Allison Mack watched helplessly as her mentor, Keith Raniere, is denied bail. The Smallville actress is his second-in-command in notorious sex cult NXIVM.
Too Much Of A Risk
Tuesday marks just the second time the duo has been in the same room since Raniere's arrest back in March. At the time, Mack was caught on video, alongside other devotees, chasing the car that was taking their leader away.
The two appeared in court for a status conference in relation to allegations that they ran a sex cult using the cover of self-help group NXIVM, which Raniere founded and ran as its figurehead.
Both he and Mack have been charged with sex trafficking, sex trafficking conspiracy, and conspiracy to commit forced labor. Both have pleaded not guilty on all charges. The Smallville actress is currently on house arrest, after being released into the custody of her parents.
She watched as a judge denied Raniere's bail, arguing that he's a flight risk due to the wealthier, high-ranking members of NXIVM whom, he believes, could assist Raniere in fleeing the country. Clare Bronfman, daughter of billionaire former Seagram chairman Edgar Bronfam, is just one of the cult's top financial backers.
The judge also took issue with the suggestion of Raniere being put up in accommodation on his benefactors' dollar.
"[It] makes a mockery of the system of justice when other people can't pull together $100 to get out of Rikers," he noted.
A Front For Dubious Activities
For the time being, NXIVM has suspended all operations. A message posted to the group's official website confirming as such. The statement advises that NXIVM will continue its important work once the court case has come to an end.
The crux of the ongoing case revolves around DOS, a secret sect of NXIVM, that is allegedly engaged in enslaving and branding of women. Raniere's sex slaves, allegedly recruited by Mack, had to perform sex acts on their "leader" and should only eat a certain amount of calories per day to stay as skinny as he liked, among other things.
Texts were recently released, which show a disturbing 2015 exchange between Raniere and a woman whose identity remains unknown.
"I think it would be good for you to own a f***toy slave for me, that you could groom, and use as a tool, to pleasure me...," he allegedly wrote, going on to state that he's entirely in control of his so-called slaves.
Raniere's lawyers claim the messages were private, between two old friends, and don't prove anyting malicious. Mack herself claimed DOS was about female empowerment. She also revealed that the idea to brand slaves was hers.
Her trial, with co-defendant Raniere, is set for Oct. 1. Raniere's next court appearance is scheduled for July 25. It's unclear as of yet how either of them will ultimately plea. They face a minimum of 15 years in prison, up to life, if convicted.