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

Nick Trask, 36, and Ryan Ellison, 35, died in a boat collision on Osoyoos Lake in 2019. (Facebook photo)
Meth, excessive speed found as factors in Osoyoos boat crash deaths

Nick Trask, 36, and Ryan Ellison, 35, died in a boat collision on Osoyoos Lake in 2019

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
54 more cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Thirty-two people in the region are in hospital with the virus, 11 of them in intensive care

The automated external defibrillator, like the one pictured here, was stolen from the Skaha Lake Boathouse for the second time in a year. (File)
Life-saving device stolen from Penticton paddler community for second time

It’s hoped that a new boathouse will be able to better protect the device

scales of justice
Guilty or not guilty? Lamb waits on two judges’ decisions

Trials for two of Bryan Lamb’s criminal cases wrapped up this week

Katerina Bakalos of Summerland will release her first single on May 1. The music label is LMS Entertainment from Kelowna. (Contributed)
Summerland singer to release single under Kelowna-based label

Katerina Bakalos has performed a rock rendition of I Think We’re Alone Now

A large crowd protested against COVID-19 measures at Sunset Beach in Vancouver on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. (Snapchat)
VIDEO: Large, police-patrolled crowds gather at Vancouver beach for COVID protests

Vancouver police said they patrolled the area and monitored all gatherings

Virtual meetings are taking a toll on local governance, according to multiple mayors in the North Okanagan. (Headway photo)
Virtual meetings leave North Okanagan politicians out of touch

More than a year of Zoom has led to a disconnect between officials, according to local mayors

FILE – The Instagram app is shown on an iPhone in Toronto on Monday, March 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
Judge acquits B.C. teen boy ‘set up’ on sex assault charge based on Instagram messages

The girl and her friends did not have ‘good intentions’ towards the accused, judge says

Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei, walks down the street with an acquaintance after leaving B.C. Supreme Court during a lunch break at her extradition hearing, in Vancouver, B.C., Thursday, April 1, 2021. A judge is scheduled to release her decision today on a request to delay the final leg of hearings in Meng Wanzhou’s extradition case. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Rich Lam
B.C. judge grants Meng Wanzhou’s request to delay extradition hearings

Lawyers for Canada’s attorney general had argued there is no justification to delay proceedings in the case

B.C. Premier John Horgan announces travel restrictions between the province’s regional health authorities at the legislature, April 19, 2021. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sees 862 more COVID-19 cases Wednesday, seven deaths

Recreational travel restrictions set to begin Friday

Kai Palkeinen recently helped a car stuck on the riverbed near the Big Eddy Bridge. While the car could not be saved, some of the driver’s belongings were. It’s common for vehicles to get stuck in the area due to significantly changing river levels from Revelstoke Dam. (Photo by Kai Palkeinen)
‘I just sank a car’: Revelstoke resident wants the Columbia River better protected

Although it’s not permitted, the riverbed near the city is popular for off roading

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson is photographed following her budget speech in the legislative assembly at the provincial legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. budget lacks innovative drive, vision during uncertain times, say experts

Finance Minister Selina Robinson’s budget sets out to spend $8.7 billion over three years on infrastructure

Using panels kept cold by water circulating within them, B.C. researchers compared thermal comfort in 60 of the world’s most populous cities, including Toronto. (Lea Ruefenacht)
B.C. researchers use air conditioning to combat spread of COVID particles

Dr. Adam Rysanek and his team have proven a new worthwhile system – a mixture of cooling panels and natural ventilation

Police road checks are coming for people travelling between regions while COVID-19 travel restrictions are in place. (Black Press file photo)
B.C. clarifies COVID-19 travel restrictions, Lower Mainland a single zone

Vehicle checks on highways, at ferry terminals to start Friday

Most Read