with his initials on their publc areas.

Raniere, who is currently attempting to appeal his conviction, filed an affidavit detailing his alleged mistreatment while incarcerated at USP Tucson, Arizona, as part of a lawsuit currently being brought against the facility. Raniere's lawyers allege that the Bureau of Prisons and other authorities are using his current treatment to prevent him from fighting his case in court. Among other concerns, the former NXIVM leader reportedly spent hours in cells covered in human waste, shared a cell with an intersex female prisoner, and was only given one five-minute phone call per month.

(Bureau of Prisons)
Raniere was given no explanation for his treatment in prison (Bureau of Prisons)

Raniere's lawyer Stacy Scheff said he is the subject of ongoing retaliation by the Bureau of Prisons and was retaliated against by having his contacts and call list scrubbed the day after he filed a motion exposing FBI malfeasance. His lawyer added, "Raniere filed a grievance about that retaliation and was shortly thereafter assaulted by another inmate. Following the assault, he was placed in the SHU to investigate the assault." Attorney Scheff stated that the investigation cleared Raniere of any culpability and according to BOP policy after the investigation was concluded, which was weeks ago now, he should have been returned to his normal housing, but the retaliation continues as he remains in the SHU."

Talking about the heinous treatment, Raniere's lawyer said, "Currently he is allowed one five-minute phone call per month, he cannot have a razor, he has no access to legal resources, and given books at staff discretion. This is particularly egregious because Mr. Raniere is still actively fighting his case in the courts."

(Bureau of Prisons)
Raniere's lawyer explains his inhumane conditions in prison (Bureau of Prisons)

Speaking about the convicted cult leader's inhumane conditions, Scheff stated, "Recently, Raniere was held in a cage for four hours next to day-old human feces, which was on the floor and had been smeared all over the wall. He was even forced to eat lunch here. Raniere has been given no explanation as to why he remains in these unacceptable and inhumane conditions."

In an interview in 2020 with NBC News, he entered a plea of not guilty and insisted on his innocence. He spoke out from prison and said, "Yes, I am innocent. And although it is, this is a horrible tragedy with many people being hurt, I think the main thrust of this has been the oppression but really a different issue, which is hard for me to express. He added, "There is a horrible injustice here. And whether you think I'm the devil or not, the justice process has to be examined."