When the new HBO docuseries The Vow premieres on Aug. 23, former NXIVM leader Nancy Salzman could potentially be tuning in from home. Despite entering a guilty plea over a year ago in the criminal case against her, the co-founder of the NXIVM cult has been released on a $5 million bail bond since her July 2018 arrest.
Salzman, a psychiatric nurse and practitioner of hypnotic therapies, helped leader Keith Raniere to establish the group that would become NXIVM all the way back in 1998, when the stated mission was self-improvement. By the time of Salzman’s arrest, though, NXIVM stood accused of sex trafficking, sexual slavery, and forced branding of its female members. In Spring 2019, Salzman pled guilty to racketeering, identity theft, and “altering records to influence the outcome of a lawsuit against the organization,” according to the New York Times.
Her sentencing was immediately scheduled for July 10th, but over a year later, it still hasn't happened. Days before the proceedings, a federal judge adjourned the hearing sine die, which means without any specified date for resumption. In the meantime, Salzman has mostly kept quiet, filing a few motions that would see the conditions of her bail modified. To the request to have her ankle bracelet homing device removed, for example, the court said no. To a request to be allowed to have contact with her daughter, the court was lenient.
That no date has been set for sentencing in over a year has led some close watchers of the case to speculate that Salzman is cooperating with prosecutors in cases against Raniere, the cult kingpin who was convicted of sex trafficking and conspiracy last summer, and perhaps against other high ranking members of NXIVM. And Salzman is not the only defendant yet to be handed down a prison term. Smallville actress and cult member Allison Mack, who also pled guilty to racketeering, remains free on a $5 million bail bond. Even Raniere has seen his own sentencing delayed due to the coronavirus outbreak.