By Sidhartha Banerjee, The Canadian Press
MONTREAL — The Quebec lawyer prosecuting the sexual assault case against Canadian fashion mogul Peter Nygard told the court Monday the complainant wants proceedings to move forward more quickly.
Nygard’s case in Quebec has been put off for months. The 81-year-old founder of a defunct international women’s clothing company faces one count of sexual assault and one count of forcible confinement involving incidents that allegedly took place in Quebec between Nov. 1, 1997, and Nov. 15, 1998.
He also faces sex-related charges in Toronto, where he is currently detained, and in the United States, where authorities say he used his position in the fashion industry to lure women and girls.
Prosecutor Jérôme Laflamme had told reporters it was expected that a trial date would be set on Monday. But Nygard’s lawyer was not ready to proceed, and Quebec court Judge André Perreault put off the case once more, until April 14.
“The prosecution will be expecting a final position on this case at the next date so that we can move things along a little bit,” Laflamme told Perreault. “It’s been a little while since the initial arraignment and the plaintiff, she wants things to move.”
Nygard was first arrested in Winnipeg in 2020 under the Extradition Act after being charged with nine sex-related counts in New York. He is also the subject of a class-action lawsuit in the U.S. involving 57 women who allege Nygard abused his position in the fashion industry and sexually assaulted them.
The fallen fashion entrepreneur was charged in Toronto in 2021 with six counts of sexual assault and three counts of forcible confinement involving incidents between the late 1980s and mid-2000s. He will face trial in Toronto in September 2023.
Two additional sex assault charges were laid by Toronto police in June 2022.
The Quebec charges were filed in March 2022, and Nygard waived his right to bail hearing in that province last July.
Nygard has denied all the allegations against him, and he is appealing a U.S. extradition order. That appeal is scheduled to be heard in Winnipeg on April 26.
In March 2022, federal Justice Minister David Lametti said Nygard could be extradited to the U.S. once his Canadian cases are settled.