Fashion Designer Peter Nygard Arrested For Running Sex Trafficking Ring
Fashion executive Peter Nygard is facing charges of racketeering, sex trafficking and other crimes as evidence of a sex trafficking ring between his many companies mounts against him, federal prosecutors in New York Tuesday. He has been taken into custody in Winnipeg after authorities in Manitoba acted on a U.S. request for his extradition.
“Nygard welcomes the federal investigation and expects his name to be cleared,” a spokesperson for Nygard told ABC News back in February, when his New York office was raided. “He has not been charged, is not in custody and is cooperating with the investigation.”
The lawsuits against Nygard began that same month, when a feud between Nygard and his Bahamas neighbor, Louis Bacon, ended in Bacon filing a lawsuit against Nygard on behalf of 10 women claiming they were assaulted by him, accusing Nygard of sexually exploiting teenage girls. In that case, however, two of the women later came forward to admit they were paid to fabricate their claims.
Now, according to the indictment against him, Nygard has been accused of recruiting both adult and minor women with histories of abuse and “disadvantaged economic backgrounds” for commercial sex, coercing them by using modeling opportunities and financial support as bargaining chips. His associates, meanwhile, assaulted and even drugged victims “to ensure their compliance with Nygard’s sexual demands.” Much of the assault happened at company-funded “pamper parties,” where Nygard used free drinks, manicures, and massages to lure victims in before forcing them to have sex with him. More than 80 women have signed on as plaintiffs in the case.
In March, Nygard’s company filed for bankruptcy after Nygard stepped down and multiple major companies dropped his fashion lines following the February investigations.
Nygard’s Winnipeg lawyer, Jay Prober, denied the charges against his client. His lawyer in New York, Elkan Abramowitz, declined to comment.