Peter Nygard appears in Toronto court to face sexual assault charges

·2 min read
A court sketch shows Peter Nygard on the first day of his bail hearing at Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench on Jan. 19, 2021. On Friday, Nygard appeared in a Toronto courtroom via video conference.  (Tadens Mpwene/La Liberté Manitoba - image credit)
A court sketch shows Peter Nygard on the first day of his bail hearing at Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench on Jan. 19, 2021. On Friday, Nygard appeared in a Toronto courtroom via video conference. (Tadens Mpwene/La Liberté Manitoba - image credit)

Former fashion mogul Peter Nygard made his first appearance in a Toronto courtroom Friday morning to face multiple charges of sexual assault.

Nygard appeared via video conference from an Ontario jail cell, wearing an orange face mask and a black tuque over his long grey hair. He was transferred there from the Headingley Correctional Centre just west of Winnipeg earlier this week.

During the brief hearing, court heard that the charges involve seven different women, whom Nygard was ordered not to have any contact with.

The identities of the women were placed under a publication ban.

The Crown is withdrawing one of two sets of charges, as both are similar.

Nygard did not enter a plea to the Toronto charges Friday.

The matter was adjourned to Nov. 12 for a bail hearing.

The charges are in relation to incidents that happened in the city from the mid-1980s to the mid-2000s.

Nygard also facing U.S. charges

Nygard, 80, has been in custody since he was arrested at a Winnipeg house on Dec. 14, 2020.

He is charged in the U.S. with sex trafficking and racketeering conspiracy related to "a decades-long pattern of criminal conduct involving at least dozens of victims in the United States, the Bahamas and Canada," the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York has said.

The same day the Toronto charges came to light on Oct. 1, Nygard signed a consent form agreeing to bypass the court extradition process in Canada and move straight to ministerial review by Justice Minister David Lametti.

After the Oct. 1 hearing, Nygard's lawyer, Brian Greenspan, said that although his client has agreed to move ahead with the extradition process, he still maintains his innocence.

"As in the past, Mr. Nygard denies any allegations of criminal conduct. He denies any suggestion that he engaged in conduct for which he should be charged criminally," he said outside the Winnipeg law courts.

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