CANADIAN TYCOON PETER NYGARD INDICTED IN US FOR SEX TRAFFICKING
The Canadian fashion mogul Peter Nygard was charged on Tuesday with sex trafficking, racketeering and other crimes targeting dozens of women and underage girls over a quarter century in three countries, US authorities told Rod Nickel and Jonathan Stempel of Reuters.
Canadian police arrested Nygard in Winnipeg, Manitoba, on Monday at the US government’s request under the countries’ extradition treaty. Acting US Attorney Audrey Strauss in Manhattan said Nygard, 79, had since 1995 used his influence and businesses to “recruit and maintain” victims in the United States, Canada and the Bahamas to sexually gratify himself and his associates.
“Mr. Nygard vehemently denies all the allegations and expects to be vindicated in court,” his lawyer Jay Prober said. Nygard wore a white face mask, a gray sweatshirt and sweatpants, with his long white hair pulled back in a bun, at an initial appearance in a Winnipeg courtroom. He was led away while wearing handcuffs and leg chains. Nygard plans to seek bail, and his next scheduled hearing is on Jan. 13, 2021.
Nygard also faces class-action civil litigation in Manhattan by 57 unnamed women accusing him of sexual misconduct. He has denied wrongdoing. Born in Finland, Nygard grew up in Manitoba, eventually running his own namesake clothing companies and becoming one of Canada’s wealthiest people.
Authorities said that victims were assaulted by Nygard or his associates, with some drugged to ensure they met his sexual demands, and that Nygard often targeted victims who came from disadvantaged backgrounds or had suffered abuse.