Tue. May 17th, 2022

Toronto police have charged former fashion mogul Peter Nygard with several counts of sexual assault, The fifth estate have learned.

Sources say Nygard faces nine counts in total involving six women, one of whom was a minor at the time of the alleged assault. The charges, filed Wednesday, include six sexual assaults and three for restraining orders.

All of the alleged assaults took place in Toronto between the mid-1980s and mid-2000s.

The story of the Toronto charges comes as Nygard, 80, is still in custody in Manitoba, where he is awaiting extradition to the United States following his arrest nine months ago for charges filed in the Southern District Court in New York, including for sex trafficking and racketeering.

Nygard agreed to proceed with the extradition process to face these allegations during a hearing in Winnipeg on Friday morning.

The U.S. indictments relate to “a decades-long pattern of criminal behavior,” involving dozens of women in the United States, the Bahamas and Canada, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the southern district of New York.

Nygard appeared in court in Manitoba on January 6, 2021 from the Headingley Correctional Center outside Winnipeg via video conference. (Tadens Mpwene / La Liberté Manitoba)

The women involved in the Toronto prosecution were informed Wednesday. A woman, contacted by the CBC, welcomed the police action.

“It’s amazing.… Finally the bleeding stops. That’s all I can say,” she said The fifth estate.

As a victim of an alleged sexual assault, CBC protects her identity.

“I’m a fighter,” she said. “I would not let him control me.”

Toronto police’s investigation into allegations of sexual assault involving Nygard was first reported by APTN in April 2021.

Shannon Moroney, a Toronto-based therapist who supports dozens of Nygard survivors in her practice, said she was relieved to finally see charges in Canada.

“These accusations provide validation and hope to survivors who have been hiding in the shadows for years and many believe they were Nygard’s only victim and that justice would never come for them,” Moroney said in an email – declaration.

“I know they all share their accusations with their surviving sisters everywhere who may or may not have accusations in their own name.”

Nygard appeared under bail on January 28, 2021 via video link from the Headingley Correctional Center. (Tadens Mpwene / La Liberté Manitoba)

Eight women in Winnipeg have also filed complaints of sexual assault against Nygard. Winnipeg police sent their cases to prosecutors in December, where they are still being processed.

It is unclear how the Toronto prosecution will affect Friday’s extradition hearing and the ongoing process in Winnipeg.

“It would be up to the prosecutor to decide whether to continue the extradition or stop the extradition process to deal with the charges in Canada,” said Daniel Brown, an extradition lawyer in Toronto.

The fifth estate has reported extensively for more than a decade on several women in several countries claiming sexual abuse from Nygard. The charges against the Toronto police are the first against him in Canada.

None of the charges against Nygard have been proven in court. He has maintained his innocence and says the charges against him have been settled to damage his reputation.

Read more about Friday’s handover hearing here.

Support is available to anyone who has been sexually abused or affected by these reports. You can access crisis lines and local support services through this Government of Canada website or the Ending Violence Association of Canada database. If your situation is urgent, please contact the emergency center in your area.

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