Peter Nygard will not be charged in Winnipeg cases involving 8 girls, police say

WARNING: This article and its movies comprise graphic content material that could also be triggering for individuals who have skilled​ ​​​sexual violence or know somebody affected by it.

Disgraced clothes producer Peter Nygard will not face expenses in his hometown of Winnipeg, after a 10-month police investigation into allegations of sexual assault from eight girls, The Fifth Estate has realized.

In addition, an investigation by The Fifth Estate reveals a sample of Nygard avoiding prosecution following allegations of rape reported to Winnipeg police over a number of many years.

Winnipeg Police Chief Danny Smyth mentioned in an announcement that their current investigation concerned working 15 information, interviewing 29 witnesses, together with survivors, and compiling greater than 1,600 paperwork.

In the tip, eight cases have been submitted to Manitoba’s Justice Ministry for consideration. According to Smyth, prosecutors determined to not lay expenses in all of the cases.

  • The Fifth Estate’s documentary, “Why not in Winnipeg?,” airs Thursday at 9 p.m. on CBC-TV and streams on CBC Gem.

“It’s like a slap in the face,” mentioned Nadine Moostoos, one of many girls whose case was lately referred to Manitoba’s Justice Ministry for prison expenses.

In 1993, she was 14 years outdated and residing on the road when she mentioned Nygard picked her up and sexually assaulted her.

“That just broke my heart, man,” she mentioned, referring to the choice to not press expenses in her case. “It gave me no faith in the justice system.”

WATCH | Nadine Moostoos describes what she advised prosecutors when they declined her case:

Nadine Moostoos says she feels Manitoba’s justice system let her down

Nadine Moostoos says she gave Winnipeg police enough information to investigate her case. Although officers asked Manitoba prosecutors to consider laying charges, the lawyers declined to prosecute. 1:36

Nygard, formerly the head of a multimillion-dollar clothing empire based in Winnipeg, is in custody in Toronto where he faces six charges of sexual assault and three counts of unlawful imprisonment.

Nygard also faces multiple charges of sex trafficking in New York City, where prosecutors said in an indictment that, with help from his company, he drugged and sexually assaulted “at least dozens of women and minor-aged female victims” over 25 years. There is an extradition proceeding underway in that case.

Outside one of the hearings, lawyer Brian Greenspan said, “Mr. Nygard denies any allegation of criminal conduct.”

WATCH | Peter Nygard is escorted into a van outside Pearson airport:

FIFTH ESTATE | Peter Nygard is escorted into custody at Pearson Airport

Peter Nygard, who’s going through a number of sexual assault expenses, is escorted right into a van that took him to Toronto South Detention Centre earlier this fall. Source: Global News 0:10

In Winnipeg, nonetheless, he is by no means been prosecuted for a intercourse crime.

‘We have been all the time tossed apart’

Four of the eight girls, whose accounts of sexual assault have been referred to Manitoba prosecutors by Winnipeg police, spoke to The Fifth Estate.

Serena Hickes was working for Nygard in one among his shops in 1992, when she mentioned Nygard raped her. She mentioned she was too afraid to go to the police on the time. As a younger Indigenous girl, she felt she would not be believed.

“We were always tossed aside,” she mentioned.

“And I’d love for the police to come and prove me wrong, but sorry, guys. …  we’re still not taken seriously, to this day.”

Serena Hickes is a social employee in Winnipeg. As a new mother within the Nineties, she was working at one among Nygard’s shops when she says the now-disgraced firm founder sexually assaulted her. (Randall McKenzie/CBC)

April Telek was 20 when she was invited to Winnipeg by Nygard for a modelling job in 1993. She mentioned Nygard held her captive and raped her.

When Telek was knowledgeable no expenses can be laid in her case, she mentioned she was “gutted by that news.”

April Telek is pictured outdoors her dwelling in North Vancouver in 2020. Winnipeg police referred her case to Manitoba prosecutors, however the Crown declined to put expenses. (Maggie MacPherson/CBC)

When Toronto police introduced they’d be charging Nygard in October, the Winnipeg girls mentioned they felt crushed.

KC Allan met Nygard in a Winnipeg nightclub at age 17 in 1979. She mentioned Nygard raped her at his warehouse after he provided to present her a journey dwelling.

“To learn that the Toronto police and court system found six women in Toronto to be more credible and charge-worthy than the eight Winnipeg victims is a disgrace,” Allan mentioned.

WATCH | KC Allan calls the dearth of expenses in Winnipeg ‘a shame’:

KC Allan describes hearing prosecutors declined to lay charges

Former model KC Allan gave a statement to Winnipeg police last year, but Manitoba prosecutors declined to charge Peter Nygard. 1:11

Winnipeg police declined an interview request. But in the statement to The Fifth Estate, Smyth said it wasn’t his decision not to charge Nygard.

“We acknowledge and respect the decisions made by justice officials … not to proceed with criminal proceedings.” 

Manitoba’s Justice Ministry and its prosecution office declined to do an interview or provide a statement about its reasons for declining charges.

A familiar story

The Fifth Estate investigation also uncovered new revelations about how Nygard avoided prosecution in Winnipeg despite multiple complaints to the police.

Nygard’s first known brush with the law was in 1968, when Winnipeg police charged him with a sexual offence, The Fifth Estate has learned.

Nygard would have been in his 20s at the time.

Des Depourcq, a retired Winnipeg Police Service detective, says that he and his partner arrested Nygard and charged him with a sexual offence in 1968. The charge was later dropped. (John Badcock/CBC)

“I received a report from a young lady of a sexual nature, and we investigated the offence,” said Des Depourcq, a detective with Winnipeg police at the time. He has never told this story publicly.

“My recollection is she was a young lady, somewhere I’m guessing around 18 and I believe she worked for Mr. Nygard in his factory.”

Depourcq said he arrested and charged Nygard, but the woman refused to testify and the charges were withdrawn. 

It’s a familiar story. In 1980, Nygard was charged again with rape in Winnipeg, and again the charges were withdrawn when the woman refused to testify.

Teen’s family offered $250K, advocate says

Then, in the 1990s, a 14-year-old girl came forward in Winnipeg saying she had been raped by Nygard, The Fifth Estate has learned. 

Her family turned to Joy Smith for help. Smith, who later started an anti-human trafficking foundation in the city, was a school teacher at the time helping women and girls who had been trafficked.

Joy Smith, a former MP who started an anti-human trafficking foundation, says she met a family who said their teen daughter was raped by Nygard. (John Badcock/CBC)

“They explained to me Peter Nygard made them feel that they couldn’t win anything anyway. He had the money and he’d fight them and their lives would be ruined,” said Smith, who was later an MP in Winnipeg for more than a decade.

She said Nygard offered the family money for their silence.

“Peter Nygard persuaded them not to go to the police and not to report, and he gave them $250,000 to keep quiet,” Smith said.

Nygard’s lawyer, Jay Prober, said in an email that “there will be no comment” in response to The Fifth Estate‘s findings.

‘Nothing sticks to this man’

The police themselves have felt powerless at times, The Fifth Estate investigation revealed.

In 1984, an 18-year old Nygard employee, who was being sexually harrassed by Nygard at work, said she approached a police officer she knew. She wanted to press charges.

“[The officer] informed me … that he had had a look into Peter Nygard’s file,” she said, adding that the officer said Nygard’s file was “10 and a half inches high.”

The Fifth Estate is protecting the woman’s identity as a survivor of sexual assault.

“Nothing sticks to this man,” the woman said the officer said. “I don’t know what’s happening. You have to get out of there.”

WATCH | A Winnipeg woman says a police officer urged her to quit her Nygard job:

Winnipeg girl says police officer warned her to keep away from Nygard

A girl in Winnipeg, whose id is being protected, says a police detective warned her about Peter Nygard and urged her to stop her job. 2:19

The girl gave her discover at work, however earlier than her final day, she mentioned Nygard took her to his house and raped her.

Afterwards, she mentioned, she was given an envelope with two weeks’ wage and advised by one among Nygard’s staff to “collect my things and leave with a straight face.”

“I was too scared to say anything [to the police].”

Much of the reporting thus far about Nygard has questioned whether or not his cash and connections have helped him to evade prosecution within the Bahamas, where he has lived part-time because the Eighties.

While there may be nothing to recommend Nygard’s affect performed a task within the determination to not lay expenses in regards to the eight Winnipeg survivors, the new revelations recommend his sample of evading prosecution existed lengthy earlier than Nygard arrived within the Bahamas.

“Society thinks, ‘Oh, Peter Nygard perfected everything in the Bahamas,'” Hickes mentioned.

“No. He perfected how to get away with all of this in Winnipeg.”

If you have any info, or a confidential tip, to share about this story, please contact Timothy Sawa at [email protected] or [email protected] For details about find out how to ship suggestions confidentially, please go to The Fifth Estate’s web site.

If you want help, listed here are some choices to seek out it 24 hours a day:

Across Canada: Crisis Services Canada at 1-833-456-4566.

In Toronto: Assaulted Women’s Helpline at 1-866-863-0511 or 1-866-863-7868, or textual content #SAFE (#7233).

In Manitoba: Sexual Assault Crisis Line (24/7) at  (204) 786-8631 in Winnipeg and 1-888-292-7565 throughout the province.

For youth: Kids Help Phone at 1-800-668-6868 or textual content CONNECT to 686868.

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