NXIVM ‘sex slave’ was an illegal immigrant whose status was used to keep her in line

Alleged sex cult leader Keith Raniere appears in an undated video screen grab.
(Obtained By New York Daily News)

A Mexican woman under the influence of an upstate “sex cult” said in court Tuesday that NXIVM leaders used her immigration status against her to keep her in line.

The woman, named only as Daniela in trial testimony against NXIVM chief Keith Raniere, said her undocumented immigrant status was constantly used to keep her in compliance as a sex slave to the man she was forced to call her master.

“I didn’t realize it at the time,” Daniela told jurors in Brooklyn Federal Court. “It would be held over my head the fact that they had brought me into the country, and that it was a liability.”

But that didn’t stop NXIVM leaders from sneaking her over the Canadian border once with a shoddy fake ID, she said.


Daniela, now 33, was the middle sister of three siblings that Raniere was having sex with, according to her testimony, including a 15-year-old girl who was under the age of consent.

She discussed NXIVM’s legal efforts to skirt the law to keep her brother and younger sister in the country.

Daniela said that once it was no longer legal for her to be in the U.S., she was “completely dependent” on Raniere and NXIVM.

When she wasn’t being forced to satisfy Raniere’s sexual desires, she was being used as an amateur hacker as part of a spying operation against the group’s “enemies,” including cult deprogrammer Rick Ross and former NXIVM lawyer Toni Natali.

She even hacked her own older sister’s email for Raniere.

“I felt and I feel really bad,” Daniela said.

She said group leaders told her the needed to intervene in her sister’s life.

“I really thought I was helping her,” she said. “I knew what I did was wrong. It’s plain and simply illegal. I feel bad that I contributed to the abuse and manipulation of my own sister.”

Daniela said she confronted Raniere about the ethics of his spy operation, but was told that confronting the “suppressives” would lead to “a better world.”

“We’re going to do unethical things ethically,” he told her.

While looking through Raniere’s computer on one occasion when he asked her to fix it, she found “pictures of naked woman that I know Keith was with.”

S,he said she didn’t look closely but it prompted her to “ask him to delete my pictures.”

“You really need to be more careful,” she told him about keeping naked photos on his hard drive.

Raniere, 58, has pleaded not guilty to sex trafficking and other charges. He claims his encounters with the alleged victims were consensual.

Federal authorities said the organization is a cult rife with female slaves amassed and literally branded for the sexual pleasure of its perverse leader.