Smallville actress Allison Mack was arrested Friday by the FBI in connection to a case involving an alleged sex trafficking cult. The group's leader, Keith Raniere, was previously arrested in March. Mack was a series regular on Smallville from 2001-2011, appearing in the role of Chloe Sullivan.
In the years since Smallville ended, Mack acted less, but gained publicity recently due to the allegations against NXIVM, the self-help organization that has been accused of blackmail, sex trafficking, and forced labor. Today, she was arrested on charges in connection to her involvement as one of the higher ranking members of NXIVM.
As reported by THR, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, Mack has been charged with sex trafficking, sex trafficking conspiracy and forced labor conspiracy. When reached for comment by BuzzFeed News, a representative for Mack said, "At this time, I have no comment regarding the arrest of Allison Mack." United States Attorney Richard P. Donoghue released a statement on the arrest:
As alleged in the indictment, Allison Mack recruited women to join what was purported to be a female mentorship group that was, in fact, created and led by Keith Raniere. The victims were then exploited, both sexually and for their labor, to the defendants’ benefit. This Office and our law enforcement partners are committed to prosecuting predators who victimize others through sex trafficking and forced labor.
According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, Raniere established self-help programs under the title of NXIVM over the last two decades. The organization is based in Albany, New York with centers in the United States, Mexico, Canada, and South America. Mack allegedly recruited slaves under the guise that they were joining a self-help organization specifically geared toward women, but they actually joined a secret splinter group within NXIVM. Authorities allege Raniere coerced women into a master-slave relationship and forced them to endure 20-30 minute branding "ceremonies" wherein they were branded with a design composed of his initials.
Mack and Raniere's arrests follow a report from the New York Times published last Fall with accounts of former members who said women were extorted into having sex and were branded with his initials on their hips. The secret group within NXIVM was called "DOS," or known as "Lord/Master of the Obedient Female Companions,” within which Raniere was known as "The Vanguard." Raniere was arrested on March 25 at a villa near Puerto Vallarta, Mexico on charges of sex trafficking, sex trafficking conspiracy and forced labor conspiracy.
FBI Assistant Director in Charge William F. Sweeney Jr. said in a press release concerning Mack's arrest, "As this pyramid scheme continues to unravel, we ask anyone who might have been a victim to reach out to us with information that may further our investigation."
Fellow Smallville star Kristen Kreuk, who played Lana Lang from 2001-2009, was a member of the NXIVM organization, but cut ties after leaving in 2012. Kreuk reportedly recruited Mack into NXIVM in 2010. Following Raniere's arrest last month, Kreuk released a statement on Twitter clarifying her involvement with the organization.
Mack pleaded not guilty to the charges against her when arraigned on Friday afternoon before United States Magistrate Judge Cheryl Pollak. There is currently no set date for Raniere's arraignment.