Peter Nygard

Courtesy CBC

Former Winnipeg fashion mogul Peter Nygard is keeping judicial systems in more than one country busy — as serious charges against him keep piling up.

The courts have yet to decide if Nygard is guilty of being an insatiable serial sexual predator. Or, as his defence counsel has argued, merely the hapless victim of dozens of women in several countries ganging up to tarnish his reputation by accusing him of sexual assault.

Nygard, 80, signed a consent order agreeing to be extradited to the United States to face charges on sex trafficking, racketeering, and related crimes filed in the Southern District of New York, Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench heard Friday. 

The Southern District of New York said the U.S. charges stem from allegations “a decades-long pattern of criminal conduct involving at least dozens of victims in the United States, the Bahamas and Canada and other locations.”

The alleged victims include women and girls.

“(Nygard) used the Nygard Group’s influence, as well as its employees, funds, and other resources, to recruit and maintain adult and minor-aged female victims for (his) sexual gratification and the sexual gratification of his friends and business associates,” said a U.S. Justice Department statement.

The once flamboyant, high-rolling, globe-trotting Nygard who went everywhere with a model on his arm was arrested in his Winnipeg home Dec. 14 2020 by RCMP at the request of the U.S.

On Thursday, Toronto police charged Nygard with six counts of sexual assault and three counts of forcible confinement involving six women, one a minor at the time of the alleged assault, CBC’s Fifth Estate reported. 

The alleged incidents spanned more than 20 years starting in the mid-1980s.

It remains uncertain if these most recent charges will affect the extradition process. The ultimate decision rests with Canada’s justice minister.

Nygard has the right to apply for bail. Past attempts have been denied. As have motions for publication bans.

Despite agreeing to being extradited, Nygard insists he’s innocent, said his lawyer Brian Greenspan.

“As in the past, Mr. Nygard denies any allegations of criminal conduct. He denies any suggestion that he engaged in conduct for which he should be charged criminally,” said Greenspan after the hearing.

Meanwhile, since December 2020, Manitoba Justice has been deciding whether or not to lay charges against Nygard based on eight files referred from Winnipeg Police Service to the Crown prosecutor’s office. 

However, there are no outstanding charges in Manitoba.

Nygard who once hosted parties in his mansions California and the Bahamas attended by celebrities like Prince Andrew and Oprah Winfrey, has been in custody in Manitoba’s Headingley Correctional Centre for most of his confinement. 

Slobodian is the Senior Manitoba Columnist for the Western Standard

Senior Columnist (Manitoba)

Linda Slobodian is the Senior Manitoba Columnist for the Western Standard based out of Winnipeg. She has been an investigative columnist for the Calgary Herald, Calgary Sun, Edmonton Sun, and Alberta Report.

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