NXIVM signage

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(AP) — New York state officials are investigating a doctor they say branded women with the initials of the spiritual leader of a cultlike group. 

The court documents containing the revelation stem from a legal fight pitting the state Department of Health against women it says are refusing to answer questions about Dr. Danielle Roberts. 

The Times Union of Albany first reported on the investigation Friday. 

Officials say Roberts branded several women with the initials of Keith Raniere, the onetime leader of the upstate New York-based self-help group called NXIVM (NEHK'-see-uhm). 

 

Email messages seeking comment were left Friday with lawyers representing Roberts and the unnamed women. 

Raniere is nearing trial on federal charges accusing his inner circle of turning followers into sex slaves. TV actress Allison Mack pleaded guilty Monday to involvement in the scheme.

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