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

A Google Earth image of a well site in Ponoka County from WellWiki.org.
Website ‘WellWiki.org’ makes accessing local well site information easy and accessible

U of A professor developed the database of well sites, including Ponoka County

Dr. Wayne John Edwards, 66, died Tuesday at Chinook Regional Hospital. (Cornerstone Funeral Home)
Lethbridge doctor becomes 7th Alberta health-care worker to die from COVID-19

Dr. Wayne John Edwards, who was 66, died Tuesday at the Chinook Regional Hospital in the southern Alberta city

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, April 6, 2020. Top Tory leaders of past and present will speak with supporters today about what a conservative economic recovery from COVID-19 could look like. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
O’Toole to vote against Conservative MP’s private bill on ‘sex-selective abortion’

Erin O’Toole said he supports a woman’s right to choose and will personally vote against the private member’s bill

Doses of the Moderna COVID‑19 vaccine in a freezer trailer, to be transported to Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Pfizer to increase vaccine deliveries in Canada as Moderna supply slashed

Moderna plans to ship 650,000 doses of its vaccine to Canada by the end of the month, instead of the expected 1.2 million

A empty classroom is pictured at Eric Hamber Secondary school in Vancouver, B.C. Monday, March 23, 2020. The Alberta government says schools in Calgary will move to at-home learning starting Monday for students in grades 7 to 12.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Calgary schools to shift to at-home learning for grades 7 to 12 due to COVID-19

The change, due to COVID-19, is to last for two weeks

A man wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as he walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
COVID-19 spike in B.C. could overwhelm B.C. hospitals: modelling group

There are 397 people are in hospital due to the virus, surpassing a previous high of 374 seen in December

Ron Rauch and his wife Audrey are photographed at their home in Victoria, Friday, March 5, 2021. Their daughter Lisa Rauch died on Christmas Day 2019 when a tactical officer with the Victoria Police Department shot her in the back of the head with plastic bullets after barricading herself in a room that was on fire. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. families push for changes as special committee examines provincial Police Act

Solicitor General Mike Farnworth acknowledged the need to update the legislation last year

Major-General Dany Fortin, left, looks on as Minister of Public Services and Procurement Anita Anand provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020. The Public Health Agency of Canada has set aside up to $5 billion to pay for COVID-19 vaccines. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada negotiating contracts to secure COVID-19 booster shots for next year: Anand

Most of Canada’s current vaccine suppliers are already testing new versions against variants

(Government of Canada)
Liberal MP caught stark naked during House of Commons video conference

William Amos, in Quebec, appeared on the screens of his fellow members of Parliament completely naked

Health Canada headquarters in Ottawa. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)
Health Canada releases guidelines for reducing COVID-19 transmission at home

Improve indoor air quality by opening up your windows and doors, among other encouraged ventilation measures

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney updates media on measures taken to help with COVID-19, in Edmonton on Friday, March 20, 2020. Alberta is set to join three other provinces in exploring the feasibility of small modular reactors as a clean energy option. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Four provinces to sign memorandum of understanding to explore small nuclear reactors

Alberta government said in August that it would enter into the agreement to help diversify its energy sector

Most Read