It has been a few months since we last checked in with the legal drama surrounding Allison Mack. The former actress was reportedly among the core people at the root of the alleged New York-based sex cult Nxivm, where she was allegedly involved with persuading women to get involved and branding them. It is a shocking, bizarre and disturbing trail of allegations, and she has been sitting under house arrest while the court tries deciding what should be Mack’s sentence. And in the midst of trying to find her legal defense, Mack is turning to the Church of Scientology to plead innocence.
But that doesn’t mean she’s hoping to become a Scientologist. Instead, as Deadline reports, Allison Mack is arguing that she isn’t guilty of the crimes she is accused of committing, including forced labor, if The Church of Scientology is legal in the eyes of the law.
This information is based on court files that were sent to the Brooklyn Federal Court yesterday. Mack’s lawyers claim the nude photographs Mack and Nxivm leader Keith Raniere reportedly threatened to release in order to allegedly get free work and forced sex with Raniere don’t qualify as the “threats of serious harm” required to prove that someone forced labor. Allison Mack’s lawyers have cited a 2009 legal case wherein a couple unsuccessfully tried to sue The Church of Scientology.
In the court file, Allison Mack’s legal team claims that other cases in the past, including this cited one from 2009 involving The Church of Scientology, is certainly considered “embarrassing.” But the TV actress’ lawyers don’t believe that it constitutes forced labor if they believe the serious harm would be the shame that would result come from “exposure to one’s collateral.” The early months of 2019 will determine if this particular defense is successful.
In the early months of spring, Allison Mack was arrested on charges of sex trafficking, sex trafficking conspiracy, and forced labor conspiracy. She was released on a $5 million bond. But if she and Keith Raniere are convicted of the crimes they are charged with committing, they will be faced with spending a minimum of 15 years in prison. There is still a long road ahead for Mack and Raniere, and we’ll be sure to keep you posted on the updates.
Here is a statement released by Allison Mack’s lawyers regarding their ongoing, high-profile defense case.
The court did not find that plaintiffs were compelled to remain in the organization even though, if they chose to leave, they would be ‘excommunicated’ from their friends and family and labeled a ‘dissenter.’ The threat of reputational damage and isolation from loved ones therefore did not qualify as serious harm.
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