Allison Mack, the Smallville star who has made headlines for her role in an alleged sex cult, has now pleaded guilty ahead of trial. Mack previously pleaded not guilty to charges of sex trafficking, sex trafficking conspiracy, racketeering, racketeering conspiracy, forced labor conspiracy and wire fraud conspiracy.
It appears Mack worked out a deal with prosecutors, weeks after the judge denied her attorney’s request to delay the trial so they could have more time to negotiate a plea deal. Exact details are unknown at this time; however, a spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York confirmed to Yahoo Entertainment that Mack pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy and racketeering.
“This past year has been one of introspection and self-examination,” Mack said in court, per the New York Daily News. “It’s been a year of looking at what I’ve done the past four years.”
“Through it all, I believed Keith Raniere’s intentions were to help people,” she added. “I was wrong.”
Mack said she had become lost and wanted to find a community, according to E! News. She sobbed before the judge and apologized to her family, exclaiming, “I must take full responsibility for my conduct, and that is why I am pleading guilty today. … I am and will be a better person as a result of this.”
Mack faces a maximum of 40 years in prison, 20 years on each count, when she is sentenced on Sept. 11.
The 36-year-old actress arrived in federal court in Brooklyn on Monday as she was supposed to appear before Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis for Monday’s jury selection. Hours before that was slated to begin, Mack suddenly appeared on the judge’s Eastern District of New York calendar for “criminal cause for pleading” and was removed as a defendant from the scheduled “criminal cause status conference” and “criminal cause for jury selection.”
Mack has been accused of being a slave master in a women-branding secret sorority within the self-help group, Nxivm. The group’s leader and co-founder, Keith Raniere, Seagram heiress Clare Bronfman and Nxivm accountant Kathy Russell are all awaiting trial and will still appear before Judge Garaufis Monday afternoon. Raniere is also accused of producing and possessing child porn.
Mack’s plea change comes after Nxivm co-founder Nancy Salzman and her daughter Lauren, also an alleged slave master, pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy charges. According to court transcripts, Lauren admitted to holding a woman against her will for two years under threats to deport her back to Mexico if “she did not complete labor requested by [her] and others.”
Prosecutors believe Mack was one of the highest-ranking members of Nxivm’s secret sorority called DOS, short for Dominus Obsequious Sororium, or Master Over Slave Women. She allegedly helped recruit women to have sex with Raniere. A woman identified as “Jane Doe 1” in court documents detailed her disturbing experience in DOS after being recruited by Mack. In one instance, she was allegedly tied to a table while someone performed sexual acts on her. Jane Doe claimed Mack directed her “do anything [Keith Raniere] asked her to do.”
In an interview with the New York Times prior to her arrest last year, Mack said DOS was about women empowerment. She mused it’s “about women coming together and pledging to one another a full-time commitment to become our most powerful and embodied selves by pushing on our greatest fears, by exposing our greatest vulnerabilities, by knowing that we would stand with each other no matter what, by holding our word, by overcoming pain.”
Mack admitted that it was her idea to brand members with a cauterized pen. “I was like: ‘Y’all, a tattoo? People get drunk and tattooed on their ankle “BFF,” or a tramp stamp. I have two tattoos and they mean nothing,’” she said, explaining she wanted to do something more meaningful and that took guts. DOS members were held down and branded with a symbol that featured Raniere’s and Mack’s initials.
Opening statements in the Nxivm trial are set to begin later this month.
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