Amanda Knox is demanding answers about NXIVM cult leader Keith Raniere’s 2019 conviction. Knox signed a petition questioning whether there was “prosecutorial misconduct” in the case, which led to Raniere being found guilty of sex trafficking among other crimes. Knox knows a thing or two about sensationalized trials as her 2009 murder conviction was ultimately overturned by an Italian high court.
Ahead of Raniere’s sentencing next month, Knox is among those supporting an initiative that aims to hold the prosecutors and judges accountable. According to the Albany Times Union, the petition demands the government answer whether they tampered with evidence, suborned perjury, threatened witnesses and more. She confirmed her signature when reached by the newspaper for comment.
“I was contacted by some former members of NXIVM who claim that Mr. Raniere has been wrongfully convicted, and that the story being told in the media is wrong,” Knox told the Times Union. “I personally do not know enough about the case to make any judgments about whether his conviction is wrongful or not.
“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 continued. “I signed the petition because violation of these practices would constitute prosecutorial misconduct, regardless of Mr. Raniere's guilt or innocence.”
Raniere is the founder and leader of NXIVM, an organization promoted as a self-help group. However, prosecutors claim Raniere was really running a pyramid scheme and women-branding sex cult. Smallville star Allison Mack is among the notable names involved as she’s accused of being a “master” who directed “slaves” to engage in sexual acts with Raniere. He was found guilty on racketeering, sex trafficking, forced labor conspiracy and other felony charges.
Knox was accused of murdering her British roommate Meredith Kercher in 2007 while studying abroad in Perugia, Italy. She was convicted in 2009, but exonerated two years later. Knox has maintained her innocence throughout the ordeal. In recent years, she has become an advocate for the wrongfully convicted. The author recently weighed in on another high-profile case: whether Tiger King star Carole Baskin killed her husband, Don Lewis.
“My simple reaction to that case was actually in response to Carole Baskin, and the number of people who saw a documentary and made a claim about how Carole Baskin killed her husband,” Knox told Law & Crime Daily earlier this month. “And I found that it was irresponsible for anyone to be going around claiming that someone killed their husband because they happened to see a documentary series. That’s not enough to actually make any kinds of claims of guilt or innocence.”