Washington [US], July 1 (ANI): American actor Allison Mack has been sentenced to three years in prison for her involvement in the scandal-ridden NXIVM cult led by convicted sex trafficker Keith Raniere.
Mack learned her fate in federal court in Brooklyn from US District Court Judge Nicholas Garaufis, reported Variety.
The disgraced 'Smallville' actor, who played a key role within NXIVM, the dismantled, Keith Raniere-led self-help group some have characterised as a cult, was sentenced on Wednesday to three years in federal prison.
The 38-year-old actor was also fined USD 20,000 during her sentencing on Wednesday. She faced a maximum sentence of 20 years for each charge against her.
The actor was also ordered to perform 1,000 hours of community service. She will surrender to authorities on September 29. Her attorneys have requested that she be allowed to serve time in a federal prison on the West Coast as her family lives in Orange County.
This ruling comes more than two years after Mack pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy and racketeering charges.
She was arrested in April 2018 in Brooklyn after a wild trek with Raniere and others to Mexico, where Raniere was arrested in a villa outside Puerto Vallarta in March of that year.
During the hearing, one unnamed NXIVM victim made a statement via video. Actor Jessica Joan appeared in person in court to give a victim's statement.
"Allison Mack is a predator and evil human being, a danger to society with no care, remorse, or empathy for her victims," Joan said during the hearing.
Joan, who has said she suffered abuse and sexual trauma as a youth, called Mack and Raniere "the most evil monsters I've met." In a statement after the sentencing decision was announced, Joan asserted that she does not believe Mack feels any remorse.
"Allison herself gained pleasure in creating harm and destruction to her victims. That type of evil was ingrained in her far before meeting Keith, he just activated and cultivated it," Joan said.
She added, "In that courtroom today I looked into the eyes of a sociopath and I saw no remorse."
Prosecutors had asked the judge for leniency, emphasising Mack's role in helping to seal their case against Raniere on multiple sex trafficking, racketeering, fraud and conspiracy charges.
Raniere was sentenced to 120 years in prison last October. The lengthy prosecution of Raniere and his NXIVM associates including Mack, Seagram Co. heiress Clare Bronfman, Raniere partner Nancy Salzman and her daughter, Lauren Salzman.
Bronfman was sentenced to nearly seven years in prison on identity theft and immigration fraud charges last October. Nancy and Lauren Salzman are awaiting sentencing next month.
Sentencing guidelines called for Mack to serve 14 years to 17-and-a-half years. The actor asked the judge to spare her prison sentence and allow her to continue her studies.
She has been pursuing a bachelor's degree in Rhetoric and Psychology from UC Berkeley since spring 2020 while on house arrest.
But a chilling portrait of Mack emerged through the NXIVM prosecutions as a young woman deluded by a mad man and eager to recruit others into an abusive cult revolving around emotional manipulation and coerced sex with Raniere.
Prosecutors detailed how Mack and Raniere went so far as to form a social club for women in the NXIVM group that encouraged members to serve as "slaves" to designated "masters," with Mack being one of the high-level masters who could command others to perform strange tasks and limit their caloric intake.
Mack described her 11 years in the NXIVM group led by Raniere as a form of brainwashing, and she has condemned his "twisting influence" on her life. Prosecutors credited Mack with providing an audio recording and other details that helped convict Raniere.
On Saturday, ahead of the sentencing, Mack released a statement apologising to everyone who was harmed by her involvement with NXIVM, calling it her "biggest mistake and regret" and committing to spending the rest of her life "working to make amends and become a more compassionate woman."
"I am sorry to those of you that I brought into Nxivm. I am sorry I ever exposed you to the nefarious and emotionally abusive schemes of a twisted man. I am sorry that I encouraged you to use your resources to participate in something that was ultimately so ugly," Mack wrote in a statement obtained by The Hollywood Reporter.
"I do not take lightly the responsibility I have in the lives of those I love and I feel a heavy weight of guilt for having misused your trust, leading you down a negative path," she added.
Mack's sentencing represents a significant milestone in the NXIVM case, which first gained public attention back in 2012 with a report in the Times Union.
The group soon became the subject of scrutiny, both from law enforcement and journalists, scrutiny that was amplified by the efforts of 'Dynasty' actor Catherine Oxenberg, whose own daughter, India, became deeply involved with the cult for several years. (ANI)