Canada judge denies bail to fashion mogul accused of sex crimes
A Canadian court ruled Friday that fashion executive Peter Nygard must remain in prison while he fights extradition to the United States to stand trial for sex crimes.
Nygard, 79, had appealed a ruling in February by a court in central Manitoba province that denied bail on grounds that he might tamper with witnesses or his accusers. It said he had breached court orders on at least five past occasions.
On Friday an appeals court in Manitoba rejected Nygard's appeal, saying this was necessary in order to "maintain confidence in the administration of justice."
The court noted the "'extreme' nature and scope of the allegations which paint a picture of criminal conduct that was planned, financed and executed on a staggering scale."
Nygard faces nine charges in the US, including racketeering and sex trafficking, involving "at least a dozen victims in the United States, the Bahamas, and Canada, among other locations," the New York federal attorney in charge of the case said last month.
The crimes allegedly took place between 1990 and 2020. Nygard and his alleged accomplices, including employees of his fashion group, "used force, fraud, and coercion to cause women and minors to have sex" with them, the statement said.
Nygard, who has been in Canadian custody since mid-December, has denied the accusations. A date for his extradition hearing has yet to be scheduled.
Nygard's lawyer had asked in January that he be released on bail out of fear he would catch the coronavirus in prison.
The judge said no, noting only seven cases of infection among the 500 prisoners at the facility where Nygard is being held.