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Fashion mogul Peter Nygard pleads not guilty as sex-assault trial opens in Toronto

Former Canadian fashion mogul Peter Nygard pleaded not guilty Thursday to all charges against him in his Toronto sexual-assault case, as jury selection for his trial got underway.

The 82-year-old – who appeared in court in a wheelchair, sporting a black suit with his long white hair tied back – entered his not guilty pleas before sitting quietly beside his lawyers during the jury selection process.

Nygard is facing five counts of sexual assault and one count of forcible confinement.

Justice Robert Goldstein has said he expects jury selection in the case to be completed this week.

Nygard, the founder of a now-defunct international women's clothing company, has been accused of using his position in the fashion industry to lure women and girls.

He has denied all the allegations against him.

Nygard founded Nygard International in Winnipeg in 1967.

For years, Nygard stores throughout Winnipeg were draped in photos of him and he was given a key to the city in 2008.

He stepped down as chairman of the clothing company in February 2020 before it filed for bankruptcy.

Arguments in his Toronto case are set to begin Tuesday, with the trial expected to last approximately seven weeks. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 21, 2023.

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