Lawyers for thread baron and alleged child abuser Peter Nygard called his continued imprisonment a “death sentence” at a bail hearing in Canada on Tuesday.
“Before you this morning is a 79 and a half-year-old man, frail man, who is almost 80 years old,” attorney Jay Prober told the court in Winnipeg, Canada, as Nygard appeared by video link on an enormous screen. “Keeping him in jail in these times of the COVID pandemic, it’s nothing short of a death sentence and amounts to cruel and unusual punishment.”
The remarks were made at the start of a two-day bail hearing in Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench to determine whether Nygard will be released pending his extradition to the US on federal charges he sexually assaulted dozens of girls and women.
The Attorney General of Canada, represented by Scott Farlinger, has opposed bail.
The hearing got off to a rocky start with the questioning of former Nygard International staffer Greg Fenske, who lost his job after the company went into receivership. He testified that he has since earned a $2,000-a-week consulting fee to help manage the receivership process.
In an affidavit previously supplied to the court, Fenske offered to act as a surety and house his ex-boss in a $900,000 home that he said he owned “free and clear of all encumbrances which I recently purchased by my company which I alone control.”
But during questioning Tuesday before Justice Shawn Greenberg, it was revealed that Nygard had transferred cash into Fenske’s company to buy the home.
Farlinger also criticized Fenske’s assertion that Nygard had “lost virtually everything” pointing out that the ex-CEO still owned a sprawling Bahamian estate worth $40 million.
After the FBI raided Nygard International’s Times Square offices early last year, he stepped down as chairman of the once-successful clothing label, which has since filed for bankruptcy.
Manhattan federal prosecutors say the silver-maned predator drugged and raped women as young as 14 to satisfy a “near-daily” appetite for sex.
He allegedly hunted for fresh victims by hosting “Pamper Parties” at his palatial estates in California, the Bahamas and Canada, where his “girlfriends” scouted for targets, according to an indictment filed in the Southern District of New York.
More than 50 women have sued Nygard, alleging he sexually abused them.
Two of his sons alleged in a civil lawsuit that he hired a female escort to rape them when they were underage.
Another son, Kai Bickle, said he turned on his dad and began cooperating with authorities after he saw him behave inappropriately with an 8-year-old girl.
Nygard has denied the allegations against him.
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