A woman involved in an alleged sex cult and who pleaded guilty last week to conspiracy charges has also admitted keeping a slave locked in a room for more than two years.
“I knowingly and intentionally harbored Jane Doe 4, a woman whose identity is known to me, in a room in the home in the Northern District of New York,” Lauren Salzman told Brooklyn federal court Judge Nicholas Garaufis last week, according to newly unsealed court transcripts quoted by the New York Post.
She also told the judge that she kept the woman captive from March 2010 to April 2012 while “[threatening] to deport Jane Doe 4 back to Mexico if she did not complete labor requested by myself and others.”
Salzman, 42, entered her guilty plea last week at a hearing that wasn't on the court calendar. Afterward, a judge agreed to seal a transcript until parts of it could be blacked out.
The U.S. attorney's office declined to comment on Friday about how the plea was handled.
Salzman was one of the four co-defendants of Keith Raniere, the leader of the group called NXIVM, an alleged sex cult that passed itself off as a self-help group. He has denied charges he had sex slaves who were branded with his initials.
Prosecutors this month added charges accusing Raniere of exploiting teenage girls. That sparked speculation his co-defendants might agree to cooperate against him.
“I’m very sorry for my poor decision-making and decisions that result in the harm to others and not the just victims in this case but to hundreds of members of our community and their friends and families as well,” Salzman said during the hearing, according to the NY Post.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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