A man the Canadian media have been calling "Canada's Jeffrey Epstein" was arrested in Winnipeg, Manitoba, on Monday at the request of American prosecutors and is facing extradition to the US. Fashion tycoon Peter Nygard is accused of "a decades-long pattern of criminal conduct involving at least dozens of victims in the United States, the Bahamas, and Canada, among other locations," the US Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York says in a statement. Prosecutors say the 79-year-old used his company's influence and resources to "recruit and maintain adult and minor-aged female victims" for the sexual gratification of him and his friends over a 25-year period, the New York Times reports. He has been indicted on crimes including racketeering and sex trafficking.
Nygard has been accused of sexual misconduct by at least 50 women, and his New York office was raided in February by a joint FBI-NYPD child-exploitation task force, the Winnipeg Free Press reports. Prosecutors say some of Nygard's victims were drugged. Dozens of women have joined a class-action lawsuit accusing him of rape and sexual assault. "The survivors of our lawsuit have been waiting for this day for a very long time," Lisa Haba, one of the lawyers representing victims, tells the CBC. "Peter Nygard's arrest marks the next chapter in holding him and his accomplices accountable for the unspeakable crimes against women and children they have perpetuated for decades. We will continue to seek justice." (Read more Peter Nygard stories.)