NEW YORK - “Smallville” star Allison Mack was released from federal custody Tuesday afternoon on $5 million bail as she faces charges ranging from conspiracy to commit forced labor to sex trafficking.
Mack faces 15 years to life if convicted.
Mack, 35, who appeared in a tan jail uniform alongside her lawyers, was silent except for saying “yes, your honor” to questions from Judge Viktor Pohorelsky.
Mack was arrested last week, along with co-defendant Keith Raniere, in connection to her role in an alleged sex cult tied to the self help organization NXIVM.
As a condition of her bail, Mack is to have no connection with any current or former NXIVM members and will be monitored by an electronic bracelet. Upon her release, Mack will be returning to California to live with her parents until her next court appearance on May 3.
Her mother, Melinda, was present in court to sign the documents, while her father has until May 4 to sign. To reach the $5 million stipulates in the bail, Mack and her family had to put up their homes, assets and retirement plans.
During Mack’s first court appearance last week, it was revealed she married “Battlestar Galactica” star Nicki Clyne, who was also rumored to be part of NXIVM. Clyne and Mack were spotted in Mexico when Raniere was hunted down by police and arrested at a $10,000-a-week villa they were reportedly hiding out last month.
Founded in 1998, NXIVM promoted Raniere's teachings as a kind of mystical, executive coaching designed to help people get the most out of life. Enrollees in its Executive Success Programs paid handsomely for his advice. On its website, NXIVM bills itself as a “community guided by humanitarian principles” that “helps people realize the potential that exists within them” — a far cry from the sex cult that its detractors say Raniere ran.
“Mack was the primary recruiter of young slaves for Raniere,” Frank Parlato, NXIVM’s former publicist, told Fox News. “She was both a victim and victimizer, a mastermind and a useful idiot.”
Mack, who joined the organization sometime between 2006 or 2007, was initially only involved in NXIVM courses, but former members say that her celebrity, and a series of defectors from the group, led to her rise to a position of prominence. She was also romantically involved with Raniere.
Court papers say that Mack and Raniere also created a society within NXIVM called "DOS" — an acronym based on a Latin phrase that loosely translates to "Lord/Master of obedient female companions." Women were required to provide damaging material about their friends and family, naked photos and even sign over their assets as a condition for joining, they said. Many were branded with his initials, they said.
“Keith Raniere convinces these women to keep their word,” Barbara Boucey, a former girlfriend of Raniere, told Fox News. “He’s got a close inner circle and now sees a way for these women to police one another.”
Prosecutors added that Mack required women she recruited to engage in sexual activity with Raniere, who paid Mack in return.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Moira Kim Penza said in court that that "under the guise of female empowerment" Mack "starved women until they fit her co-defendant's sexual ideal."
Neither NXIVM nor a representative for Mack had a comment for Fox News. NXIVM posted this note on their website after Raniere was arrested: "In response to the allegations against our founder, Keith Raniere, we are currently working with the authorities to demonstrate his innocence and true character. We strongly believe the justice system will prevail in bringing the truth to light. We are saddened by the reports perpetuated by the media and their apparent disregard for 'innocent until proven guilty,' yet we will continue to honor the same principles on which our company was founded. It is during the times of greatest adversity that integrity, humanity and compassion are hardest, and needed most."