By Sara Lahman, Annie Malone CEO
Allison Mack, 36, best known for her role as Chloe in Smallville, pleaded guilty recently to charges of racketeering conspiracy and racketeering as a result of her involvement with Nxivm, a controversial alleged cult founded by Keith Raniere. Mack reportedly recruited women to become “obedient female companions” for Raniere. She admitted to luring women into Nxivm who were “extorted and coerced into following Raniere’s orders.”  The group claimed to be a “self-help” group. Mack will be sentenced September 11, 2019 on the two racketeering counts and faces a maximum of 20 years in prison. She was originally charged last year with sex trafficking, sex trafficking conspiracy, and forced labor conspiracy. As for Raniere, he is charged with multiple counts of sex trafficking along with wire fraud and most recently, an added charge of child pornography.
The Nxivm case has generated quite a bit of publicity namely because of its high-profile participants such as India Oxenburg, daughter of Dynasty actress Catherine Oxenburg, and heir to the Seagram’s liquor fortune, Clare Bronfman who is charged with racketeering. The same can be said of the media circus surrounding R&B superstar R. Kelly who was indicted on 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse charges involving four victims, including teenagers below the age of consent. 
But sadly, not enough attention is paid to the thousands of victims of sex trafficking who are exploited every day in this country. The pain and suffering they feel is every bit as traumatizing as that of the women exploited by Mack and allegedly by R. Kelly. Often, their plight is ignored because they are in many cases, the forgotten ones. Too often, the victims are young teens with severed connections to family. They may be runaways or homeless youth. They are preyed upon daily. Young people signing on for what they think are glamorous jobs traveling the country selling magazines are often victims of labor trafficking. Juvenile boys and members of the LGBTQ community are exploited and beaten and engage in survival sex.  This happens every single day in the United States of America. Read more “Sex Trafficking–A Community Response”