Sex trafficking is a global concern and efforts to stop it have led to accusations and charges against individuals from all walks of life.
As a recent example, Canadian fashion icon Peter Nygard was arrested on suspicion that he used his position to traffic young women in a pattern of alleged criminal behavior that spanned decades.
US authorities raid NYC offices
Earlier this year, Nygard became a defendant in a lawsuit filed by multiple women who claimed that the mogul targeted them when they were between 14 and 15 years old, using offers of career advancement to lure them to his home in the Bahamas.
Upon arriving, his accusers said he plied them with drugs or alcohol before sexually assaulting them.
In the wake of that suit, FBI agents raided offices in New York City that belonged to Nygard Group, the Canadian-based company Nygard founded in 1995.
He made his first court appearance this week after he was arrested in Winnipeg at the behest of U.S. authorities.
As a U.S. Department of Justice press release on Tuesday asserted, the defendant “used the Nygard Group’s influence, as well as its employees, funds, and other resources, to recruit and maintain adult and minor-aged female victims.”
“He controlled his victims”
Furthermore, the statement alleges that the designer “frequently targeted women and minor-aged girls who came from disadvantaged economic backgrounds and/or who had a history of abuse.”
The DOJ concluded that Nygard “forcibly sexually assaulted some of his victims” while others were “drugged to ensure their compliance with his sexual demands.”
He allegedly used a range of tactics to ensnare victims, the statement continued, asserting: “He controlled his victims through threats, false promises of modeling opportunities and other career advancement, financial support, and by other coercive means, including constant surveillance, restrictions of movement, and physical isolation.”
He is also facing various other accusations of crimes he allegedly committed in order to ensure that potential witnesses did not come forward to testify against him, including “paying witnesses for false statements and affidavits, threatening witnesses with arrest, prosecution, and reputational harm, and attempting to cause reputational harm and discredit potential witnesses by disseminating false or embarrassing information.”
As of the latest updates available, no bond has been set.