'Sex Cult' Co-Founder Pleads Guilty on Racketeering Charge

Feds unveil new NXIVM charges
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 14, 2019 4:40 AM CDT
'Sex Cult' Co-Founder Pleads Guilty on Racketeering Charge
Nancy Salzman leaves federal court in Brooklyn, Wednesday July 25, 2018, in New York.   (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

Nancy Salzman, co-founder of an alleged sex cult that branded female followers with the initials of its leader, has pleaded guilty to a racketeering conspiracy charge in federal court in New York. The 64-year-old told the court Wednesday that she had hacked the email accounts of NXIVM's critics and tampered with video evidence used in a lawsuit against the institute run by cult tracker Rick Ross, Rolling Stone reports. "It has taken me some time and some soul-searching to come to this place," she said, apologizing to her family. She will be sentenced in July and faces a maximum of 41 months, reports the BBC.

Authorities have not disclosed whether Salzman is now cooperating with the investigation of the group, which is accused of being a cult masquerading as a self-help group, but she was not named in a new indictment against its leaders filed Wednesday, the Albany Times Union reports. The charges center on "spiritual leader" Keith Raniere's alleged exploitation of underage girls, with some defendants accused of recruiting and grooming his sexual partners. The six people charged include Smallville star Alison Mack and liquor heiress Clare Bronfman. Raniere was arrested by the FBI in Mexico last year and is being held without bond. (More NXIVM stories.)

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