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Nearly a year since being arrested, Allison Mack has entered her plea.
The 36-year-old former Smallville actress pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy and racketeering in the case involving NXIVM, a purported self-help organization founded by Keith Raniere. The organization has since suspended its operations until further notice after allegations it contained a secret sex slave society.
In Brooklyn federal court on Monday donning black slacks and a sweater, the star appeared before a judge alongside her two attorneys as she pleaded to the two counts. Mack said she has looked back at the decisions she made and the people she trusted and is prepared to take responsibility for the acts she was involved with. She said in court she had become lost and wanted to find a community.
“Through it all, I believed Keith Raniere’s intentions were to help people,” she said. “I was wrong.” She admitted to being a member of a secret society and founding DOS, as well as holding property as collateral and concealing Raniere’s role as the alleged head of DOS.
“I must take full responsibility for my conduct and that is why I am pleading guilty today,” she said as she sobbed before apologizing to her family. “I am and will be a better person as a result of this.”
The judge accepted Mack’s plea and set her sentencing for Sept. 11. E! News has reached out to Mack’s attorney for comment.
In April 2018, Mack was arrested and charged with alleged sex trafficking, sex trafficking conspiracy and forced labor conspiracy.
“As alleged in the indictment, Allison Mack recruited women to join what was purported to be a female mentorship group that was, in fact, created and led by Keith Raniere,” United States Attorney Richard Donoghue said in a statement at the time. “The victims were then exploited, both sexually and for their labor, to the defendants’ benefit. This Office and our law enforcement partners are committed to prosecuting predators who victimize others through sex trafficking and forced labor.”
Citing court filings, the US Attorney’s Office said Raniere allegedly created a secret society within NXIVM called DOS that contained levels of female “slaves” headed by “masters.” In order to allegedly advance within the alleged pyramid, slaves allegedly recruited other slaves in order to become masters and the slaves allegedly owed service to masters above them, according to the US Attorney’s Office. Many slaves were allegedly branded, according to the office.
Mack had been accused of recruiting slaves by telling them they were joining a women-only organization that would empower them. She was accused of allegedly requiring her slaves to engage in sexual activity with Raniere, allegedly receiving money or other benefits from him in exchange. If the alleged slaves did not participate, it was thought that damaging information about them and their families and friends would be released.
Both Mack and Raniere pleaded not guilty to initial charges. Mack was released on $5 million bond and was later charged in a superseding indictment, which also charged Raniere and others, with racketeering and racketeering conspiracy involving an array of alleged crimes, including extortion, forced labor and sex trafficking.
—Reporting by Beth Sobol