WINNIPEG — Lawyers for Peter Nygard will be back in court today arguing for the release of the Canadian fashion king who is facing charges of sex trafficking and racketeering in the United States.
Nygard, who is 79, was arrested last month in Winnipeg under the Extradition Act and faces nine counts in the Southern District of New York.
His lawyers are expected to present a new plan after the judge presiding over the bail hearing criticized the previous one.
Court has heard that a home a former company executive offered as a place for Nygard to stay was purchased with Nygard’s own money.
Defence lawyer Jay Prober has argued that his client’s health is at risk behind bars.
Federal lawyers have told court Nygard has the means to flee and the charges he faces in the U.S. are too serious for his release.
Authorities there accuse Nygard of using his influence in the fashion industry to lure women and girls with the promise of modelling and other financial opportunities.
They allege that for 25 years Nygard targeted women and underage girls from disadvantaged economic backgrounds and forcibly sexually assaulted them.
A full package of extradition materials from U.S. prosecutors is not expected to be provided to Canadian authorities until February. Nygard’s lawyers have said it’s unfair to keep him behind bars without complete information on the allegations.
Nygard founded his fashion company in 1967 in Winnipeg, where it grew from a partial stake in a women’s garment manufacturer to a brand name sold in stores around the world.
He stepped down as chairman of the company after the FBI and police raided his offices in New York City last February.
Nygard is also the subject of a class-action lawsuit in the U.S. involving 57 women with similar allegations.
Two of Nygard’s sons have filed a separate lawsuit against him claiming they were statutorily raped at his direction as teenagers.
Prober has said his client denies all the allegations against him.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 28, 2021.