Disgraced Canadian fashion executive Peter Nygard was found guilty on Sunday of sexually assaulting four women in a secret bedroom suite inside his Canadian office.
Nygard, 82, wore a black parka in court and showed no emotion as the jury found him guilty of four counts of sexual assault. The victim, who was just 16, carried out the pathological attack. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reports.
The creepy designer is still facing criminal and civil cases in New York and elsewhere in Canada, and he was convicted during a six-week trial based largely on the testimony of his accusers.
Prosecutor Neville Golwalla said after the verdict: “This is a crime that often occurs in private and profoundly affects human dignity.”
“To stand up and speak out about these insults in a public forum like a court of law is never easy and takes tremendous courage,” Goolwala said. “Everyone who comes forward should be commended.”
Nygard was acquitted of a fifth charge of sexual assault and one count of forcible confinement. Five other sexual assault charges were dismissed ahead of five days of jury deliberations, which resulted in the jury’s verdict on Sunday.
Nygard is accused of using his wealth and influence to lure victims Enter the top floor bedroom groupThere, prosecutors say, he cornered them and sexually assaulted them.
The teenage victim claimed she was raped in front of others, while another accuser said Nygard paid her $100.
During the trial, two plaintiffs were dismayed when the designer gave them a tour of his office and eventually into his bedroom suite, describing a mirrored door leading into the room.
Once inside, they discovered there was no handle on the door so they couldn’t leave.
The businessman, who spent five days in the witness box during the trial, denied the accusations and claimed he could not even remember four of the five women accused of sexual assault.
His attorney, Brian Greenspan, claimed the prosecution’s case was riddled with “fatal flaws” and questioned the credibility of his client’s accusers.
“The sexual assault described by each complainant never occurred,” he told jurors.
The jury disagreed.
“This is not a simple case,” Goolwala told producers outside the courthouse.
He said: “When you hear the jury’s verdict, you can tell that they worked very hard to arrive at the result. Of course, we think the final result reached by the jury is fair.”
Judgment is just the beginning of the case Controversial legal challenge The clothing designer also faces sexual assault and forcible confinement charges in Manitoba and Quebec.
He is also fighting extradition to the United States, where he faces charges in New York including sex trafficking, racketeering conspiracy and transporting a minor for the purpose of prostitution.
Nygard is also named in a class-action lawsuit filed in New York on behalf of 57 women who claim they were sexually harassed as early as 1977 – some of whom were as young as 14 and 15 at the time.
Outside the courthouse on Sunday, the designer’s son Kai Nygard, who had previously spoken out against his father, reflected on the verdict.
“I love my dad,” he told reporters, “and it makes me sad to see all these things. I get to know a different person. I get a different version of him, and to me, that connection is real Yes, those moments are real.”
“There’s something sinister in it,” he added, “something perverse.”