BROOKLYN — An actor who became entangled in the purported self-help organization NXIVM testified Friday that she was once blindfolded by the group’s leader, Keith Raniere, while someone she did not know performed oral sex on her and Raniere watched.
Raniere, 58, is on trial in Brooklyn federal court facing charges of sex trafficking, sex trafficking conspiracy, racketeering, and conspiracy to commit forced labor, to which he has pleaded not guilty. He is accused of running a secret group within NXIVM called DOS where women were coerced into becoming sex slaves.
Nicole, a woman who was a member of DOS, began her testimony on Raniere on Tuesday. As an alleged victim of sexual violence, the court is only referring to Nicole by her first name.
“I will do anything you ask me to do,” Nicole said former Smallville actor Allison Mack instructed her to tell Raniere. Mack, Nicole said, served as her “master” in the secret subgroup of NXIVM called DOS.
Mack, who allegedly was Raniere’s second in command, previously pleaded guilty to racketeering and conspiracy charges for her involvement and is awaiting sentencing.
Nicole testified she felt conflicted about the teachings within NXIVM, but because Mack had helped her get an Off-Broadway audition and a meeting with her agency, she tried putting her reservations aside, saying she was excited about being mentored by Mack.
After resigning herself to Raniere’s wishes during a night walk in 2016, Nicole testified that Raniere blindfolded her and took her on an approximately 10-minute car ride to a wooded area within the Clifton Park community in upstate New York where many NXIVM members lived.
Still blindfolded, Nicole said she could feel branches break underneath her feet as she was led to a cabin in the woods, where she said Raniere told her to “get undressed” and “get on a table.”
She said Raniere tied her wrists and legs “to different sides” and that the table she was lying on “felt cold.”
Completely nude, Nicole said she felt “super vulnerable and exposed.”
“Then somebody started going down on me,” Nicole said, adding that she assumed it was Raniere, as she believed they were the only two people in the room.
“Keith started talking,” Nicole said, “and I was so confused.”
Through tears, Nicole testified it was “terrifying,” and she began to ask herself, “How many people are in this room right now?”
All while this was happening, Nicole testified that Raniere kept asking her questions about her sexual history, including if she had participated in a threesome and how many people she’d slept with.
After the incident was over, Nicole testified she was “completely in shock.” She said Raniere helped her get dressed because she was still blindfolded and they drove back to Clifton Park.
According to Nicole, Raniere told her not to tell anyone about what happened with the exception of Mack. She said Raniere also asked her if she was okay and stressed to her “that nothing bad had happened” and that she was “very brave.”
“Can I just go?” Nicole remembered asking Raniere as he was still talking to her.
The witness said she told Mack about what happened and that she seemed “a little bit freaked out.” Like Raniere had previously, Nicole said Mack told her that she “was really brave.”
Nicole testified that Raniere eventually told her it was a woman who performed oral sex on her but told Nicole she would never know the person’s identity.
Prosecutors have alleged that the woman who performed oral sex on Nicole was Camila, another woman who testified in court using just her first name, who Raniere allegedly had sex with when she was just 15 years old in 2005.