Fashion mogul Peter Nygard is shown during a bail hearing in Winnipeg on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in this courtroom sketch. THE CANADIAN PRESS/La Liberte Manitoba, Tadens Mpwene - POOL

Fashion mogul Peter Nygard is shown during a bail hearing in Winnipeg on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in this courtroom sketch. THE CANADIAN PRESS/La Liberte Manitoba, Tadens Mpwene - POOL

Judge rejects fashion mogul Peter Nygard’s appeal of decision that denied him bail

The Canadian fashion leader, facing sex trafficking and racketeering charges in the U.S., will remain in jail

A Canadian fashion leader facing sex trafficking and racketeering charges in the United States will remain in jail after an unsuccessful attempt to appeal an earlier ruling that denied him bail.

The decision released Friday said Peter Nygard’s detention is necessary to maintain confidence in the administration of justice, especially given the extreme nature and scope of the allegations.

Justice Jennifer Pfuetzner of the Manitoba Court of Appeal wrote the allegations “paint a picture of criminal conduct that was planned, financed and executed on a staggering scale.”

Nygard was arrested in December under the Extradition Act and faces nine counts in the Southern District of New York.

Authorities there accuse the 79-year-old of using his influence in the fashion industry to lure women and girls with the promise of modelling and other financial opportunities.

Justice Shawn Greenberg first denied Nygard’s bail in February, citing concerns that he would contact witnesses if released.

Nygard’s lawyers presented an augmented release plan during an appeal hearing last week. It included monitoring all emails and text messages.

The plan, as told to court, also involved an in-home security guard and 24-hour video surveillance.

Defence lawyer Brian Greenspan told court his client denied all the allegations and posed no risk if released.

He said Nygard’s health was rapidly deteriorating behind bars and he would be at significant risk if he contracted COVID-19.

Federal prosecutors argued that Nygard has the finances and personnel available to assist him in obstructing justice.

Pfuetzner said the new bail plan did not materially address the flaws that the original judge was concerned about.

“The application judge was rightly concerned that others would act on behalf of the respondent to contact witnesses and victims.”

Court has heard that Nygard is kept alone in a cell meant for three prisoners at Headingley Correction Centre outside Winnipeg. There is a television and phone in the cell and he has access to a diet for diabetics.

A formal extradition request from the U.S. was received by Canadian authorities in February. It details the accounts of seven alleged victims who are expected to testify in a criminal trial in that country.

There is a publication ban on any information that could identify the complainants or witnesses.

The women allege their livelihoods and their movements became dependent on having sex with Nygard. They say it was coerced through financial means or physical force.

U.S. prosecutors have said text messages and emails support the allegations.

Justice Canada said in an email that a pretrial hearing for the extradition case is scheduled for next month.

Nygard is also the subject of a class-action lawsuit in the U.S. involving 57 women with similar allegations.

Co-counsel in that suit, Greg Gutzler, said keeping Nygard locked up was the right decision.

“Nygard and his accomplices have an established track record of subverting justice by intimidating and tampering with witnesses,” Gutzler said.

Nygard founded his fashion company in Winnipeg in 1967. It grew from a partial stake in a women’s garment manufacturer to a brand name sold in stores around the world.

Nygard stepped down as chairman of his company after the FBI and police raided his offices in New York City in February 2020.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Logging Camp Nine on Great Central Lake overlooks a large forest fire across the lake in this historical photo from May 1943. Camp Nine was bustling, with residences for logging camp staff, a rail line and rail cars visible. This is one of 24,000 photos contained in the Alberni Valley Museum’s digital archives, available for public viewing at https://portalberni.pastperfectonline.com. (PHOTO PN12220 COURTESY ALBERNI VALLEY MUSEUM)
LOOK BACK: Great Central Lake’s sawmill

Take a peek at Alberni Valley history with the Alberni Vally Museum

Alberni Valley Bulldogs’ goalie Luke Pearson stopped all 22 shots the Cowichan Capitals sent his way to collect a 5–0 shutout in B.C. Hockey League action, Saturday, April 10, 2021. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
BCHL: Pearson earns shutout in Bulldogs’ win over Cowichan Capitals

Alberni Valley will face Victoria Grizzlies Sunday, April 11 at 3 p.m.

A 3.0-magnitude earthquake occurred off Ucluelet just after 12:30 a.m. on April 10 and was reportedly felt as far south as Oregon. (Map via United States Geological Survey)
Quake off Ucluelet reportedly felt as far south as Oregon

Magnitude 1.5 earthquake also reported off Vancouver Island’s west coast hours earlier

Princess Elizabeth and her new husband, Prince Philip—behind the wheel—visited the Alberni Valley on the princess's inaugural visit to Canada. A photographer with Charnell Studios in Port Alberni captured the young newlyweds along the parade route on Oct. 25, 1951, months before Princess Elizabeth became Queen. Prince Philip died April 9, 2021, just shy of his 100th birthday. This photo is one of 24,000 in the Alberni Valley Museum's online archives, available for public viewing at https://portalberni.pastperfectonline.com. (PHOTO PN 13605 COURTESY OF ALBERNI VALLEY MUSEUM)
LOOK BACK: Prince Philip and his new bride visit Port Alberni

A special look back with the Alberni Valley Museum to honour the life of Prince Philip

John Ambrose Seward, 33, is described as Indigenous and five-foot-eight with short black hair and brown eyes. (Police handout)
John Ambrose Seward, 33, is described as Indigenous and five-foot-eight with short black hair and brown eyes. (Police handout)
High-risk sex offender banned from central Island, living in Vancouver: police

John Ambrose Seward, 33, has been released from prison under a number of conditions

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

People walk past the Olympic rings in Whistler, B.C., Friday, May 15, 2020. Whistler which is a travel destination for tourists around the world is seeing the effects of travel bans due to COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Adults living, working in Whistler, B.C., eligible for COVID-19 vaccine on Monday

The move comes as the province deals with a rush of COVID-19 and variant cases in the community

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
UPDATE: RCMP investigating after child, 6, dies at motel in Duncan, B.C.

The BC Coroners Service is conducting its own investigation into the circumstances around the child’s death

RCMP display some of the fish seized from three suspects who pleaded guilty to violating the Fisheries Act in 2019, in this undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - RCMP
3 banned from fishing, holding licences after overfishing violations near Vancouver Island

Mounties seized the group’s 30-foot fishing vessel and all equipment on board at the time

B.C. Premier John Horgan responds to questions during a postelection news conference in Vancouver, on Sunday, October 25, 2020. British Columbia’s opposition Liberals and Greens acknowledge the COVID-19 pandemic has presented huge challenges for Horgan’s government, but they say Monday’s throne speech must outline a coherent plan for the province’s economic, health, social and environmental future. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Horgan’s NDP to bring in throne speech in B.C., Opposition wants coherent plan

Farnworth said the budget will include details of government investment in communities and infrastructure

FILE - An arena worker removes the net from the ice after the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames NHL hockey game was postponed due to a positive COVID-19 test result, in Vancouver, British Columbia, in this Wednesday, March 31, 2021, file photo. As vaccinations ramp up past a pace of 3 million a day in the U.S, the NHL is in a tougher spot than the other three major North American professional sports leagues because seven of 31 teams are based on Canada. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP, File)
Vancouver Canucks scheduled to practice Sunday, resume games April 16 after COVID outbreak

Canucks outbreak delayed the team’s season by eight games

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read