Canadian fashion mogul Peter Nygard has been arrested in Winnipeg and hit with sex trafficking charges.
The U.S. attorney's office for the Southern District of New York in a news release detailed the nine-count indictment, alleging that over the course of 25 years, Nygard used his company's "influence, as well as its employees, funds, and other resources, to recruit and maintain adult and minor-aged female victims," often targeting victims from disadvantaged backgrounds or with a history of abuse. He and his co-conspirators allegedly "used force, fraud, and coercion to cause women and minors to have sex with Nygard and others," prosecutors said.
Nygard sexually assaulted some of the victims, prosecutors also alleged, and other victims were allegedly "forcibly assaulted by Nygard's associates or drugged to ensure their compliance with his sexual demands." The prosecutors said Nygard used false promises of career opportunities, threats, and other "coercive means" to control his victims, allegedly requiring them to "engage in sexual activity at his direction" and recruit other women or minors for him to have sex with.
News of the indictment comes after The New York Times reported in February that Nygard's Manhattan corporate headquarters and Los Angeles home had been raided amid an investigation into sexual assault allegations. He subsequently stepped down as the chair of Nygard International.