Canadian fashion mogul Peter Nygard accepts extradition from the United States
WINNIPEG, Manitoba – On the same day that former Canadian fashion mogul Peter Nygard agreed to be extradited to the United States on a sex trafficking charge, Toronto police announced their own charges.
Police said Nygard, 80, was to be charged with six counts of sexual assault and three counts of forcible confinement. They said the pending charges relate to alleged assaults in the late 1980s and mid-2000s.
The charges were announced Friday as Nygard was in a Winnipeg court for an extradition hearing related to U.S. charges he sexually assaulted women and girls he lured with promises of opportunity in the city. fashion and modeling for the past 25 years.
“Mr. Nygard denies any allegation of criminal conduct,” his lawyer Brian Greenspan said outside the courthouse.
Earlier, Nygard appeared via video link and consented to his extradition.
He was arrested in Winnipeg last year under the Extradition Act and faces nine charges in the Southern District of New York.
The US extradition request details the accounts of seven alleged victims who are expected to testify in a criminal trial there that their livelihoods and travel have become dependent on sex with Nygard.
Nygard has denied all the allegations. He only consented to be extradited for sex trafficking.
His lawyers said Nygard was eager to respond to allegations against him in the United States
“The only place you can be vindicated is a trial,” Greenspan said.
The Canadian justice minister will have to choose whether Nygard should first face charges in Canada, or whether a condition of the extradition is that he will be returned after trial to the United States, Greenspan said.
Nygard’s lawyers have said they expect the extradition to be completed by the end of the year.
They said they would argue with the federal minister that the extradition should include assurances that Nygard will not be held in the New York metropolitan detention center. Greenspan has said he has horrific conditions that could threaten the life of his client, whose health, according to the lawyer, is already in decline.
The court heard that Nygard is being held alone in a cell for three prisoners at Headingley Correctional Center outside of Winnipeg. There is a television and a telephone in the cell and he has access to a diabetic diet.
Nygard applied for bail in January, but it was refused by a judge who feared Nygard would contact witnesses if he was released. Nygard appealed the decision and was again denied release in March.
Manitoba Court of Appeal Judge Jennifer Pfuetzner said at the time that Nygard’s detention was necessary to maintain confidence in the justice system, given the enormity of the allegations. She said the allegations “paint a picture of criminal conduct that has been planned, funded and executed on a staggering scale.”
The Supreme Court of Canada rejected Nygard’s request to challenge the two lower court decisions.
He is also the subject of a class action lawsuit in the United States involving 57 women with similar allegations.
Nygard founded her fashion business in Winnipeg in 1967. She went from a partial stake in a manufacturer of women’s clothing to a brand sold in stores around the world.
He resigned as president of his company after the FBI and police raided his New York City offices in February 2020.
Nygard International has since filed for bankruptcy.