NXIVM Prosecutors Served with Misconduct Affidavit
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 9/28/20
Marc Elliot, Make Justice Blind
Phone Number: (718) 225-5244 | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter: @BlindfoldHer
NEW YORK CITY: Friday, a group of civilians, in a first ever move of its kind, served an affidavit to the Eastern District of New York attorneys who led the prosecution of NXIVM leader Keith Raniere. The purpose of the affidavit is for the prosecutors to certify that they did not commit illegal acts in order to gain a conviction, acts such as tampering with evidence, committing perjury, threatening potential witnesses, and more. The intent behind Make Justice Blind’s petition is to introduce public accountability to the Grand Jury system through a partnership between the media and the people, and send a message to prosecutors everywhere that we, the people, are watching.
The group will be releasing evidence of the wrongdoing outlined in the affidavit, point-by-point, in the coming weeks. The hope is that the media coverage will put pressure on the prosecutors to answer to these crimes and inspire the court, and presiding judge Honorable Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis, to either condemn these acts or admit to condoning them.
One of Make Justice Blind’s petition signatories is Amanda Knox, a wrongful conviction advocate who was exonerated in a 2007 murder case in Italy after spending four years in prison and seven years fighting for her innocence. “These supporters of Mr. Raniere asked me to sign a petition asking the prosecutors in the case to affirm some principles of prosecutorial conduct that any prosecutor should be able to affirm, such as not engaging in perjury, not tampering with evidence, and not threatening witnesses,” Knox shared with the Times Union. “I signed the petition because violation of these practices would constitute prosecutorial misconduct, regardless of Mr. Raniere’s guilt or innocence.”
Additional supporters of the petition are Diana Davison, the head of the Lighthouse Project, a Canadian nonprofit offering free assistance to the wrongfully accused, Valentino Dixon, a man who spent nearly three decades in prison for a murder he did not commit, and Walter Pavlo, a nationally recognized author and speaker on white-collar crime and the US federal criminal justice system.
Diana Davison highlights the group’s intended outcome with her quote in the Times Union, “If Mr. Raniere’s trial was handled fairly then there should be no controversy and the prosecutors should have no trouble signing the affidavit presented. If there was any prosecutorial misconduct then the public should demand to know why the trial was compromised.”
Nicki Clyne, one of the founding members of Make Justice Blind said in a statement, “We are bringing accountability to an area of government that currently operates under a cloak of darkness. Whether you believe in Keith’s innocence or not, it should be unacceptable to corrupt due process to get a conviction. We have witnessed this type of prosecutorial abuse throughout history. We don’t need any more documentaries that depict these abuses. We need public accountability and we hope to use our international spotlight to do just that.”
Suneel Chakravorty, another founding member, said “These prosecutors need to know that we will keep the media pressure on until they individually answer each point of the affidavit. Did they lie? Yes or no. Did they threaten witnesses? Yes or no. We need media coverage because the prosecutors may retaliate to suppress the exposure of their wrongdoing.”
The full affidavit filed against prosecutors Mark Lesko, Richard Donoghue, Tanya Hajjar, former prosecutor Moira Kim Penza and new head district attorney Seth DuCharme can be viewed at www.MakeJusticeBlind.com/Affidavit.
About Make Justice Blind: Make Justice Blind is a group committed to protecting constitutional rights through public accountability and innovative criminal justice reform initiatives.