ALBANY — Albany legal professional Steve Coffey says a federal jury in Brooklyn did no longer deliberate long sufficient earlier than it observed NXIVM chief Keith Raniere responsible for all prices in much less than five hours.
It took Coffey a long way, much less time to locate Raniere’s lead trial attorney, Marc Agnifilo, responsible beyond an affordable doubt of making “disgusting” and “terrible” feedback at a post-verdict press convention.
“I concept it turned into embarrassing, that his remarks had been embarrassing and I changed into ashamed that a legal professional for any customer would stand out after a verdict and positioned his very own self-pursuits – what he perceives to be his personal self-pastimes — before the consumer,” Coffey advised Law Beat.
In the course of its most effective day of deliberations, the jury convicted Raniere of all fees in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn on June 19.
Agnifilo later stood outdoor the courthouse alongside fellow Raniere co-recommend Paul DerOhannesian and advised newshounds he was hoping the verdict added peace and closure — and that he believed Raniere was “sorry for the damage that he is triggered.”
It’s really worth mentioning that Coffey, a veteran Albany criminal protection and civil legal professional, has a history representing NXIVM, the purported self-help group based totally in Colonie. However, he stated it become not a thing in his commentary.
Agnifilo, in advance, had approached Barbara Bouchey, an NXIVM defector and former girlfriend of Raniere, in a court hallway.
“Congratulations. I hope it helps. I, in reality, do,” Agnifilo told Bouchey, who became a target of NXIVM after she left the organization in 2009. She has been an outspoken critic of Raniere.
Coffey is in particular aghast about Agnifilo’s comments to Bouchey.
“You’re gonna speak to Barbara Bouchey? You’re going over to her and say, ‘I hope that you can heal?’ Are you f—ing kidding me? Really?” an irked Coffey instructed Law Beat.
He became similarly animated on the jurors.
“The jury took five f—ing hours! So you recognize what, on a six-week trial, I’ll inform you something – I don’t think that jury was into this example,” Coffey stated.
“And I’m very disenchanted in this jury,” Coffey added. “I’m not going to face right here and tell you that I concept the jury did an excellent task. But, you know what, I don’t assume they did a top-notch job. It’s not a query of admiring. I don’t consider it.”
Raniere, fifty-eight, formerly of Halfmoon, the purported self-assist guru regarded within NXIVM as “Vanguard,” went to trial on May 7 after five of his top NXIVM disciples (NXIVM president Nancy Salzman, her daughter Lauren Salzman, Seagram’s liquor heiress Clare Bronfman, actress Allison Mack, and bookkeeper Kathy Russell) pleaded responsibly.
Raniere confronted a seven-matter indictment charging him with sex trafficking, forced labor, conspiracy, and racketeering fees. The latter contained eleven underlying acts that protected allegations of possession of infant pornography, sexual exploitation of a toddler, extortion, identification theft, report servitude, labor trafficking, and conspiracy to modify statistics.
Agnifilo, DerOhannesian, and fellow defense attorneys Teny Geragos and Danielle Smith had their work reduce out for them. The prosecution’s case blanketed, amongst different evidence, recordings of Raniere pronouncing a few youngsters are “flawlessly satisfied” having intercourse with adults — and that the age of consent in a few international locations is 12.
The authorities produced incriminating emails, recordings, and testimony from former NXIVM members Lauren Salzman and three different girls in Raniere’s mystery “master/slave” membership. In addition, at Raniere’s guidance, a medical doctor, Danielle Roberts, used a cauterizing pen to logo ladies inside the organization of their groin areas with Raniere’s initials.
“I don’t care who it is. The question isn’t the defendant. The question is if you’re an attorney and you have a function and, pay attention, in case you don’t need to remark, best – I’ve were given no hassle with that … and every so often human beings says too much, and they lash out.”
It’s additionally really worth citing that if Coffey attended the trial of Raniere, Law Beat did not see him.
But Coffey turned even though furious at the jury for, in his view, no longer taking the right quantity of time earlier than rendering its verdict.
And virtually, he turned into angry at Agnifilo. It had nothing to do with Agnifilo’s paintings within the court docket. That Agnifilo instructed jurors in his ultimate argument they may find Raniere “repulsive” and “offensive” was not the issue, Coffey said.
“You should do what you got to do in that courtroom. My troubles with this man are that when he stood outdoor that court docket afterward, he becomes speaking so that no one could blame him so that he could appearance OK, so nobody idea that just because they lost … that he ought to be blamed,” Coffey said.
“You realize what, then don’t constitute absolutely everyone. So if you don’t like him, if you’ve got a hassle with a purchaser like that, don’t constitute him. But in case you do, don’t say anything,” Coffey stated.
“Look — I’ve represented human beings in a lot of hard cases,” he said. “Sometimes I’d stroll out and say: ‘Gentlemen, for several motives, I’m now not going to mention whatever.’ But there’s one issue I’ve never achieved; there’s no attorney I admire who could ever stand available and make remarks that actually are so self-serving … that humans say. ‘Oh, he’s got a problem representing (the patron). ‘Don’t blame me! I just did my task.’ “
Coffey lauded DerOhannesian — and referred to that even as they’re both Albany lawyers, that wasn’t the cause for his praise.
“You saw an actual attorney, DerOhannesian, communicate like a real defense lawyer after a verdict,” Coffey stated. “You need to see the distinction? Put the two of them returned to returned, and there’s no assessment.”
“He did what a superb protection lawyer should do – he defended his purchaser, didn’t apologize for his representation, and didn’t try to make himself appearance higher….”