NEW YORK — A witness at the sex-trafficking trial of Keith Raniere says the self-help guru was a coward during his capture in Mexico and a bully with a disobedient follower.
The testimony came Tuesday from Lauren Salzman, a former member of a secret upstate New York society of “sex slaves” whom prosecutors say were branded with Raniere’s initials.
Salzman was with Raniere last year in Mexico when authorities arrested him on a U.S. warrant. She testified that rather than try to protect her, he hid in a closet as they broke down the door.
She also detailed how he disciplined a defiant member of his group called NXIVM (NEHK’-see-uhm) by forcing her to stay in a bedroom for two years.
Raniere has pleaded not guilty. His attorneys say interactions with the women were consensual.