Lawyer who sat beside NXIVM leader during trial is leaving the case

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In this courtroom artist’s sketch, defendant Keith Raniere, center, sits with attorneys Paul DerOhannesian, left, and Marc Agnifilo during closing arguments at Brooklyn federal court, Tuesday, June 18, 2019 in New York. A federal prosecutor said Raniere used his NXIVM organization to “tap into a never-ending flow of women and money.” Attorneys for the defendant say he had no criminal intent and that his sexual encounters with followers were consensual. (Elizabeth Williams via AP)

BROOKLYN, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Marc Agnifilo, defense attorney who represented NXIVM leader Keith Raniere, has submitted court documents to withdraw from the convicted sex trafficker’s case.

Agnifilo says he has conferred with Raniere, informed him of his intent to withdraw, and he agrees. He says he has also spoken to Joseph McBride and Steven Metcalf II, new additions to Raniere’s team, who both consent to the withdrawal.

Teny Rose Geragos, who was on the team with Agnifilo, submitted a similar letter to the court, withdrawing from Raniere’s case.

McBride, Metcalf II, and Martin Tankeleff, the new members of Raniere’s team, plan to continue appealing his conviction. Metcalf’s firm is affiliated with Christopher Darden, a prosecutor in the O.J Simpson trial. 

In a statement to NEWS10 ABC, McBride wrote,

Mr. Agnifilo’s team advocated for Mr. Raniere under the impossible circumstances and ultimately lost. The appellate team has now taken over since the remaining issues are post conviction related.

Joseph McBride

Raniere, whose NXIVM followers included millionaires and Hollywood actors, is currently serving a 120-year sentence in an Arizona prison on charges including racketeering, alien smuggling, sex trafficking, extortion and obstruction of justice.

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