Fashion mogul Peter Nygard — who’s facing charges of sexually assaulting dozens of girls and women — was ordered to remain locked up in a Canadian jail Monday as he fights extradition to the United States.
Justice Theodor Bock of the Manitoba Court of Queens’s Bench granted the government’s request Wednesday to keep him behind bars despite objections from the 79-year-old’s lawyers.
Defense attorney Jay Prober argued that his client would be free if his case hadn’t sparked a “media frenzy” and a “lynch mob atmosphere.” Nygard’s other lawyer, Richard Wolson, said that delaying the hearing “is to play Russian Roulette with [Nygard’s] health” given the pandemic. “COVID would likely kill him,” Wolson told the judge.
Nygard appeared by video from a correctional facility for the proceeding in Winnipeg, Canada, where he has been locked up since his arrest last month. Wearing a gray shirt and his silver mane in a bun, Nygard at one point pulled down his mask to reveal a mustache.
Scott Farlinger, who is representing the Attorney General of Canada, said he planned to oppose Nygard’s release on bail and needed more time to review the application.
“There’s a serious risk of flight,” said Farlinger, citing Nygard’s history of failing to appear in court in the Bahamas “resulting in contempt orders and even a contempt sentence.” He added that Nygard’s wealth would make it easy for him to flee and expressed concern that one of his friends who vouched for him in the bail application has a criminal record.
The judge sided with Farlinger and put off the hearing until Jan. 19.
The US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York is seeking Nygard’s extradition to the United States but hasn’t filed a formal request yet.
The Canadian tycoon, whose women’s apparel business was headquartered in Times Square, allegedly fueled his need for “near-daily” sex by drugging and raping women as young as 14, officials said.
The indictment includes charges ranging from sex trafficking to racketeering and involves incidents stretching back to 1995.
The alleged abuse occurred at the designer’s palatial properties in California, the Bahamas and Canada, according to the indictment.
The threads baron hosted “Pamper Parties” with free food, drinks and spa treatments at his estates in the Bahamas and Marina de Rey. Calif., to lure in victims.
Sometimes he had a “girlfriend” or employees at the parties scout out young women — including minors — who would be drugged and forced to have sex with him, authorities charge.
He also used his now-defunct company Nygard International, to recruit women, putting them on his payroll as “assistants” and bankrolling their plastic surgery, dental work — and even abortions, prosecutors said.
More than 50 women have joined a class-action lawsuit, accusing Nygard of sexually abusing them. Two of the businessman’s own sons sued him in August for allegedly hiring an escort to rape them when they were underage.
After the FBI raided Nygard’s New York offices early last year, he stepped down as chairman of his company, which has since filed for bankruptcy and gone into receivership.