Prosecutors said on Friday that they expect to bring more charges and add defendants in the sex trafficking case against members of the “executive success” program known as NXIVM–perhaps in the next month. The Clifton Park group has reportedly been paralyzed by charges against its leader, Keith Raniere.
A judge in Brooklyn set the date of Oct. 1 for the trial of Raniere and Smallville actress Allison Mack. Both have been charged with human trafficking and conspiracy to commit forced labor. Both have pleaded not guilty.
“We anticipate that there will be additional charges and additional defendants in this case,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Moira Kim Penza said at a hearing on Friday.
There are a number of major players involved in NXIVM who insiders expect could be the target of new charges.
Raniere and Mack allegedly ran an offshoot of NXIVM where women were forced to turn over nude photos or other damaging information when joining. Survivors have displayed branding marks that allegedly represent both Raniere and Mack’s initials.
Raniere has been in federal custody since being arrested in Mexico in March. His lawyer said he intended to seek bail. Prosecutors indicated they would not support any sort of bail. Raniere has wealthy allies, including the Bronfman sisters, heiresses to the Seagram Company.
Mack has been living with her parents in California under house arrest since April after putting up a $5 million bond.
There have been reports that Mack may look to plea out the case as her lawyers agreed to a motion to delay trial to allow for negotiations, but Mack’s lawyers indicated they are waiting for discovery before entering serious negotiations.
Prosecutors have welcomed such talks. Raniere’s lawyer told reporters at the hearing that Raniere plans to go to trial to prove everything was “utterly consensual.”
For more on NXIVM check out our interview with Chet Hardin a book and podcast he is planning with Raniere’s former girlfriend Toni Natalie.
Also, in case you missed it. Vice has a story on a documentary about Nancy Saltzman, a NXIVM member, and her alleged ability to treat Tourettes. You may recall Saltzmann from our feature on NXIVM from last month.