United States District Judge Nicholas Garaufis has denied a press request to release the names of the 12 jurors who found Keith Raniere guilty of all charges.
The court took extreme measures to protect these jurors during trial. They were shuttled to and from court by United States Marshals; lunch was provided daily so they didn't need to leave the building; and they were told they could share their first names only with fellow jurors, if they wanted. All others referred to them by juror number. Court artists were told not to draw their faces.
In denying the request, Judge Garaufis says the trial included "highly sensitive evidence," including child pornography and graphic sexual testimony.
We've heard how some members were forced to hand over damaging collateral, including things like naked photographs, in order to become members of the secretive group DOS. Those members were threatened that if they left the group, the collateral would be released. That's also the group where some members were branded.
The government had also pointed out that a former NXIVM member had their collateral released and published by Mexican media during the trial.
In his decision, the judge said having that material published during the trial shows NXIVM and "Raniere's alleged criminal enterprise may continue to exist notwithstanding his incarceration," explaining jurors could be put at risk if their names are released.
Judge Garaufis also notes the trial "suggested that Raniere's associates would go to great lengths to antagonize his perceived enemies."
The government agreed with the judge's decision not to release the names, while Raniere's representatives took no stance.
Press organizations that filed to release the names include the Daily News, the New York Times Company, and Newsday.