Winnipeg, mb Canadian fashion mogul Peter Nygard has been arrested on charges alleging he sexually assaulted women and girls after luring them into his orbit with fashion and modeling opportunities over the past 25 years.
Nygard, 79, was arrested after appearing in court on Tuesday in Winnipeg, Canada, after being arrested on Monday by Canadian authorities at the request of the United States. No date has been set for a bail hearing, although he was due to return to court on January 13.
His Winnipeg attorney, Jay Proper, said his client denies all allegations and blames a conspiracy caused by a dispute with his billionaire neighbor in the Bahamas.
“It all stems from a conspiracy from billionaire Louis Bacon Hedge Fund,” said Proper in a telephone interview. “He expects to be acquitted in court, but his first act is to file a bail claim given his 79-year-old age and his issues. Medical. It is extremely vulnerable to the worst consequences of the COVID-19 that is already spreading in our prisons. “
Bacon could not be reached for comment.
Nygard’s arrest for sex trafficking, extortion and related charges came after the FBI raided his Manhattan offices earlier this year.
The raid came shortly after 10 women sued Nygard, saying he had lured young and impoverished women into his Bahamas home with money and promises of modeling and fashion opportunities. Several of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, filed in New York City, said they were either 14 or 15 years old when Nygard gave them alcohol or drugs and then raped them.
In announcing the criminal charges, authorities said Nygard used the international apparel design, manufacture and supply stature he founded and headquartered in Winnipeg, Canada, to persuade victims, who sometimes have a history of abuse, to submit their requests.
According to the indictment, he has leveraged the influence of the Nygard Group, using its employees, funds and resources to recruit women and girls under the age of 18. Fraud and coercion to recruit women and girls who have been sexually assaulted and assaulted by Nygard and others.
The indictment said Negard made false promises of modeling opportunities and career advancement, along with financial support, to attract victims, while restricting their movements to isolate them. She said he sexually assaulted some of the victims while others were forcibly assaulted by his comrades or drugged to ensure compliance with sexual demands.
The indictment said that dozens of adult women and minors were recruited to engage in commercial sex through fraud, force and coercion.
She said that Negard had established personal and semi-professional relationships with some of the victims, referring to them as “friends” or “assistants” while asking them to travel with him regularly and engage in sexual activity under his direction with himself, with each other, or with others.
She said he also ordered them to recruit new women and underage girls for sexual assault.
The indictment states that Nygard abused some women and girls on his property in Marina del Rey, California, and in the Bahamas, during so-called “pamper parties” where some women, including minors, were drugged to force them to comply with his sexual demands. She said he sometimes paid the women and girls sums ranging from hundreds of dollars to several thousand dollars.
He also directed and pressured “girlfriends” to have sex with other men in sex clubs and “swingers” in New York City, Miami, Los Angeles, and Winnipeg, and used “sexual exchanges” in which male friends and business partners bring Nygard. “The indictment said,” date. ” To have sex in exchange for sexual access to one of Nygard’s “girlfriends”.
Meanwhile, 57 women, including 18 Canadians, joined the lawsuit alleging that Nygard used his company to bribe officials in the Bahamas and “a major influence in the fashion industry” to recruit victims in the Bahamas, the United States and Canada.
April Telek said, 47- “The fact that it was finally recognized as a predator, that it has done a lot of damage to many for a long time, and now he will have to take responsibility, is amazing.” A year old Canadian actress says she was raped by Nygard at the age of 20 in Winnipeg.
The Associated Press does not identify alleged victims of sexual assault unless they allow their names to be published publicly, as Telek has done.
Telek said Nygard used money and intimidation to keep women from coming forward.
The lawsuit alleges that Nygard maintained a database on the company’s server containing the names of thousands of potential victims.
The lawsuit alleges that the Negard accusers took their passports from them when they were flown to the Bahamas, adding that the designer “expected sexual activity before he was ready to consider releasing anyone” of his property.
A spokesman for Nygard said earlier this year that he would step down as chairman of the board of directors of Nygard Enterprises and would be stripped of his ownership.
Nygard International started Winnipeg as a sportswear manufacturer. Its website says its retail division has more than 170 stores in North America.
“We are encouraged that a small amount of justice for Peter Nygaard is finally developing,” said Greg Goetzler, the women’s attorney, in a statement Tuesday. “We are comforted that some measure of accountability is hopefully imminent, but we would be falling short if we didn’t mention that this was something that should have been done decades ago.”
Associated Press writer Rob Gillis from Toronto reported. Associated Press author Jim Mustian contributed to this report.
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