Fashion mogul, Peter Nygard will be extradited to US over charges of sex trafficking and racketeering
Fashion mogul, Peter Nygard on Friday agreed to be extradited from Canada to the United States where he faces nine charges of raping dozens of women and girls, racketeering and sex trafficking.
The 80-year-old Finnish-Canadian millionaire, who has been held in prison since his arrest in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, last December, made a brief court appearance via video link.
Scott Farlinger, a lawyer representing the Canadian government in the case, explained that Nygard, who’d been denied bail on the grounds he might tamper with witnesses or his accusers, had opted not to fight the extradition.
Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench Chief Justice Glenn Joyal said Nygard can’t be extradited for at least 30 days. However, the disgraced fashion designer can apply for judical interim release, also known as bail, while the new justice minister confirms or denies his extradition.
Nygard’s lawyer Brian Greenspan confirmed to the court that the designer consented to the extradition application and understood the significance.
‘He wants to face these charges,’ Greenspan told reporters afterward.
Nygard faces nine charges in the United States involving dozens of victims. If confirmed, his extradition will allow him to answer to the US charges and raise a defense.
Greenspan also told reporters outside of the court room that the US can only bring one charge against him. but could bring multiple counts, due to the Law of Specialty that defends international law.
The Law of Specialty prohibits the US from adding charges. He can only be charged for offenses pre-extradition.
‘This process can now move forward in order for him to face trial in the United States,’ defense lawyer Brian Greenspan confirmed.
His alleged crimes, according to the US indictment, took place between 1990 and 2020. Nygard and his alleged accomplices, including employees of his group, ‘used force, fraud, and coercion to cause women and minors to have sex’ with them, it said.
The perma-tanned Nygard, known for his long, flowing gray hair and flamboyant dress sense, has denied the allegations.
Toronto police on Friday also announced that an arrest warrant had been issued for Nygard for six alleged sexual assaults and three charges of forcible confinement, between 1987 and 2006. Although there are claims that complaints against Nygard in Canada go back to the 70s.
Greenspan told reporters that he is not sure if his client will face the Canadian charges before the US ones and that it will be up to the newly appointed federal justice minister to decide.
He also made it clear they will ensure Nygard does not end up in a prison with ‘sewage in the cells,’ like New York City’s Rikers Island jail.
Nygard has been charged with sex trafficking and racketeering after women came forward accusing him of using his business to lure them in from the United States and the Bahamas for his own sexual gratification.
He was arrested by Canadian authorities on December 14 on an extradition warrant at the US government’s request on charges of assaulting dozens of women in a decades-long sex trafficking scheme.
He is accused of using his prominence in the fashion industry to lure women and girls in with the promise of modeling or other job opportunities before he and his associates sexually assaulted them.
The allegations span a 25-year period and involve more than 80 women in the US, the Bahamas and Canada, among other locations.
His lawyer denies the number of women, saying on seven woman in the US and six in Toronto have been chronicled, he told reporters today.