The federal sentencing guidelines for Allison Mack’s two counts – racketeering and racketeering conspiracy – suggest a prison sentence of between 3-5 years and three years probation afterwards.
The maximum sentence is 20 years for each felony. They can run consecutively or concurrently. There is no minimum sentence.
Unhappily for Allison, she did not fare well during the trial of Keith Alan Raniere, her former mentor, guru, lover, master and codefendant.
Several witnesses, particularly Nicole and Jaye, presented her in an unflattering light. Nicole was her slave and Jaye was her grand-slave, according to DOS terminology.
Allison was – perhaps still is – a slave to Keith Alan Raniere, whose followers adore him as their Vanguard.
Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis, the presiding judge in the trial, heard it all during a six-week trial – where the focus was the defendant but where Allison’s name came up literally hundreds of times.
The judge has almost complete discretion on sentencing. He can sentence Allison anywhere from zero to 40 years.
He heard not only of Allison’s bad behavior at trial, but, more importantly, and much more in-depth, he heard about the horrors of the Vanguard, for six long weeks, and how he abused woman after woman.
Will the judge make a distinction with some of the women – judging them to be more culpable than others – such as Allison?
Or will he realize that all of the women were victims to a great degree and exercise leniency – even for Allison?
The judge clearly showed sympathy for Lauren Salzman, who pleaded guilty to the exact same charges as Allison.
Lauren testified at the trial. The judge actually stopped her cross-examination when he felt that Raniere’s attorney, Marc Agnifilo, had gone too far in his cross after Lauren broke into uncontrollable tears.
The judge afterward declared Lauren was a broken woman [outside the hearing of the jury].
So who broke her? Obviously, the defendant, Keith Alan Raniere.
Will the judge exercise leniency for Lauren who he saw cry and who told her story with pathos and real emotion – the story of abuse – but not for Allison – of whom he only heard from her slaves about how bad she was?
In the real world of Nxivm enterprises, the truth is – Lauren had a far, far greater role than Allison.
So did Clare Bronfman, and Nancy Salzman.
Both Nancy and Clare stand to get lesser sentences than Allison and Lauren because they were offered better plea deals.
Yet, in my opinion, the role that Nancy and Clare played in the enabling and execution of the Nxivm racketeering enterprise compared with Allison is one similar to the comparison of a tiger with a tiger beetle.
Had Allison been called to testify, she might have been as good a ‘tear-jerker’ as Lauren.
It did not happen, and we are left with a rather one-sided view of Allison – as she appeared per the testimony of two of her slaves – as a slave master.
We did not get to see Allison as a slave. And the slow boil of a once-admired actress into slavery under the brute.
We did not get to hear how she may have been tormented by the cruel one.
We did see Lauren as a slave – through her testimony. It was all about her being a slave to the vicious one.
What will the judge sentence Allison?
I think the optics are such that it will be almost impossible for him to give her a suspended sentence or home confinement – which might be appropriate.
He will almost certainly have to give her prison time since she has been vilified robustly in the media and at trial
The hue and outcry would be great indeed if he made a severe downward departure and let Allison serve her sentence at home.
Yet, that is probably a more just outcome for this broken, gullible woman. She made the most colossal blunder in following the Vanguard and she will pay for it the rest of her life.
From fame and success and adoration of fans to calumny and hatred – and little sympathy – largely because only the one side – the slave master side – of her persona came out.
If the slave side – for she was, after all, a slave to Raniere – had come out, it might have been different.
And let’s face it, except for Raniere [even if they were masters over some women], all the women of Nxivm were his slaves.
One of them displayed true human cruelty – Legatus – seeking to destroy the lives of others.
I do not think that Lauren, Nancy or Allison truly meant to harm others as Raniere did.
He and Legatus are unique in the group. They are both absolute sadists.
The rest were misguided, some of them rather selfish. Many of them rather enjoying the little bit of power Raniere bestowed upon them.
That includes Allison. She probably enjoyed having slaves and yet I suspect she would have rather had Raniere to herself and that she did this for him – finding him women – adult women. She was not accused as others were of seeking underage women for him.
In the end, Allison Mack first and foremost was a slave to Keith Raniere.
I hope the judge does not forget this when he considers the fairness of her fate.