Peter Nygard pictured during his time in The Bahamas
By RASHAD ROLLE
Tribune News Editor
PETER Nygard, the former fashion mogul who held political and cultural sway in The Bahamas as a long-time Lyford Cay resident, was convicted of sexual assault in Toronto, Canada, yesterday in the first of several criminal trials he will face over his treatment of women in multiple countries across several decades.
Nygard was found guilty of four counts of sexual assault after jurors deliberated for three days at the end of the six-week trial. He was acquitted of one count of sexual assault and one count of forcible confinement.
He will be sentenced to prison later this month and could face up to ten years.
He is expected to be tried in Montreal and Winnipeg next year. He will then be extradited to New York to face sex trafficking, racketeering and other charges.
After yesterday’s verdict, Nygard’s son, Kai Bickle, said the list of his father’s victims is long.
“Most of this abuse happened in The Bahamas, just so you know,” he told reporters. “This is just Toronto’s version that qualified. We are dealing with a systematic monster who used his business talents for evil to prey on others and it’s a very good thing that justice was served here.”
He claimed that Bahamian police brought escaped women back to Nygard’s property, where they were assaulted. He said his father used “jurisdictional loopholes” to avoid accountability here.
After the Southern District of New York unveiled its indictment of Nygard in 2020, pressure was placed on local authorities to explain why no case was ever brought against Nygard in The Bahamas.
Former Police Commissioner Paul Rolle had said in July 2019 that an investigation was launched into sexual abuse claims against Nygard. The Tribune had revealed that six women made formal complaints against him.
In 2020, Mr Rolle said when officers visited Nygard’s home in 2019, he was gone from the country. He said when police contacted Nygard to assist with their probe, he refused to return.
“We made contact with Nygard and he refused to return and surrender to The Bahamas and that’s the last of it so as far as we know, he’s never been interviewed by local police and all of our complaints that came in, came in after he left,” he said.
In 2020, former National Security Minister Marvin Dames told this newspaper an investigation would be launched into claims that Nygard concealed his alleged sexual crimes by bribing local law enforcement officials.
Asked about those investigations, Mr Rolle said the police force received no official complaint about “complicity” between local officers and Nygard.