Canadian fashion mogul Peter Nygard, 82, convicted on four counts of sexual assaulttext_fields
Toronto: Canadian fashion mogul Peter Nygard, aged 82, has been found guilty of four counts of sexual assault by a Toronto court.
The jury, after five days of deliberation, also acquitted Nygard on one count of sexually assaulting a woman who testified during the seven-week trial and one count of forcible confinement, according to Ontario's Superior Court of Justice.
The charges involved four women and a 16-year-old girl, spanning incidents that occurred between 1988 and 2005.
The trial, addressing the initial charges against Nygard, is part of a series of allegations concerning sex crimes committed against multiple women over several decades in both Canada and the United States.
The verdict followed a seven-week trial that scrutinised Nygard's actions over several years.
The fashion mogul, known for founding one of Canada's major clothing brands, Nygard International, faced accusations from multiple women, prompting a legal process that is expected to unfold in Quebec and Manitoba. Additionally, extradition to the United States is pending, where he is accused of sexual assault, racketeering, and trafficking.
Despite the guilty verdict, Nygard's lawyer, Brian Greenspan, did not rule out the possibility of appealing the decision. Greenspan, during closing arguments, criticised the case as being built on "contradictions and innuendo" and disputed the prosecution's portrayal of Nygard.
"To describe Peter Nygard as an evil predator, a Jekyll and Hyde personality who, through wealth and power, lured women to his den of iniquity and forced women to comply with his sexual demands... is neither fair nor accurate," claimed his lawyer. He added that the testimony of the accusers sounded "painfully absurd". He also called the victims "gold diggers" who is accusing his client of sexual assault for financial gains.
Prosecutor Ana Serban highlighted the consistency in the accounts of Nygard's accusers, emphasising a pattern of behaviour. Serban argued that Nygard's testimony was evasive and inconsistent, pointing to "remarkably similar accounts" from the accusers, each describing encounters with Nygard that followed a similar pattern, reported AFP.
Peter Nygard, who founded Nygard International in 1967, has been in detention since his arrest in 2020. Sentencing is scheduled for November 21, and Nygard continues to face legal proceedings in multiple jurisdictions.