TORONTO – Canadian fashion mogul Peter Nygard will remain behind bars in Toronto as he awaits trial on sexual assault charges after an Ontario court rejected his bid to be released on bail.
Nygard, who appeared remotely from the Toronto South Detention Centre, sat still as Ontario Justice of the Peace John Scarfe read his ruling Wednesday.
Nygard, 80, is charged with six counts of sexual assault and three counts of forcible confinement, which police have said relate to alleged incidents in the late 1980s and mid-2000s. He has denied all the allegations.
None of the evidence or arguments presented in court can be published due to a standard publication ban, nor can any of the complainants be identified.
Nygard, the former head of a multimillion-dollar clothing company, was flown to Toronto from Winnipeg in October to face the charges.
He was first arrested in Winnipeg in 2020 under the Extradition Act after being charged with nine sex-related counts in New York.
Authorities in the U.S. accuse Nygard of using his influence in the fashion industry to lure women and girls with the promise of modelling and other financial opportunities.
A Manitoba judge denied him bail in February of last year as he underwent an extradition hearing, citing concerns that he would contact witnesses if released.
Nygard unsuccessfully appealed that decision, and the Supreme Court of Canada later declined to hear his challenge of the two lower-court rulings.
He has since agreed to be extradited to the United States to face a charge of sex trafficking.
A spokesman for the federal Department of Justice said Wednesday that Nygard would not have been released even if he did receive bail in Toronto because he’s still ordered detained under the extradition case. Ian McLeod said in an email that Nygard will continue to be detained unless he applies for and is granted bail by the Manitoba courts in relation to the extradition.
The Minister of Justice is expected to release his decision on Nygard’s extradition this spring. The Department of Justice said that at that time, David Lametti will also decide whether Nygard’s surrender should await the outcome of the Canadian charges.
Nygard is also the subject of a class-action lawsuit in the U.S. involving 57 women with similar allegations.
– with files from Kelly Geraldine Malone in Winnipeg
This report by The Canadian Press was first published on Jan. 19, 2022.