In Manhattan, acting US Attorney Audrey Strauss said Nygard, 79, had used his leverage and companies to “recruit and maintain” victims in the United States, Canada and the Bahamas to sexually gratify himself and his associates since 1995.
Authorities say that Nygard or his associates abused victims with certain drugs to ensure that they fulfilled his sexual demands and that Nygard mostly targeted victims who came from or had suffered violence from poor backgrounds.
Nygard used different ways to recruit suspects, the nine-count indictment said.
“The indictment stated that Nygard took some victims to swinger clubs where they would be intimidated into having sex with other men, “to encourage Nygard having sex with other women and for his own sexual pleasure,” he called them “girlfriends.”
Canadian fashion executive Peter J. Nygard charged with sex trafficking and racketeering offenses https://t.co/HiMiBejNVs
— US Attorney SDNY (@SDNYnews) December 15, 2020
In order to silence future accusers, Nygard also used threats of prosecution, reputational damage and litigation, the indictment said.
His indictment on charges of sex trafficking came after Nygard’s Manhattan offices were raided in February by US federal authorities.
After 10 women sued Nygard, the FBI raid took place, alleging he lured young and poor women with cash and promises of modeling and fashion opportunities to his Bahamas estate.
Nygard has refuted all the accusations and accuses his billionaire neighbour in the Bahamas of a plot sparked by a feud.
Nygard stepped down as Nygard International’s chairman after the FBI raided its New York headquarters near Times Square.