'Smallville' Star Allison Mack's Mentor Awaits Sex Abuse Trial for Alleged Cult
Keith Raniere, the founder of the alleged sex cult within his "self help" group Nxivm (pronounced Nexium), will remain in the Metropolitan Detention Center until April 29 after a federal judge in Brooklyn denied his third request for bail.
The judge ruled that Raniere is a flight risk and cited his attempt to avoid arrest by traveling to Mexico in fall 2017 when he heard investigators would be arresting those in Nxivm's inner circle.
Raniere was arrested in March 2018 and faces charges of wire fraud and racketeering, sex trafficking, sex trafficking conspiracy and forced labor conspiracy. He has pleaded not guilty.
One of Nxivm's most prominent figureheads — former Smallville actress Allison Mack — was arrested last year and charged in April 2018 with sex trafficking, sex trafficking conspiracy and forced labor conspiracy. She faces up a minimum of 15 years in prison if found guilty. She also pleaded not guilty and was released on $5 million bond.
As was Clare Bronfman, the heiress to the Seagram liquor fortune, who allegedly helped Raniere monitor " “perceived enemies and critics" online. She was charged with racketeering conspiracy in July. She pleaded not guilty and was then released on $100 million bond.
Nxivm was a controversial self-help group based in upstate New York which allegedly had a sub-group called "DOS" that operated as a sex cult. Mack, under Raniere's direction, would allegedly recruit women into the group, force them to to have sex with Raniere, have his initials branded into their skin, have them operate under "master-slave" conditions, and would abuse them if they disobeyed.
The FBI became involved as five women spoke out against the group in a New York Times exposé. After Raniere's arrest, FBI official William Sweeney said in a statement: "As alleged, Keith Raniere displayed a disgusting abuse of power in his efforts to denigrate and manipulate women he considered his sex slaves."
"He allegedly participated in horrifying acts of branding and burning them, with the co-operation of other women operating within this unorthodox pyramid scheme. These serious crimes against humanity are not only shocking, but disconcerting to say the least, and we are putting an end to this torture today."
Dynasty actress Catherine Oxenberg, believes her estranged daughter, India, was being “brainwashed” by Nxivm, and spoke out in a People article in 2017. India supposedly joined the group in 2011.
The trail is set to being in April 2019.