Canadian Fashion Executive Peter Nygard Arrested on Federal Sex Trafficking Charges

Canadian fashion businessman Peter Nygard has been arrested on federal sex trafficking charges. 

Federal authorities are accusing Nygard, 79, of using his company to prey on young women, who say Nygrad sexually assaulted them and groomed them to serve his friends and business partners, NBC News reports. Royal Canadian Mounted Police arrested the fashion designer in Winnipeg on Monday. 

Nygard is accused of committing criminal acts between 1995 all the way up to 2020, federal prosecutors in New York say. “Mr. Nygard vehemently denies the allegations and expects to be vindicated in court,” defense lawyer Jay Prober told NBC News. 

In a statement, federal prosecutors detailed Nygard’s alleged criminal activity. For the last 25 years, Nygard “used Nygard Group’s influence, as well as its employees, funds, and other resources, to recruit and maintain adult and minor-aged female victims for Nygard’s sexual gratification and the sexual gratification of his friends and business associates.”

They added that Nygard “frequently targeted women and minor-aged girls who came from disadvantaged economic backgrounds and/or who had a history of abuse.” One of Nygard’s alleged tactics was throwing “pamper parties” in the Marina del Rey neighborhood of Los Angeles and the Bahamas. NBC News reports that Nygard would use these events to lure young women in with spa services, drinks, and food. 

When Nygard would find his “girlfriends,” he would continue to spend money on them with “travel, living expenses, dental work, immigration assistance, plastic surgery, abortions, child support, and medical treatments,” the indictment said. “Many victims were initially inducted, coerced and forced to have sex with Nygard through one or more of the following: false promises of modeling or fashion industry jobs; the supply of alcohol and/or drugs, including the drugging of drinks without the victim’s knowledge; and physical force.”

Nygard’s victims were also taken to “swingers” clubs in New York, Miami, Los Angeles, and Winnipeg. “While at the clubs, Nygard directed and pressured ‘girlfriends’ through manipulation, intimidation, degradation, threats, and on occasion force to engage in sex with other men to facilitate Nygard having sex with other women and for his own sexual gratification,” the indictment said. “At these clubs, Nygard frequently forced his victims to engage in group sex activity to which they had not consented.”

Nygard has received a nine-count grand jury indictment that included charges of racketeering conspiracy, conspiracy to commit sex trafficking, trafficking of minors, forced sex trafficking, and transportation of a minor for prostitution. Prober says his client will be seeking bail, claiming that he is “very susceptible to the worst consequences of Covid-19.”

 

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