Allison Mack and Keith Raniere appeared in Brooklyn federal court on Friday.
It’s been two weeks since the former Smallville star was arrested and charged with sex trafficking in connection with the purported self-help organization, NXIVM. On April 20, Mack was arrested after an indictment was unsealed in federal court, charging her and the organization’s founder, Raniere, with sex trafficking, sex trafficking conspiracy and forced labor conspiracy.
On April 24, Mack was released on $5 million bond and placed under house arrest, while Raniere has been held without bail.
On Friday morning, May 4, Mack appeared in Brooklyn federal court for a hearing along with Raniere.
Shortly after entering the courtroom on Friday, Raniere was arraigned and pled not guilty on all three charges, E! News has learned. During Mack’s initial appearance and arraignment, she also pleaded not guilty to all three counts.
Following Raniere’s arraignment, the government indicated they would be filing a protective order around the discovery since it contains a lot of sensitive victim information. The government also said there would be an enormous amount of discovery in this case and asked for time to gather it all. At least a month or a month and a half.
The government also stated in court on Friday that they anticipate additional charges for both defendants and will possibly be adding additional defendants.
The judge said he wants the case to move quickly, “with alacrity.” He wants to set a court date as soon as possible. He then asked the government how long it will likely take to present their side once trial starts. They said probably four to six weeks, but it could be longer in light of additional charges and defendants.
While in court, Raniere’s lawyer expressed that he wants to speed things up because he indicated his client will not be granted bail. The government agreed saying there is no bail package for Raniere they would accept. The judge said Raniere’s lawyers could come up with a bail package and take it directly to him, the judge, and Raniere’s lawyers said they will probably do that in the coming weeks.
That being said, Raniere will not waive his right to a speedy trial and they requested a trial start date of mid-July.
Judge asked government about how many documents they are expecting in discovery, to which they replied that “we are talking years worth of hard drives,” plus electronics, emails and recordings.
Raniere’s lawyers argued that most of the discovery will likely be 99 percent irrelevant because this is a case about witnesses. Testimony will be at the core of the case, not discovery.
“At the end of the day this is a case about consent and will depend on witness testimony,” Rainere’s lawyers stated, to which the government disagreed.
The judge then set a trial date of Oct. 1.