Actress Allison Mack leaves Brooklyn federal court in New York earlier this month. Mack pleaded guilty to racketeering charges in a case involving a cult-like group based in upstate New York. File picture: Mark Lennihan/AP
Actress Allison Mack leaves Brooklyn federal court in New York earlier this month. Mack pleaded guilty to racketeering charges in a case involving a cult-like group based in upstate New York. File picture: Mark Lennihan/AP

'Smallville' actress Allison Mack may testify against accused sex cult leader

By Shayna Jacobs, New York Daily News Time of article published Apr 23, 2019

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New York - "Smallville" actress Allison Mack may testify

against the alleged leader of an Albany, New York-based sex cult

whose followers had "dozens" of abortions at his behest, it was

revealed in court Monday.

The revelations were made during jury selection in the trial of NXIVM

founder Keith Raniere, whose supposed self-help group fronted a

demented sex sect in which victims were branded, tortured and

sexually abused, federal prosecutors say.

Raniere, 58, is headed to trial by himself in early May after his

co-defendants, including Mack, 35, and Seagram's liquor heiress Clare

Bronfman, 40, pleaded guilty to crimes relating to the group's dark

doings.

Monday was the first day of jury selection at what is expected to be

the cult leader's salacious trial.

The fact that Mack may testify came out during a discussion about a

prospective juror who said he had read about the case and

specifically recalled "writings" related to the actress' involvement.

"I think that person might testify," Raniere's lawyer Marc Agnifilo

said during a discussion outside the juror's presence and in response

to the man's comment about Mack.

Several candidates said they were staunchly opposed to abortion in

response to a question posed in a screening questionnaire.

Raniere's use of abortion as a birth control tactic is expected to be

an ongoing theme at the trial in Brooklyn Federal Court.

"There are a lot of abortions in this case. Dozens," Agnifilo said at

a sidebar during questioning of the would-be panelist.

"As part and parcel of his desire to have sex with lots of women, he

used abortions cavalierly," he added.

US District Court Judge Nicholas Garaufis previously ordered that the

jury remain anonymous.

Raniere, whose trial is expected to last six weeks, is charged with a

host of federal statute violations including child pornography and

having sex with a 15-year-old victim in his charge.

tca/dpa

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