TV & Movies

Why Allison Mack Isn't In Prison Right Now For Her Involvement In NXIVM

She pleaded guilty to racketeering charges over a year ago.

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HBO's The Vow will delve into the cult-like organization NXIVM and its inner ring that placed its all female members into roles like "masters" and "slaves" under the group's only male member and leader Keith Raniere. And one of NXIVM's highest ranking members and recruiters will be able to watch the series along with everyone else. Allison Mack isn't in prison, despite taking a deal and pleading guilty in April 2019 to racketeering and racketeering conspiracy charges.

The deal helped her avoid some of her initially more serious charges including "sex trafficking, sex trafficking conspiracy, and forced labor conspiracy," per CNN. She did admit in an interview with the New York Times that she was responsible for the idea of branding group members with the initials of NXIVM's leader Keith Raniere.

According to another New York Times article, Mack was originally supposed to be sentenced in September 2019. Nearly a year later, she's still out on her $5 million bond and living under house arrest at her parents' California home. Film Daily reported that her sentencing was initially delayed at the request of the defense as they worked to prepare evidence they hoped would lead to a lesser sentence. Then the coronavirus further delayed court proceedings nationwide; there's currently no date scheduled for her sentencing. When her day in court does eventually come, she'll face up to 40 years in prison, 20 years for each count for which she pleaded guilty.

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In the meantime, leader Keith Raniere's own sentencing is coming up soon. According to Forbes, he was convicted in June 2019 of racketeering, sex trafficking, and forced labor conspiracy. The outlet reported that he'll be sentenced on October 27, 2020 and could face life in prison. Both Raniere and Mack are also named in a civil lawsuit that was recently filed in January, per Entertainment Tonight. The lawsuit claims that the duo and other members of NXIVM "exerted power over [group members]; took their money; made it financially, physically and psychologically difficult, and in some cases impossible, to leave the coercive community; and systematically abused plaintiffs physically and emotionally."

Mack's lawyers didn't respond to ET's request for comment. Raniere's lawyers said that the plaintiffs were allegedly "motivated by money" and his lawyers planned to fight the charges. Civil lawsuits usually result in monetary damages being paid, but not jail time, however, so the civil trial is unlikely to affect Mack's sentencing whenever that does eventually happen.