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New York self-help guru pleads not guilty to child porn charges

The spiritual leader of an upstate New York self-help group pleaded not guilty on Monday to newly filed child pornography charges at a hearing where it became clear that his co-defendants are trying to avoid going to trial with him next month.

Keith Raniere was charged last week with exploiting a child and possessing child pornography. He had previously pleaded not guilty to charges accusing him of operating a secret society within his NXIVM group that forced women "slaves" to have unwanted sex with him and branded them with his initials.



Assistant U.S. Attorney Moira Penza told a judge on Monday that the government is in "active plea negotiations" with Allison Mack, best known for playing a teenage friend of Superman on the "Smallville" TV series, and two other defendants in the sex-trafficking case. Additionally, defense attorney Mark Geragos said that his client, Seagram liquor fortune heiress Clare Bronfman, will be asking for a separate trial on charges she bank-rolled the Albany-based group that has been compared to a cult. Bronfman and Mack have previously denied the charges.

"We don't need to be the collateral damage," Geragos said.

CNYCentral.com:
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