Allison Mack, the former Smallville actress who dutifully recruited women into a secret sect within the shadowy self-improvement group NXIVM for the founder’s sexual gratification, has been sentenced to three years in prison.
Mack, 38, pleaded guilty in 2019 to racketeering and conspiracy charges for her role in the upstate New York group that manipulated thousands of members under the guise of personal growth through sacrifice. Prosecutors asked for a reduced sentence for Mack, who was once the second-in-command to NXIVM founder Keith Raniere, after she provided crucial information, including damning audio, in the case against the “sex cult” leader.
But ahead of sentencing, experts and former members expressed fear she would get off too easy.
“To ensure justice is served, she deserves serious prison time,” former federal prosecutor Neama Rahman told The Daily Beast, warning, “If the judge decides not to give her a significant prison sentence, it could also benefit her co-conspirators who still need to be punished.”
Prosecutors had sought 14 years in prison for Mack. Instead, U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis slapped her with three years and a $20,000 fine for her crimes, stating that her offenses were “difficult and painful.”
In her own address to the court, Mack said she was “filled with remorse and regret” for her behavior in NXIVM and renounces Raniere.
“I was wrong. The shame... has been crippling and the guilt is permanent,” Mack said, her voice cracking through tears while her family behind her nodded their heads. “I wish more than anything I would have seen my mistakes sooner.”
The former actress’ sentencing makes her the third member of NXIVM’s inner circle to receive punishment for their roles in the vast, disturbing criminal enterprise. Prosecutors said that Raniere, who was sentenced to 121 years in prison last October, had sex with multiple underage girls, forced women he impregnated to have abortions, and made members illegally monitor his enemies.
Among the most notorious offenses associated with NXIVM, however, were those tied to the group’s purported women’s empowerment spin-off, DOS.
Women in the secret group within NXIVM were forced to brand themselves with Raniere’s initials near their crotch with a cautery pen—without anesthesia—and have sex with him. Mack herself admitted in April 2019 that she recruited dozens of women into DOS with the intention of promoting Raniere’s teachings at any cost, including blackmail.
During Raniere’s trial, prosecutors played audio obtained by Mack of the NXIVM founder’s role in DOS—where the pair could be heard coordinating logistics of the “sorority.”
On Wednesday, two women stressed to the court how involved Mack was in the daily operations of DOS, including how she would force her “slaves” to adhere to an extremely low-calorie diet or make themselves sexually available to Raniere. Mack was also accused of organizing the collateral, or the damning information that would ensure “slaves” would stay compliant.
Jessica Joan, a former NXIVM member, slammed Mack during her victim-impact statement to the court, calling the former actress a “predator and evil human being” who put her in a “real-life nightmare.”
“Allison Mack is an evil sociopath... and a danger to innocent human beings,” Joan said. “She is the Ghislaine Maxwell to Raniere’s Jeffrey Epstein.”
Joan, who was previously described as Jane Doe 8, called herself “one of the lucky” DOS members because she was not branded, but said that Mack groomed her “to be a sex slave to Keith Raniere.”
“She is a demon of a woman who tried to use my pain and suffering against me,” Joan said. “Allison will never know the ramifications of her actions. She can blame Keith all she wants... but she is cut from the same cloth.”
Film producer India Oxenberg, who has spoken out about the years of deprogramming she’s had to do just to “feel whole” again after being enslaved by the group, said she had accepted Mack’s apology, however.
“I don’t have any reason not to [accept her apology],” Oxenberg was quoted telling People magazine. “It doesn’t take away everything that has happened to myself and her other victims, but it’s definitely something that gives me more peace moving forward,” she said, adding that a separate apology letter from Mack made clear that she “has seen the truth of who Keith Raniere really is.”