WINNIPEG – Canadian fashion mogul Peter Nygard plans to seek bail in a Winnipeg courtroom today following his arrest last month on charges in the United States of sex trafficking and racketeering.
Nygard, who is 79, was arrested in December under the Extradition Act and faces nine counts in the southern District of New York.
Authorities there accuse Nygard of using his influence in the fashion industry to lure women and girls with the promise of modelling and other financial opportunities.
Nygard’s lawyer, Jay Prober, has said his client denies the allegations.
Prober has told court his client should be released on bail because his health is deteriorating behind bars and he is not a flight risk.
Lawyers for the Attorney General of Canada say Nygard has a history of not showing up to court and has the means to flee.
The two-day bail hearing is expected to find out more about affidavits filed in court that detail Nygard’s unconventional health routines, which include having a diet free of sugar, carbs and preservatives.
Nygard’s team has also filed several affidavits from associates and friends who are standing by the businessman. Two people who were employed by Nygard have offered to put up their homes to act as sureties if Nygard is released before the extradition hearing.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office alleges that for 25 years Nygard targeted women and underage girls from disadvantaged economic backgrounds and forcibly sexually assaulted them.
He is also the subject of a class-action lawsuit in the U.S. involving 57 women with similar allegations.
Nygard stepped down as chairman of his company after the FBI and police raided his offices in New York City last February.
Two of Nygard’s sons have filed a separate lawsuit against him in which they claim they were statutorily raped at his direction when they were teens.
Nygard, through his lawyer, has also denied the allegations in the lawsuits.