Embed from Getty Images
Former Smallville actress and lead recruiter for NXIVM cult leader Keith Reniere’s sex abuse, Allison Mack, has been sentenced for her crimes. She cooperated with prosecutors, showed remorse and was given just three years in federal prison. Reneire was sentenced last fall to 120 years in prison. Having seen the Showtime NXIVM documentary, Seduced, Mack’s sentence seems like a travesty of justice. Mack was instrumental in running some of the most abusive and horrific behind-the-scenes abuse in NXIVM. She put a glossy, celebrity face on the cult, was an accessory to rape and committed psychological and physical abuse, including running branding rituals. She should be spending the rest of her life in prison. Instead she turned over some evidence, cried in court and got a much lesser sentence than she could have. At least she’ll spend some time in custody. Here’s part of the AP’s writeup on this.
TV actor Allison Mack, who played a key role in the scandal-ridden, cult-like group NXIVM, was sentenced to three years in prison Wednesday on charges she manipulated women into becoming sex slaves for the group’s spiritual leader.
Mack — best known for her role as a young Superman’s close friend on the series “Smallville” — had previously pleaded guilty to the charges and began cooperating against NXIVM leader Keith Raniere. Prosecutors credited her with helping them mount evidence showing how Raniere created a secret society of brainwashed women who were branded with his initials.
At her sentencing in Brooklyn federal court, Mack renounced the self-improvement guru.
“I made choices I will forever regret,” she said, also telling the judge she was filled with “remorse and guilt.”
“I am sorry to those of you that I brought into NXIVM,” she wrote in a letter filed with the court last week. “I am sorry I ever exposed you to the nefarious and emotionally abusive schemes of a twisted man.”
She reiterated her apologies to the victims in court on Wednesday: “From the deepest part of my heart and soul, I am sorry.”
Mack wept at times while reading her statement to the court. U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis told her he believed her apology was sincere, but said she deserved a serious sentence for using her celebrity to groom victims as “a willing and proactive ally” and “essential accomplice to Raniere’s monstrous crimes.”
Under advisory sentencing guidelines, Mack had faced between 14 and 17 1/2 years behind bars, but her defense team argued in court papers that probation or a sentence to home confinement was more appropriate. Prosecutors had agreed that any prison term should be below the guidelines range because of her cooperation.
“The NXIVM saga and the story of Ms. Mack’s descent have been a tragedy for all involved. But that need not, and should not, be the end of the story for Allison Mack,” her lawyers wrote in court papers.
A victim, Jessica Joan, rejected Mack’s apologies, telling the judge the actor deserved no mercy.
“She can blame Keith all she wants but she is a monster cut from the same cloth,” Joan said in court on Wednesday. “Allison Mack is a predator and an evil human being.”
Mack is an actress and she did what she had to do to get off with a light sentence. Victim India Oxenberg, who was interviewed extensively in Seduced, found flash drives among the things Mack left behind when she went into custody. Those contained recordings of Reniere’s evil plans to brand and abuse women. When Oxenberg turned those over to the FBI it was a turning point in the case and helped lead to Reniere’s conviction. Mack cooperated, she didn’t set this off, and now she’s barely paying for her crimes.
India Oxenberg released a statement to The Hollywood Reporter about Mack’s sentence. She said “I’m still in a state of disbelief, but I trust and honor the judge’s decision. I hope that her victims, including myself, feel vindicated and safer, given that she has denounced Keith Raniere. We all need time to process and digest everything. This is a big moment for all of us.” I hope that Oxenberg and the other victims of Reniere and Mack are able to find peace after everything they’ve gone through. I also hope that Mack’s crimes are not whitewashed. I don’t want to hear her f’cking “story” and she doesn’t deserve redemption.