The rich and powerful continue to include California as a destination spot for committing unforgivable sex crimes against trusting victims. The right amount of money appears to buy just enough confidentiality to allow perpetrators to get away with heinous acts for decades. Where does it end? One of these individuals just found that out.
At the urging of U.S. officials, Peter Nygard was arrested in mid-December by Canadian authorities in Winnipeg. He is being charged by federal prosecutors with sex trafficking of at least a dozen victims in the U.S., Bahamas, and Canada among other locations. Alarmingly, Nygard and Jeffrey Epstein ran somewhat parallel lives, which is enough to give pause and ask ourselves just how many sexual predators are operating at this level? Even worse, how many victims are there who are still waiting for their chance to come forward?
Who is Peter Nygard?
Peter Nygard is a Finnish fashion mogul who entered the industry in 1967. He owns brands such as Alia, TanJay and Nygard along with stores across the United States and Canada netting him over $200 million in annual sales. Some might think a lot of good could be done with that kind of money but instead, Nygard has taken the route made infamous by Jeffrey Epstein.
Nygard’s soul-crushing sexual attacks are believed to have spanned the last 25 years of his career, which he used as a tool to exploit the dreams of young women looking to make it big in modeling. Most of his targets were chosen by design from backgrounds that made their circumstances more desperate. Nygard wanted them in a position without control, making it easy to carry out his long-term abuse.
The tally of his victims and crimes is high, consisting of at least 55 women and underage girls who claim to have experienced:
- Sexual assault
- Sex trafficking
- Inappropriate touching
Other charges Nygard faces include:
- Drugging victims
Nygard often used coercion to keep his prey in line through constant surveillance, restricting their movement, and physically isolating them. While many victims had not come forward, several employees who were sexually harassed, assaulted, or raped were paid off and required to sign non-disclosure agreements over the years with Nygard’s inner circle having full knowledge.
Nygard enlisted girlfriends or employees to round up girls for “swinger” parties and other gatherings for sexual encounters at some of his properties, including the one in Marina del Rey, just like Ghislaine Maxwell did for Epstein. Other similarities between Nygard and Epstein are uncanny. Both predators:
- Kept private islands where they assaulted and trafficked young women and girls to their friends and influential business associates
- Held lavish parties, often used to lure and impress their intended victims
- Were befriended by Prince Andrew who spent time with them on their private islands
- Had a right-hand girlfriend serving up young girls and women to them on a steady basis
- Paid their unwilling victims in cash after their rapes took place
Meet Suelyn Medeiros, the new Ghislaine Maxwell
Epstein wasn’t the only wealthy magnate connected to fashion who employed a woman to do his bidding by securing young women for his illicit enjoyment. Suelyn Medeiros, Nygard’s former girlfriend, is being labeled as his madam. Medeiros is a Brazilian actress and former Playboy model who, in exchange for becoming a human trafficker for Nygard, received a life of luxury through expensive gifts, accommodations, money, cars and cosmetic surgery procedures.
Almost as if it were taken from Epstein’s playbook, Medeiros became responsible for recruiting women and girls for Nygard to rape, all while trying to downplay and normalize the behavior. One teenager was taken to his private island on the Bahamas and left with Nygard by Medeiros against the girl’s wishes intending for her to be raped.
The Los Angeles sex trafficking attorneys at Taylor & Ring want you to understand that nobody has a right to sexually exploit another human being against his or her wishes. You have a right to say no to any unwanted physical contact, no matter the circumstances. If you were led to believe you were attending an event or meeting as a potential career move only to learn you were being summoned for a sexual encounter, you were lured under false pretenses. At a minimum you may have a case for sexual harassment, and it may go as far as human trafficking.
Even if you don’t file criminal charges when you have been harmed, you can make your attacker face the consequences in a civil suit. To schedule your free confidential consultation with one of our experienced attorneys, call us at 310-776-6390, or we welcome you to reach out to us through our contact form.