Allison Mack sentencing – live: Smallville star jailed for three years for NXIVM role as she slams Raniere – The Independent
Allison Mack, a TV actress well known for her role in a Superman spin-off series “Smallville”, was sentenced to three years in prison for recruiting women for a spiritual cult, NXIVM.
Mack appeared on Wednesday in Brooklyn’s federal court, where she faced charges of sex trafficking, sex trafficking conspiracy, and forced labour conspiracy, for which she pleaded guilty to in April 2019, following her arrest in 2018.
She was expected to seek credit for cooperating with the case against NXIVM’s leader Keith Raniere.
He was sentenced to 120 years in jail last year for sex-trafficking and for demeaning and abusing women who became “slaves” for him.
Ms Mack wrote in an apology to victims of NXIVM that it “was the biggest mistake and greatest regret of my life”.
“I am sorry to those of you that I brought into NXIVM,” wrote the former actress. “I am sorry I ever exposed you to the nefarious and emotionally abusive schemes of a twisted man.”
US District Judge Nicholas Garaufis, who handed Allison Mack with a three year sentence for role in NXIVM, told the actress he believed her apology was sincere, but said she deserved a serious sentence for becoming “a willing and proactive ally” of the group’s leader, Keith Raniere.
Under advisory sentencing guidelines, the 38-year-old could have faced between 14 and 17.5 years in jail for recruiting women to NXIVM, but her lawyers had asked for no jail sentence, and federal prosecutors had acknowledged that a reduced sentenced was possible because of her collaboration with investigations.
Allison Mack, who has been sentenced to three years in prison for her role in the NXIVM cult, tearfully apologised to her victims and her family in court, calling her actions “abusive, abhorrent and illegal”.
She admitted in her guilty plea before the hearing that she coerced two unnamed women into doing work for the group by threatening to release damaging information about them.
Leaders of the cult, including Ms Mack, were said to have kept women on starvation diets, branded them with initials, and in some cases ordered them to have sex with the now-jailed leader, Raniere.
Her lawyers had asked for the “Smallville” actress to face no jail time, but she was instead handed a sentence of three years in prison.
NXIVM (pronounced ‘Nex-E-Um’) had been operating for nearly two decades as a self-help group for Hollywood actors and the wealthy before it was uncovered as a cult that physically and emotionally abused women.
Victims were referred to as “slaves” by NXIVM leader Keith Raniere, who operated the group until his arrest in 2018, when it was exposed.
While he was known as “The Vanguard” within NXIVM, Allison Mack was allegedly a “master” who encouraged women to join the group, which she described as an initiative of female self empowerment.
In interviews with survivors, it was revealed that women were asked to hand over compromising material so Raniere so he could blackmail them into belonging to the group, or sex cult.
As well sexual acts, victims of NXIVM were humiliated, insulated and branded with Raniere’s initials, it is alleged.
He was sentenced to 120 years in prison last year. Ms Mack, meanwhile, has cooperated with federal investigators and argues that she is reformed. She has also pleaded guilty ahead of sentencing.
The 38-year-old was pictured walking into the Brooklyn federal court where she will be sentenced for her role in the NXIVM sex cult on Wednesday.
US District Judge Nicholas Garaufis is set to deliver the sentence, which lawyers for Ms Mack have said should avoid jail time. Federal prosecutors, meanwhile, acknowledge that her sentence should be reduced in recognition of her cooperation in the case.
She faces charges of sex trafficking and manipulating women into joining the NXIVM, where they were forced to be “slaves” for its jailed leader, Keith Raniere.