Mandatory Credit: Photo by PETER FOLEY/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock (9641465i) Allison Mack Actress Allison Mack at Federal Court, New York, USA - 24 Apr 2018 Actress Allison Mack exits federal court in Brooklyn, New York, USA, 24 April 2018. Mack was arrested last week on charges of recruiting women into a sex trafficking operation.
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Her lawyers: Allison Mack has been unfairly charged with sex trafficking and forced labor

Allison Mack’s attorneys are seeking to get her charges dismissed.

They laid out their view of the case in a court filing last month: Allison Mack has been unfairly charged with sex trafficking and forced labor – and the government cannot hope to prove its case.

Mack’s attorneys,  William F. McGovern and Sean S. Buckley are asking the Court to dismiss charges against her.

Her attorneys write in their motion to dismiss [My comments in bold and brackets]

When one strips away the sensationalist media reports of a case involving an alleged “cult,” celebrities, and sex, what is left before the Court is a threadbare Indictment that does not come close to satisfying the constitutional requirements of fair notice and due process, let alone of the charges the government has brought against Allison Mack.

… Ms. Mack’s conduct simply does not fit the crimes with which she is charged.

Around 2015, Ms. Mack joined an organization, referred to as DOS, which endeavored to help women with self-improvement and upholding commitments. To ensure commitment to the organization and to ensure if confidentiality, members voluntarily gave up “collateral” in the form of a personal secret to be kept within DOS. No one’s collateral has ever been released by anyone associated with DOS. Indeed, numerous now former DOS members left the organization with the understanding that their collateral would not be released.

Nonetheless, Ms. Mack is now facing serious charges of forced labor conspiracy and sex trafficking on the theory that she coerced DOS members to perform labor and engage in commercial sex acts against their will by threatening to release their collateral.

… even assuming the allegations … are true, they fail to state a crime … The forced labor charge fails to state a claim … “acts of care” and other tasks DOS members engaged in do not constitute “labor or service,” … even if they did, members were not coerced or otherwise forced into providing them.

The sex-trafficking charges likewise fail … Ms. Mack never received anything of value on account of a sex act …  Ms. Mack never received any money from her participation in DOS at all, let alone on account of a sex act … Ms. Mack never instructed anyone to partake in a sex act, and did not even know that the alleged sex acts were occurring.

… No reasonable person in Ms. Mack’s position would have understood that her participation in DOS would have subjected her to criminal liability under statutes designed to curb human trafficking and the prostitution of children … the Court should dismiss Counts Two, Four, Five and Six of the Indictment.

[The attorneys for Mack next go into the background of DOS describing it as a being “founded with the goal of helping women improve themselves”]  

“Members of DOS understood that providing ‘collateral’ and performing ‘acts of care’ enabled them to better uphold their commitments… Ms. Mack was a young actress who joined DOS soon after its inception, and provided collateral to the organization …

[This raises the question of who founded DOS? If Mack joined it AFTER its inception, someone else created it. Who was that person or persons?]

Ms. Mack … invited Jane Doe 5, another actress in her early thirties, to join DOS around February 2016… As was required of all new members, Ms. Mack asked Jane Doe 5 first to provide “collateral,” which Jane Doe 5 did in the form of “false and highly damaging accusations against her family members.”…

[While it may not be illegal – what kind of organization would have you film yourself making false but damning statements about your family? What kind of organization deals in lies – as the entree to something noble and truthful?]

… After Ms. Mack informed Jane Doe 5 of the structure and mission of DOS, Jane Doe 5 agreed to join DOS and to provide more collateral. …  When Jane Doe 5 eventually left DOS, she felt assured, in part after speaking to Ms. Mack, that her collateral would not be released so long as she did not speak publicly about DOS.

[Jane Doe 5 told me she felt compelled to remain in DOS for many months fearing her collateral would be released.]

…  there is no allegation that Jane Doe 5’s collateral ever was released …  Ms. Mack told Jane Doe 5, upon her joining, that she had to be celibate for six months …  At some unknown point in time, Ms. Mack told Jane Doe 5 to make a series of contacts with Mr. Raniere, none of which directed sex…  After Jane Doe 5’s initial contact with Mr. Raniere, Jane Doe 5 and Mr. Raniere allegedly had repeated sexual contact over the “following months.”

[According to Jane Doe 5, Raniere demanded she have sex – telling her she was his collateralized slave and his wife and he could order her to have sex any time by virtue of her membership in DOS.]

… Jane Doe 5’s collateral was never released, even though she left DOS and apparently has agreed to testify against Mr. Raniere and Ms. Mack on behalf of the government. Indeed, to date, despite the publicity this case has generated, including revealing and damaging public statements by former DOS members, the only individual whose collateral has ever been released is Ms. Mack’s. Her collateral was not released by DOS or anyone affiliated with the organization, but by the government in its Complaint.

[The government did not actually release Mack’s collateral. They revealed the nature of her collateral – that Mack provided collateral that damned her parents, her nephews, assigned custody to Raniere of any children she might have in the future and assigned all her assets to him. This indicates that Raniere was indeed the founder of DOS and behind the concept of collateral prior to Mack joining DOS.] 

There is no allegation that Ms. Mack at any time ordered Jane Doe 5 to engage in sex acts with Mr. Raniere…  assuming … that Jane Doe 5 had repeated sexual contact with Raniere…  there is no allegation that Ms. Mack even knew about those alleged encounters.

[Unless Mack was the woman who performed oral sex on Jane Doe 5 when she was tied down and blindfolded with Raniere.]

Ms. Mack also interacted briefly with … Jane Doe 8…  Jane Doe 8 agreed to provide a video of a “damaging secret” to learn more about DOS, and afterwards, agreed to join DOS… two of Jane Doe 8’s first acts of self-denial were to refrain from sexual intercourse and masturbation…

… after Jane Doe 8 joined… [Mack] …. contacted Jane Doe 8 and told her [about an] assignment…to ‘seduce Keith [Raniere]’ and have him take a picture of Jane Doe 8 to prove that she had done it.” … Ms. Mack told Jane Doe 8 that the assignment was a “privilege” and that “I give you permission to enjoy it,” which Jane Doe 8 interpreted as “I give you permission to enjoy sex with Raniere.”…  After the call, Jane Doe 8 made arrangements to leave DOS because she did not want to have sex with Mr. Raniere, and did leave in or about May 2016…

… Despite this alleged refusal, there is no allegation that Jane Doe 8’s collateral ever was
released. And this is so because in reality, it never was released.

… the Indictment charges Ms. Mack, among other crimes, with conspiracy to commit forced labor … conspiracy to commit sex trafficking …  sex trafficking … and attempted sex trafficking …

ARGUMENT
… The Indictment, being wholly conclusory, fails to afford Ms. Mack notice of the charges against her…  as required by the Constitution.

[Mack’s attorneys cite precedents at some length before getting into the forced labor charge.]

… The Forced Labor Count alleges that Ms. Mack and others “between September 2015 and July 2017 …. within the Eastern District of New York and elsewhere” conspired to obtain the “labor and services” of unspecified and unnamed “lower-ranking DOS members” by one of the means, or combination of the means, prohibited by Section 1589(a)…

… the Indictment fails to specifically identify the “lower-ranking DOS members”…  This deficiency is fatal in light of the fact that a forced labor charge requires threats of serious harm or physical restraint against alleged victims, and such crimes requires the identification of specific victims…

Without more specificity, Ms. Mack is left to guess at what the government finds criminal about her conduct in an entirely voluntarily (sic) organization from which she derived no financial benefit…

…the Indictment has failed to state facts “specific enough to describe a particular criminal act, rather than a type of crime,” the Forced Labor Count must be dismissed…

The Trafficking Counts too [should be] dismissed.

…  As with the Forced Labor Count… the Trafficking Counts rely upon unspecified threats of force, fraud and coercion… The Trafficking Counts fail to provide any particulars that would provide Ms. Mack with constitutionally adequate notice.

For example:
  … Count Four identifies no alleged victims and relies on the non-specific phrase “lower-ranking DOS members”;
 None of the Trafficking Counts provides any specificity as to the nature of the threats, how and when they were communicated, or by whom;
 Trafficking Counts identify no details regarding where the commercial sex acts allegedly occurred, other than to allege “within the Eastern District of New York and elsewhere”;
 The Trafficking Counts provide no specifics regarding the nature of alleged commercial sex acts, who performed them when and where, or what value was given to whom on account of them.

…  the Court should dismiss Counts Four, Five, and Six of the Indictment for failure to plead with sufficient particularity to meet the requirements of the Constitution and should be dismissed…

[The attorneys go back to Forced Labor count for further discussion.]

…  the federal forced labor statute, was “…passed to implement the Thirteenth Amendment’s [prohibition] against slavery or involuntary servitude.” …

… the Court should not transform the statute to cover the circumstances alleged here, which bears little resemblance to those of paradigmatic forced labor cases and their victims…. (prostitution, forced sweatshop work, and forced domestic service as “paradigmatic forced labor”)…

…  In determining the application of the forced labor statute, courts have been careful not to expand the concept of forced “labor or services” beyond its logical reach or what Congress intended.

… the Complaint makes clear that the “labor or service” in question refers to “acts of care” and “tribute” largely in the form of various personal favors and errands…

DOS members were not employed or expected to be paid like employees, and that the nature and purpose of such acts, as understood by DOS members, were self-improvement, keeping commitments, and putting the needs of others before themselves. Although an unconventional arrangement, the “labor” and “services” allegedly rendered here are more akin to personal favors and volunteer work, and do not fall under conduct prohibited by the forced labor statute.

… Even if the “acts of care” and related tasks … can qualify as “labor or services” … the Complaint’s allegations show that they were not obtained by one of the prohibited means, and thus cannot constitute “forced labor” under the statute…

… cases involving forced labor share a similar set of characteristics, including squalid living conditions, extreme isolation, actual threats of physical harm, and exploitation of the victim’s lack of education or familiarity with the English language… [preventing] vulnerable victims from leaving and keep them bound to their captors…

courts have found no serious harm threatened where the alleged victims, based on their personal circumstances and resources, were not reasonably compelled to stay in their condition…

The government’s apparent theory here is that the alleged victims were coerced to perform tasks because Ms. Mack threatened to release their “collateral” of sensitive information.

… there was no “sufficiently serious” harm that compelled any of the alleged victims to stay in DOS…  women joined DOS voluntarily because they believed participation would be good for them and also gave up collateral voluntarily in order to learn about the organization… Put differently, the consequence of having collateral released was legitimate because collateral was given voluntarily with the knowledge that it could be released under certain, agreed upon events… none of the typical hallmarks of forced labor are present here… The alleged victims were not young or particularly vulnerable in terms of education, social status, or finances. They also were not physically restrained or confined.

The release of embarrassing material voluntarily given, thus, cannot amount to “serious harm” commensurate with other forced labor cases…  Even if the release of voluntary “collateral” can amount to “serious harm” … no one’s collateral was ever released publicly such that a person would have felt “compelled” to stay. Instead, when people left DOS, their collateral was not released…  the Forced Labor Count cannot state that a reasonable person under the circumstances would have felt compelled to stay within DOS.

… The Trafficking Counts too should be dismissed…

…  they show that nothing “of value” was given or received by … Ms. Mack, as required of a commercial sex act. … to the extent the alleged non-monetary items may qualify as “things of value,” they were not given “on account of” any sex act…

The meaning of “anything of value” must be understood in the context of the history and purpose of the statute … sexual exploitation of persons, predominantly women and girls, involving activities related to prostitution, pornography, sex tourism, and other commercial sexual services.”

… the purpose of the [law] was aimed at regulating a class of activities that are economic in nature, more specifically, sexual exploitation for a profit…

… the government’s characterization of the facts …  cannot constitute a violation of Section 1591. …  they fail to state any “commercial sexual services”— i.e., prostitution, pornography, sex tourism—contemplated by Congress when they enacted the statute…  Ms. Mack never received money as a result of a sex act. … the only possible things of value involved are “increased status,” “financial opportunities,” and “acts of care”—none of which comes close to this Court’s understanding of “things of value” in exchange for commercial sexual services…

… there are no allegations that Ms. Mack received any “commercial gain” or “financial benefit”—because she did not…

To the extent the alleged non-monetary items qualify as “things of value,” they were not given “on account of” any sex act. …

… Mack did not receive anything of value because anyone had sex with Mr. Raniere. It states, with respect to “sex trafficking within DOS,” that “DOS masters received a financial benefit in the form of continued status and participation in DOS, i.e. the masters continued to receive acts of care and work of the equivalent of a full time employee.”…   assuming Ms. Mack was a “DOS master,” she would have already been receiving status and “acts of care” before any alleged sex trafficking occurred, and thus necessarily did not receive those things “on account of” any sex act.

…  The statute underscores its focus on the commercial nature of the activity targeted by requiring, under Section 1591(a)(2), both that the defendant “benefited” from participation in the venture and that such venture involves “a commercial sex act” in which a person receives something of value in exchange for the sex act. In the classic example of sex trafficking, this construction makes sense. A pimp benefits financially from his prostitute having sex with a customer, and the sex act is exchanged for money paid by the customer to the prostitute and/or pimp. Here, Ms. Mack did not benefit financially, or otherwise, from the alleged victims having sex with Mr. Raniere, nor were the sex acts between them of a commercial nature (i.e., there is no allegation that Mr. Raniere—or anyone else— paid the alleged victims to have sex with him)…

The Trafficking Counts should be dismissed [because] no one was coerced … in a sex act, let alone that Ms. Mack knew that would occur. The “collateral” … was given voluntarily by the women for the purpose of self-improvement and is unrelated to the unspecified commercial sex acts alleged in the Indictment.

… no fraud, coercion, or force was used to cause anyone to engage in a commercial sex act…

The only possible theory alleged is of coercion—i.e., the Jane Does “felt” having sex with Raniere was part of their DOS commitment and if they broke their commitment, their collateral could be released…

… the allegations make clear that the Jane Does joined DOS voluntarily because they believed it would further their goals of self-improvement, voluntarily gave up “collateral” to learn DOS’s secrets and demonstrate their commitment to DOS, and had ample opportunity to leave DOS of their own volition.

…Jane Doe 5 attested that “she felt assured enough that as long as she did not speak out about DOS (as opposed to just breaking her lifetime commitment), her collateral would not be released.” … This understanding was based in part on her knowledge that other DOS members had left and their collateral had not been released.

[Something she learned from reading the Frank Report]

… Although the public release of the “collateral” may have been embarrassing, there is no authority suggesting that embarrassment alone amounts to “serious harm” as required for coercion by the statute.

… no reasonable person would have objectively felt “compelled” to perform any sex acts. … This is buttressed by the fact that Jane Doe 5’s collateral was a “false” accusation against her family and she engaged in a voluntary sexual relationship with Mr. Raniere. Put differently, as between disclosure of a false accusation and having sex against your will, a reasonable person would not have felt “compelled” to choose the latter.

…  Mack did not know that means of force, fraud, or coercion would be used to cause any person to engage in a commercial sex act. The Trafficking Counts require that the defendant must “know” that coercion “would be used to cause the trafficked person to engage in a commercial sex act.”…

Ms. Mack barely even had any involvement, or even knowledge, of the alleged sex acts. Indeed, it is startling, given the serious charges in the Indictment, just how little Ms. Mack interacted with the alleged victims and how little she even knew about any actual sex acts. Not only did Ms. Mack tell Jane Doe 5 that she had to be celibate for six months (a fact indisputably inconsistent with sex trafficking) but the government’s own allegations show Ms. Mack never told Jane Doe 5 to engage in a sex act—let alone a commercial sex act—with Mr. Raniere…

…  Ms. Mack barely had any involvement in or even knowledge of the sexual encounters between Jane Doe 5 and Mr. Raniere over the several months after the initial contact directed by Ms. Mack—let alone that Ms. Mack or anyone else ever threatened Jane Doe 5 to engage in those unspecified sexual encounters…

Jane Doe 8 …. had even less contact with Ms. Mack…  The only thing Ms. Mack is specifically alleged to have said directly to Jane Doe 8 herself is “I give you permission to enjoy it.” …  Jane Doe 8 ultimately left DOS without any sexual contact with Raniere, and suffered no adverse consequences as a result…

Because the Indictment has not remotely stated the requisite elements of the sex trafficking charges, even assuming the Complaint’s allegations to be true, the Court should dismiss the Trafficking Counts.

…  no reasonable person in Ms. Mack’s position would understand that the allegations underlying the Trafficking Counts would subject her to criminal liability.

…. Ms. Mack did not receive any money in exchange for the alleged sex acts that occurred …  and her receipt of non-monetary items such as “acts of care” should not be construed as satisfying the “anything of value” requirement under the definition of “commercial sex act.”

***

Despite the fact that many people who have been following this case believe that the prosecution’s case is a “slam dunk”, Agnifilo – and the others who are part of the horde of attorneys on the defense team – are obviously not going to just roll over.

Perhaps that’s why we keep hearing persistent rumors about a superseding indictment filled with new charges that have nothing to do with sex trafficking, forced labor, etc.

And do we really care all that much what particular charges put Raniere and company in federal prison for the next 20 years?

I, for one, do not…

 

 

 


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Frank Parlato

Frank Parlato

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  • In the entire argument filed by lawyers McGovern and Buckley there is not one mention of branding the DOS slaves.

    Let me repeat that.

    NO WHERE DO MACK’S ATTORNEYS MENTION BRANDING THE WOMEN AS PART OF THE DOS SEX SLAVE CULT!

    Why not?
    Ms. Mack was proud enough of the branding to have taken credit for it in a New York Times interview.
    Are Ms. Mack’s attorneys suffering from a bout of amnesia?
    Are Ms. Mack’s attorneys suffering from dementia?
    OR ARE ALLISON MACK’S ATTORNEYS LYING BY OMISSION?

    Branding sex slaves is an integral part of a sex trafficking ring.

    The Frank Report recently published a story about the neighbors hearing screams coming from Mack’s townhouse after being informed of high intensity yoga exercises.
    Neighbor of Allison Mack reports she was told they were teaching new ‘high intensity’ yoga and she might hear screams
    https://frankreport.com/2018/11/13/neighbor-of-allison-mack-reports-she-was-told-they-were-teaching-new-high-intensity-yoga-and-she-might-hear-screams/
    Were those screams the result of late night branding sessions at Allison Mack’s townhouse?

    Are McGovern and Buckley trying to hide the fact that sex trafficking rings frequently use branding to mark the slaves as property?
    Are McGovern and Buckley trying to hide the fact that Ms. Mack supervised the brandings frequently holding down women by tnhewir bare breasts?
    ————————————————————————————————–
    Ms. Mack did not receive any money in exchange for the alleged sex acts that occurred
    IRRELEVANT!
    There are accounts that sex slaves had sexual relations with their master Allison Mack and that can serve as a thing of economic value.

    ———————————————————————————————————————————————————————-
    Although the public release of the “collateral” may have been embarrassing, there is no authority suggesting that embarrassment alone amounts to “serious harm” as required for coercion by the statute.

    By continuing to call BLACKMAIL material “collateral” McGovern and Buckley demonstrate that they are LIARS,

  • This was damn interesting and full of actual facts relevant to the case against Allison Mack–her lawyers are definitely earning their dime while punching holes in the prosecution’s theory of the crime.

    [Jane Doe 5 told me she felt compelled to remain in DOS for many months fearing her collateral would be released.] Is Allison Mack responsible for another DOS member’s fear regarding their collateral? If she was threatened, heck yes.

  • It is startling how little Miss Allison Mack knew about the running of DOS considering she has taken 100% of the responsibility for its conception and the running of said sorority! She clearly gave this information to a reporter knowingly!

    They dared not release any collateral as the story was slowly but surely leaking to the public and Nxivm members not related to DOS.

    And since when does ignorance of the law give you a free pass?

    Try telling the game warden you didn’t realize you had to have a license to fish? Seems silly right? Guess what? They don’t care, it’s the law. And ignorance is no excuse.

    This was an article worthy of reading. I hope the overabundance of shadowstate articles doesn’t cause people to bypass this.

  • I always forget something.

    You cannot underestimate the damage of collateral! Especially visual and video, or handwritten and signed. The fact that it did not get released is not an issue.

    To most women the very idea that its there is more than enough to keep you quiet, once you realize you’d been duped about DOS being a women’s private sorority your world would be spinning, the fear very real, the fact that they came forward at all is amazing and shows their faith in the government now outweighs their fear of the cult.

    Finding out through the Frank Report and Catherine Oxenberg getting publicly involved gave these women an outlet they weren’t aware of.

    Bless you

  • “Although the public release of the “collateral” may have been embarrassing, there is no authority suggesting that embarrassment alone amounts to “serious harm” as required for coercion by the statute.”

    Wha-at? Embarrassment wouldn’t constitute serious harm. They’re talking about material that could damage a DOS slave’s reputation and career, leave their family in shreds and, in the case of false allegations, drag innocent people through the justice system or have someone’s children taken away from them. If that isn’t serious harm then what is?

  • The precise offences have to be proved.This is always the problem with cults and the question of what is consent and plenty of people into BDSM actively consent to all sorts of things although some acts against them are so extreme there is no ability in law in some jurisedictions to consent to them even if you want them.

    • @Lydia Smith
      Agreed. Perhaps just as creepy as DOS is the relentless Shadowstate articles about Mack. This guy has got to be psychotic and should be investigated. No sane person would spend hundreds of hours, writing endless minutia, trying to smear a Hollywood starlet unless deep and disturbing issues were involved.His schtick is to post a picture of Mack accompanied by some vile tidbit of her time in NXIVM. I’m not absolving Mack of participating in very bizarre behavior herself. Getting “collateral” on someone is just plain vile.

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