Canadian fashion designer Peter Nygard has been indicted after allegedly using his influence and money to recruit underage girls and women for his own sexual gratification for 25 years, prosecutors announced on Tuesday.
Nygard, 79, faces several charges, including sex-trafficking and racketeering, for his “decades-long pattern of criminal conduct” in the United States, the Bahamas, and Canada, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York said in a statement. Prosecutors allege that since 1995, Nygard used the influence of his company and employees to “recruit and maintain adult and minor-aged female victims” for his own sexual gratification and the sexual gratification of his business associates and friends. Nygard was arrested in Winnipeg on Monday at the request of the United States.
“Nygard frequently targeted women and minor-aged girls who came from disadvantaged economic backgrounds and/or who had a history of abuse,” prosecutors said, adding that the 79-year-old “controlled his victims through threats, false promises of modeling opportunities,” financial support and physical isolation. Prosecutors add that Nygard referred to some of his victims as “girlfriends” or “assistants,” requiring that they travel with the fashion mogul to engage in sex acts at his direction and to recruit new women for him.