Calls for Manitoba to review handling of sex assault allegations against Nygard

The Manitoba Liberal Caucus and sexual violence advocates are asking the provincial government to review the handling of the sexual assault allegations against Peter Nygard. @swiddarassy reports.

By Swidda Rassy

Sexual violence advocates and the Manitoba Liberal Caucus are asking the provincial government to review the handling of sexual assault allegations against Peter Nygard within the province.

The request comes after Nygard’s lawyer, Jay Prober, pleaded guilty to professional misconduct. In 2020, Prober made comments to the media claiming the women who accused Nygard of sexual assault were liars and looking for a payout.

The Law Society of Manitoba reprimanded the Winnipeg lawyer and fined him $4,000.

“It is absolutely repugnant the way that he has conducted himself,” said Shannon Moroney, a therapist working with sexual assault survivors.


Moroney says comments like those reflect a victim-shaming attitude that is already part of the justice system.

“In my work I know that and have heard directly from many women in Winnipeg, after hearing Jay Prober’s remarks to the media about survivors, decided not to take their complaints forward to the police,” she said.

For decades, several women have accused the Winnipeg fashion designer of sexual assault and human trafficking. In Winnipeg alone there were eight separate sexual assault complaints filed against Nygard, but prosecutors declined to lay any charges.

Manitoba Liberals want investigation re-opened

The leader of the Manitoba Liberal Party is asking the province to investigate Manitobans’ complaints against Nygard.

“On behalf of survivors I asked the Manitoba government to do two things,” said Dougald Lamont. “One is to reopen the investigation into people’s complaints against Nygard in Manitoba and… those investigations be reassigned to somebody other than the Winnipeg police and different Crown prosecutors.

“The FBI has come forward with charges in New York, there are charges in Toronto, there are charges in Montreal. There are no charges in Manitoba, despite the fact that many people came forward to the Winnipeg police.”

WATCH: Peter Nygard not facing charges in Winnipeg

Survivor: problem with culture in Manitoba

KC Allan, a sexual assault survivor, believes Manitoba’s handling of the Nygard sexual assault allegations is indicative of a larger problem.

“I believe that the culture and society of Manitoba in particular doesn’t really see victims of gender-based violence as an issue to them,” said Allan.

“I look forward to the day when victims of gender-based violence no longer have to be brave to bring charges. It should be handled like any other violent crime.”

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