The fashion mogul's arrest followed a request by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to Canadian authorities asking for a warrant of arrest under the two countries' extradition treaty. Nygard will be tried in the U.S. where he faces a nine-count indictment on charges of racketeering, sex trafficking and related crimes.
The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York said the charges are related to "a decades-long pattern of criminal conduct involving at least dozens of victims in the U.S., the Bahamas and Canada, among other locations."
Nygard appeared before Winnipeg Justice Sheldon Lanchbery in the afternoon of Dec. 16, with his defense counsel Jay Prober asking the judge for a publication ban. Scott Farlinger, representing the Canadian attorney general, opposed it on the grounds that such bans are issued in Canada to protect the accused's right to a fair trial.
Lanchbery sided with Farlinger and denied the request for a publication ban, saying that an open court is important and there is no proof that additional publicity would affect the executive's right to a fair trial in the U.S. The judge added that Nygard will remain at the remand center until his next court appearance scheduled Jan. 13.
Prober said he would apply for bail for his client before the date.
The U.S. Department of Justice released a statement Dec. 15 outlining the charges against Nygard.
During a 25-year period from 1995 up to 2020, Nygard used his influence, funds and resources as the leader and founder of the fashion company bearing his name to "recruit and maintain adult and minor-aged female victims" for sexual purposes. The Nygard Group founder and his co-conspirators "used force, fraud and coercion" to make the victims agree to sexual acts with him and others.
Nygard's victims were usually women and minors "from disadvantaged backgrounds and/or who had history of abuse" – who he controlled through threats, financial support, false promises and more. He managed to recruit his victims through avenues as "pamper parties" with free food, drink and spa services, sex clubs and swingers' clubs and sexual swaps with his male friends and business associates.
Nygard also maintained "personal and quasi-professional relationships" with some of his victims – whom he referred to as "girlfriends" or "assistants." He required them to travel and stay with him on a regular bases, engage in sexual activity at his behest and recruit new victims to join his circle. The fashion mogul threatened or berated his "assistants" if they refused to submit to his demands and kept them under constant surveillance.
The executive has denied all the allegations against him.
A total of 57 women have joined a class lawsuit filed in New York in early 2020. It accuses Nygard of rape, sexual assault and human trafficking – with some allegations going back as far as 1977. It also names a number of senior Nygard Group executives, officers and directors complicit in the sexual misconduct. (Related: Mike Cernovich: FBI 'completely ignored' Epstein's victims' requests for help.)
Lawyer Lisa Haba, who represents the victims suing Nygard, told CBC News: "The survivors of our lawsuit have been waiting for this day for a long time. Peter Nygard's arrest marks the next chapter in holding him and his accomplices accountable for the unspeakable crimes against women and children they have perpetuated for decades. We will continue to seek justice."
Greg Gulzer, another lawyer representing complainants in the lawsuit against Nygard, commented a day after the fashion mogul's arrest: "On behalf of the dozens of survivors of decades-long abuse, we are encouraged that a small measure of justice for Peter Nygard is finally developing. We are relieved that some measure of accountability is hopefully forthcoming, but we would be remiss if we did not state that this is something that should have been done decades ago.
The crimes of Nygard echo that of Harvey Weinstein, who used his position as a Hollywood movie producer to prey on a number of women to satisfy his sexual desires. Those who spoke out against his perverted practice found themselves blacklisted from the film industry: Weinstein exhorted directors to deliberately avoid women who accused him of sexual misconduct. (Related: Pervert Harvey Weinstein gets off with $47 million settlement, wiping his crime slate clean.)
Evil.news has more regarding high-profile individuals using their positions to commit sex crimes.