Federal prosecutors in New York have charged Canadian fashion mogul Peter Nygard in connection with an investigation into allegations he trafficked and sexually assaulted dozens of girls and women for years.
The nine-count indictment out of the Southern District of New York also charges the 79-year-old Nygard with racketeering and other crimes. He was taken into custody in Canada Monday night, according to press reports in that country.
U.S. federal authorities raided Nygard's Manhattan headquarters earlier this year, a search that came amid claims he trafficked and sexually assaulted dozens of teenage girls and women.
Last February, News 4 reported the FBI and NYPD searched the designer's Times Square offices following a lawsuit filed in early 2020 by 10 women who accused Nygard of enticing young and impoverished women to his estate in the Bahamas with cash and promises of modeling opportunities.
Several plaintiffs in the suit said they were 14 or 15 years old when Nygard gave them alcohol or drugs and then raped them.
The designer is facing a class action lawsuit in the United States alleging the sexual assault of dozens of women.
Fifty-seven women have joined the lawsuit, which alleges that Nygard used violence, intimidation, bribery and company employees to lure victims and avoid accountability for decades.
Nygard has denied all allegations and blames a conspiracy caused by a feud with his billionaire neighbor in the Bahamas.
Nygard International began in Winnipeg as a sportswear manufacturer. Its website says its retail division has more than 170 stores in North America.
The class-action lawsuit says Nygard used his company, bribery of Bahamian officials and “considerable influence in the fashion industry” to recruit victims in the Bahamas, United States and Canada.
It alleges he plied the young women with drugs and alcohol during “pamper parties” and kept a database on a corporate server containing the names of thousands of potential victims.
The attorney for Nygard, Kenneth Frydman, said he had no comment on the charges.