Actress Allison Mack pleaded guilty on Monday to racketeering charges for coercing women into becoming sex slaves for Keith Raniere, the spiritual leader of the alleged New York cult known as NXIVM.
The former Smallville star reportedly wept while she confessed to obtaining compromising information and photographs of at least two women, a practice known within the group as obtaining “collateral.” At Rainere’s direction, she said she threatened to expose the women’s collateral if they didn’t perform “so-called acts of love” for the guru.
“I believed Keith Raniere’s intentions were to help people and I was wrong,” said Mack. In the months since her arrest in March, she added, she had reflected on her behavior and determined that “I can and will be a better person.” Mack, who allegedly served as Raniere’s second-in-command within NXIVM’s secret sex-slave sorority, DOS, has previously been accused of recruiting 25 women to serve as slaves for Raniere. Former members of DOS have also spoken out about being branded with Raniere’s initials as part of their initiation into the group.
Mack’s guilty plea will allow her to avoid a trial with Raniere, NXIVM insider and Raniere confidant Kathy Russell, and heiress Clare Bronfman, who has been accused of funding the cult with her family fortune. In her high-ranking role within the group, a prosecutorial indictment claimed, Bronfman aided Raniere in committing identity theft, extortion, forced labor, sex trafficking, money laundering, and “recruiting and grooming sexual partners for Raniere.” All three have pleaded not guilty, and defense attorneys have argued that all of Raniere’s relationships with his alleged victims were consensual.
New allegations in the case have also emerged that one of the women exploited by Raniere was an underage teenager. Ahead of the scheduled beginning of the trial on April 29, potential jurors are reportedly being asked to fill out questionnaires that include questions about whether they “believe that people under the age of 17 should be able to consent to sex with adults.”
Read the full story at the Guardian.