Former “Smallville” star Allison Mack is accused of involvement in helping to recruit women as alleged sex slaves for a secret sorority within the organization NXIVM.
The actress was arrested on Friday on charges of sex trafficking, sex trafficking conspiracy and forced labor conspiracy, according to a statement released by the Justice Department.
Allison Mack’s arrest is related to her alleged involvement with an organization called Nxivm (pronounced NEX-ium), a group that claimed to be a self-help program but according to U.S attorney Richard P. Donoghue was, in reality, a pyramid scheme in which some recruits were exploited “both sexually and for their labor, to the defendants’ benefit.”
Nxivm’s founder, Keith Raniere, also known within the group as Vanguard, was also arrested on Friday. Officials allege that Nxivm, based in Albany, New York, encourages recruits to pay thousands of dollars for courses to rise throughthe ranks of the organization and recruit others to do the same.
Officials say Mack, 35, is the co-creator of a program within Nxivm called The Source, which was targeted toward actors. Mack and Raniere’s charges stem from what officials say were activities that took place as part of a secret society within Nxivm called “DOS,” in which women recruited others under false pretenses to perform sexual acts. Raniere was the sole male in DOS and the leader.
Until women recruited others, they were called “slaves.” Those who successfully recruited were called “masters.” The indictment claims many so-called slaves were branded on their pelvic areas using a cauterizing pen with a symbol which, unbeknownst to them, incorporated Raniere’s initials. Mack is being accused by two unnamed women, identified in official documents as Jane Does 1 and 2, of directly or implicitly requiring them to engage in sexual activity with Raniere.
Allison Mack allegedly received financial and other benefits from Raniere in exchange for the women’s cooperation with their demands. The women claim they were blackmailed into complying, as DOS has compromising information about them. If convicted of the crimes charged, Raniere and Mack each face mandatory minimum sentences of 15 years’ imprisonment, and up to life imprisonment. Allison has been released from prison on $5m (£3.5m) bail after her parents put their California home up as collateral to cover the cost of her bond on Tuesday afternoon.