A hearing was held on Tuesday for former “Smallville” actress Allison Mack, arrested last week on charges of sex trafficking, during which she was released under home detention on $5 million bail.
As Variety reports, the 35-year-old actress — involved in the alleged sex trafficking cult NXIVM — pleaded not guilty to charges of sex trafficking, sex trafficking conspiracy and forced labour.
Mack’s incarceration comes weeks after the arrest of NXIVM founder Keith Raniere, who remains in federal custody with a bail hearing set for next week. It’s expected that Mack will cut a plea deal with prosecutors and testify against Raniere.
Mack has been involved for years with NXIVM, which its members describe as a self-help and empowerment organization. But authorities allege it is a pyramid-scheme cult that recruits young women to be sex slaves.
According to authorities, women recruited by NXIVM were ordered to recruit more women, with Mack said to be near the top of the pyramid.
“Mack and other masters recruited… slaves by telling them that they were joining a women-only organization that would empower them and eradicate purported weaknesses the NXIVM curriculum taught were common in women,” said the prosecution team in a statement.
“The victims were then exploited,” added U.S. attorney Richard Donoghue, “both sexually and for their labour, to the defendants’ benefit.”
Mack reportedly appeared in court with her mother, Melinda Mack, who put up her home as collateral for bail, in addition to another property and a bank account in the name of Allison Mack.
Mack is to remain under home detention at her parents’ home in Los Alamitos, Calif., with terms of bail allowing her to travel to Southern California and New York City, where her criminal attorneys are based. She was ordered not to associate with anyone associated with NXIVM.