NXIVM cult leaders Keith Raniere and Allison Mack were all smiles as they appeared back in court as their lawyers told a judge they wanted their trial delayed until March 2019.
But those smiles quickly disappeared as Judge Nicholas Garaufis launched a furious tirade at their attorneys calling them ‘childish’ because they had refused to speak to him during a previous hearing in September – remaining silent throughout a discussion of a trial date, according to Radar.
The notorious duo appeared in New York’s Brooklyn Federal Court on Thursday. Raniere strolled into court wearing a brown prison uniform and a smirk on his face and Mack was seen equally upbeat laughing with her lawyers in the court room.
Raniere and Mack were joined by defendants Clare Bronfman, Lauren Salzman and Kathy Russell. Sixth defendant Nancy Salzman was absent due to a recent surgery.
The trial was previously supposed to begin in January but it was pushed back with the U.S. attorneys saying they’ve been working ‘effectively’ with the defendants’ attorneys and they agreed upon the postponed date.
The delay outraged Judge Garaufis who reprimanded the lawyers for their ‘stony silence’ on the timeline of the trial after the defendant’s attorneys previously said they wanted a trial sooner rather than later.
He said the lawyers’ silence in last month’s hearing was ‘totally unacceptable’ and he went so far as compare the lawyers to ‘third graders’.
‘Someone please explain to me! The point is we went from one extreme to another. You all are trained on how to talk to judges. You just left me in silence. Don’t you ever dare do that again, ever!’ Garaufis shouted.
‘If you want to have a relationship of trust and professionalism you have to be prepared to meet me halfway. I’ve done this 18 and a half years. No one has ever done this to me before. I’m not playing games with people. I left this courtroom having been basically ignored. When I ask you a question and you sit there and you don’t even answer my question it is unacceptable,’ he added.
Raniere’s lawyer Marc Agnifilo tried to apologize, cutting into the Judge’s harangue saying ‘We would never ignore your honor’ and ‘took the last court hearing very seriously’.
Mack avoided Raniere’s gaze in court and appeared noticeably thin in court, despite her upbeat composure.
A source told Art Voice that Raniere’s happy attitude quickly faded once the Judge became angry.
‘Raniere knew right away that what happened today was very negative. He went from smirking to grimacing in an instant. I would not be surprised to see several “Notices of Appearance” filed in the next few weeks as Raniere adds new lawyers to his defense team and maybe gets rid of some of his current lawyers,’ the source said.
Raniere is in jail without bail and Mack is living with her parents in California and going to school awaiting trial.
They face charges of sex trafficking and conspiracy to commit sex trafficking and forced labor.
The next hearing has been scheduled for December 6.