Disgraced fashion mogul Peter Nygard, 82, is CONVICTED of sexually assaulting four women in his luxury Toronto condo after luring them in to room with no door handle
Fashion mogul Peter Nygard was found guilty of four counts of sexual assault by a Toronto jury.
The Canadian designer, 82, was convicted on Sunday after a six-week trial.
Nygard reportedly appeared emotionless as the verdict was handed down after the fifth day of jurors’ deliberations. The octogenarian attacked five women in the private bedroom of his office building in downtown Toronto.
He previously pleaded guilty in Ontario Supreme Court to five counts of sexual assault and one count of forcible confinement. He was acquitted of two of those offences.
He initially faced eight charges, but several were dropped as jury selection was set to begin.
Peter Nygard, clockwise from bottom left, Judge Robert Goldstein, lawyer Brian Greenspan, the jury, Ana Serban and Neville Golwalla attend Nygard’s sexual abuse trial in Toronto
Peter Nygard leaves court in a police van after being found guilty of four charges of sexual assault, in Toronto, on Sunday, November 12, 2023
During the month-and-a-half trial, the jury heard graphic testimony from all five complainants, four of whom said they were in their late 20s when they were attacked, and one who said she was 16 when the alleged attack occurred.
The time period of the women’s testimonies ranged from the late 1980s to approximately 2005. Each of the women ended up in Nygard’s private bedroom.
Some women testified that there was a mirrored door leading to Nygard’s bedroom and that it had no handle on the inside and that two of the doors leading to the outside of his bedroom had to be unlocked and opened by pressing a button in the room or by entering a security code.
Two of the complainants told the court they felt trapped in that room as they believed there was no way out.
One of the women told the court she repeatedly begged Nygard to let her out of the room, and he eventually relented. It was this accusation that led to the charge of forcible confinement.
The disgraced mogul testified in his own defense for five days. He said he could not remember four of the five women or that he had had contact with any of them.
He further claimed that the allegations of sexual misconduct against him could not have occurred because he would never engage in such behavior.
Nygard contradicted some of the complainants’ testimony, arguing that there was a latch on the interior door of his private bedroom and denying a person could become trapped or trapped inside.
Prosecutors closed their case by arguing that Nygard’s testimony was inconsistent, unreliable and not credible and should be dismissed.
This undated outreach photo provided by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice on Oct. 4, 2023, shows fashion mogul Peter Nygard’s offices in Toronto, including a top-floor bedroom suite where five women say he raped them
Seen through a police car window, Finnish-Canadian fashion mogul Peter Nygard leaves a Toronto courthouse on November 12, 2023 after being found guilty of four charges of sexual assault
Nygard, 82, was arrested in December 2020 on sex trafficking charges – he is the founder of one of the largest clothing brands in Canada
Crown attorneys Neville Golwalla (L) and Ana Serban speak to the media outside the Toronto Courthouse in Toronto on November 12, 2023 after former fashion mogul Peter Nygard was found guilty of four charges of sexual assault
Kai Bickle-Nygard, son of former fashion mogul Peter Nygard, speaks to the media outside the Toronto Courthouse in Toronto on November 12, 2023 after his father was found guilty of four counts of sexual assault
In contrast, the prosecutor argued that the testimonies of the five women were consistent and that the similarities between their stories defied chance, thus proving Nygard’s guilt.
However, Nygard’s attorney argued that it was the testimony of the five women that was not credible.
Brian Greenspan – Nygard’s lawyer – told the jury that they should carefully consider all the evidence and consider the “fatal flaw and lack of reliability of the testimony” of the five women.
In addition to the trial that ended Sunday, Nygard also faces a civil lawsuit in New York that is currently on hold. It involved 57 women and the allegations date back to 1977, some of whom claim they were attacked when they were as young as 14 or 15.
He is fighting extradition to the US to face the charges in New York.
He faces a series of other charges across Canada stemming from other alleged acts of sexual misconduct and assault.
Born in Finland and raised in Canada, Nygard was the founder of Nygard International, once the largest manufacturer of women’s clothing in Canada.
Before the mogul was arrested, his company employed 1,450 people and operated more than 150 stores in North America and more than 6,000 stores in department stores.
In 2020, the company began to fall apart when 10 unnamed female plaintiffs filed a lawsuit in federal court in Manhattan, accusing the elderly businessman of raping women and underage girls at his estate in the Bahamas.
The lawsuit was subsequently expanded to include 57 unnamed plaintiffs.