Former fashion mogul Peter Nygard will appear in court again Friday morning to request bail on charges of sexual assault and forced incarceration in Toronto.
Nygard, 80, has been in custody since he was arrested at a home in Winnipeg last December on charges of sex trafficking and conspiracy in the United States.
Those charges relate to “a decades-long pattern of criminal behavior involving at least dozens of victims in countries including the United States, the Bahamas and Canada,” the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York said.
The Winnipeg arrest warrant was requested by the FBI, which raided Nygard’s New York and Los Angeles offices in February 2020.
Then, on October 1, the Toronto Police Department issued a warrant for Nygard’s arrest on charges of sexual assault and forced incarceration in connection with incidents that allegedly took place in the city from the mid-1980s to the mid-2000s.
Nygard was flown from Winnipeg to Toronto in late October to appear in court on those charges.
At a brief hearing in late October, the court learned that there were seven different women whom Nygard had been ordered not to contact and whose identities had been placed under a publication ban.
His bail hearing on the charges in Toronto was set to go ahead two weeks ago, but it was postponed to Nov. 26.
Awaiting extradition decision
On the same day the charges were announced in Toronto, Nygard signed a consent form agreeing to bypass the court’s extradition process for the charges in the United States and go directly to ministerial review by Attorney General David Lametti.
The federal Justice Department has said it is up to the minister to decide whether Nygard’s extradition is pending the outcome of the Canadian charges. Lametti’s decision on this is still pending.
Nygard unsuccessfully tried to get bail as part of the extradition process after a judge said she was not convinced that the bail plan prepared by his lawyers would prevent him from contacting witnesses or allowing others to contact them. would include.
He appealed and lost. In September, the Supreme Court of Canada rejected his request to hear his case.
The charges against Nygard in Toronto are the first against him in Canada.
Winnipeg Police have investigated eight complaints from women about Nygard. Those files were sent to prosecutors for review last December.
A Justice Department spokesman in Manitoba said in September that they were reviewing the files, but declined to say whether charges would be filed.
A class action lawsuit was filed in New York in February 2020 accusing Nygard of rape, sexual assault and human trafficking, with some allegations dating back to 1977.
That lawsuit has been suspended until the criminal case against Nygard is concluded.
Nygard is the founder of women’s clothing company Nygard International, which filed for bankruptcy in 2020.
None of the charges against Nygard have been proven in court and he has maintained his innocence throughout the trial.