Danielle Roberts, 40, has had her medical license revoked by the New York State Department of Health after branding at least 17 women during her time in Nxivm
The doctor who worked for NXIVM cult leader Keith Raniere and branded at least 17 women without anesthesia has been stripped of her medical license.
Danielle Roberts, 40, formerly of Halfmoon, New York near Albany, lost her medical license after the New York State Department of Health revoked it in a 3-0 decision on Friday.
In agreement with the Board of Professional Medical Conduct, the Health Department found that Roberts engaged in 12 forms of misconduct and feared future patients would be branded, Albany’s Times Union reported.
Roberts sn’t the first to be reprimanded for her involvement in NXIVM, a so-call ‘self-help’ that engaged in sex trafficking, forced labor and racketeering.
Leader Keith Raniere, 61, was sentenced to 120 years in prison and high up member and former actress Allison Mack, 39, was sentenced to three years prison for sex trafficking, racketeering, and forced labor. Nancy Salzman received three and a half years.
The doctor, who does not face prison time, was allegedly defiant and evasive as she testified before the health committee, according to documents.
The Health Department reported she refused to disclose her involvement in the group, the whereabouts of the branding videos, and who was in the room while she did the branding.
The department also expressed that they were concerned by her ‘distorted reality.’
‘[Roberts] denies being brainwashed, yet she expressed no real remorse, which represented to the hearing committee her distorted reality and the very real concern that others remain vulnerable to her future brandings,’ the decision stated.
Keith Raniere, 61, was the leader of Nxivm, a so-call self-help group, in Albany, New York
Roberts branded Nxivm leader Keith Raniere’s initials into the women with a cauterizing machine pen in a procedure that took 20 to 45 minutes to complete. The women were often naked and held down by other nude members while the procedure took place in Robert’s home
The department found she had committed misconduct that included ‘willfully abusing a patient, practicing medicine with gross negligence, moral unfitness, services not authorized by the patient and failing to use appropriate infection control practices,’ the decision stated.
The former doctor allegedly branded the women inside her home with a cauterizing machine pen, burning the leader Keith Raniere’s initials into their pelvic areas without anesthesia.
An unidentified victim told the Health Department it felt like ‘an acute fire in the most sensitive part of my body,’ while another described it as ‘incredibly painful.’
Roberts told NBC Dateline that the women did not come to her for the brandings because she was a doctor.
Roberts used a cauterizing pen (pictured) to brand the initials into the women’s pelvic area, which one woman described it felt like ‘an acute fire’
‘These women didn’t come to me because they thought I was a doctor,’ she said in February.
“They had no idea who the branding technician was going to be, you know? There was no patient-physician relationship.’
The Nxivm doctor also claimed the women ‘wanted it’ and that they were ‘laughing’ while in the room with her while it happened.
Sarah Edmondson, who was branded by Roberts, recalled to The New York Times she was told she would be given a tattoo as a part of initiation.
She and the other women were instructed to bring nude images of themselves as collateral and among entering Roberts home, they were told to undress as they gathered around a massage table.
While naked, three other women would hold down the one on the table while she was branded and was told to say ‘Master, please brand me, it would be an honor,’ five women told The New York Times.
The New York Department of Health concluded that the brandings – which measure around two-by-two inches – begun after Roberts joined Dominus Obsequious Sororium (DOS), which was a ‘secret women’s group.’
Roberts (far right) stood outside a New York City courthouse where Raniere’s trial was held in 2016, still pleading allegiance to the group. The New York Health Department expressed that Roberts showed ‘no remorse’ during her hearing. The women she branded were a part of the DOS section of the group, which was a ‘secret women’s group’ and the brandings were supposed ‘building character, strength, and discipline’ through pain
The group was designed to ’empower women to build character, strength, and discipline by overcoming fears and pain to experience growth,’ the department wrote in its decision.
‘I wept the whole time,” Ms. Edmondson told The New York Times as she recalled her experience. “I disassociated out of my body.’
The DOS was created by ‘1st line’ or original members and that Roberts was a ‘2nd line’ member.
It required ‘lifetime commitment’ between ‘master and slave,’ as well as, an ‘exchange of collateral, a necklace or collar worn 24 hours everyday to symbolize obedience and commitment, and a brand’ that would be located in the ‘pelvic region.’
Collateral could come in forms of nude photographs, car and house titles, or written confession of sexual deviance or illicit drug usage, among others.
The department also cited that the ‘goal of the branding was to overcome and create solidarity,’ and were done without anesthesia to ‘intentionally cause them pain.’ The women were also filmed during the procedure, which roughly took 20 to 45 minutes.
The six women, listed only by their initials, were reported caused psychological pain and anxiety, as well as, at least second-degree burns, permanent scarring, and physical pain, the document stated.
Many of the women became sick, which Roberts was made aware of during a birthday retreat for Raniere in 2016, but she didn’t report the ‘disease outbreak’ to the Department of Health, as her medical license required.
The decision was based on hearings that took place between June 2020 and March 2021.
Roberts’ lawyer Anthony Z. Scher told the Times Union that the decision was legally incorrect and that she was not acting as a doctor, but as a ‘branding technician.’
Roberts is considering an appeal.
The decision also noted that Roberts choose the group over her duties as a physician.
‘In other words, when faced with any conflict between NXIVM and her responsibilities as a physician, she chose NXIVM,’ it said.
He was sentenced to 120 years in prison in a Brooklyn courthouse after he expressing ‘no remorse’ for his crimes
Roberts has five days to return her medical license to the New York Department of Health in Albany.
Roberts was also one of the women who danced outside of Raniere’s trial in New York City and pledged allegiance to the group.
The ‘cult’ leader Raniere was sentenced to 120 years in prison in a Brooklyn courtroom in October 2020.
Raniere’s lawyers asked that he be sentenced to 15 years, but after telling the judge he had ‘no remorse’ for the crimes because he ‘didn’t commit them’, Judge Nicholas Garaufis handed down the sentence that means he will spend the rest of his life in prison.
Branding Raniere ‘ruthless and unyielding’ in crimes that were ‘particularly egregious’ because he targeted girls and young women, Judge Garaufis said: ‘To him, the brave victims… are liars. Mr. Raniere remains unmoved. … [He] has therefore failed to demonstrate remorse.’
He handed down the unusually high sentence in federal court in Brooklyn after hearing anguished statements by victims of a sex-trafficking conspiracy that resulted in Raniere’s conviction the year prior, along with unrepentant remarks from the defendant himself.
Raniere also asked former President Donald Trump for pardon at the end of his presidency, but was denied.
Source: Daily Mail UK