The case against Smallville actress Allison Mack and alleged NXIVM and sex-cult leader/founder Keith Raniere continues to unravel, as the two finally had their day in a Brooklyn Federal Court on Friday. Mack, who was arrested in April for her alleged involvement with the sex cult and Raniere, who was arrested in March, have been formally charged with sex trafficking, sex-trafficking conspiracy, and forced-labor conspiracy. Friday’s court appearance is just one of many for both parties, who have been scheduled to appear in court again on June 12, according to Fox News. A trail date for October 1 was set.
Mack appeared to be “shaken up” as she stood in court. She and Raniere did not communicate or look at each another. The actress was released from jail to her parents on $5 million bail last month and has since then been placed under house arrest and must wear an electronic monitoring bracelet. Raniere is currently being detained without bail at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn.
NXIVM, which was founded in 1998 by Raniere, was mirrored as a “self-help” group for women and served as a cover up for a sex cult called DOS, which is an acronym based off the Latin phrase, “Lord/Master of obedient female companions.” Mack was allegedly Raniere’s second-in-command, and sought out recruitment for the group. Since the arrests, more and more women have come forward, detailing the horrific abuses they were subjected to. Upon membership, women were made to “provide damaging material about their friends and family, naked photos, and even sign over their assets.” The women were also forced to engage in sexual acts with Raniere and have his initials branded into their pelvic area.
It was revealed in court that there could possibly be more charges brought against Mack and Raniere, as well as additional defendants to the case. The government stated that they will be filing a protective order for all materials discovered as they contain “a lot of sensitive victim information.”
Raniere’s ex-girlfriend, Toni Natalie, made an appearance for Raniere’s arraignment on Friday. Raniere and Natalie dated from 1991-1999 and Natalie labeled him as a “sociopath,” claiming that he once told her, “The next time I see you, you’ll be dead or in jail,” when she made the decision to leave the sex cult before it became what it was.
Both Mack and Raniere have entered pleas of not guilty for the charges they are facing. There are also rumored reports that Mack will agree to a plea deal from federal prosecutors in exchange for any information that can be used against Raniere, however, one of Raniere’s lawyers, Marc Agnifilo, isn’t troubled by the rumor.
“I’m not concerned about anything that is not the truth…The truth is on our side. I think that when the allegations are actually meant to be proven in court they will not be proven in court,” he said.
If convicted, both Mack and Raniere face a prison sentence ranging from 15 years to life.