After Nygard Lawyer Pleads Guilty to Misconduct, Survivors Call for Inquiry, New Investigations

November 28, 2022

Treaty 1 Territory, Homeland of the Red River Métis, Winnipeg, MB - After a Manitoba Law Society (MLS) hearing at which Peter Nygard's Lawyer Jay Prober pleaded guilty to professional misconduct, Shannon Moroney, a Toronto therapist who treats dozens of women who state they were sexually assaulted by Peter Nygard in Manitoba is calling for an independent judiciary inquiry into the handling of statements by the Winnipeg Police Service and Manitoba Justice, and for the investigation there to be re-opened with a new team of police and crowns.

Prober publicly accused women who had come forward to accuse Nygard of being part of "a vicious and malicious conspiracy... a criminal conspiracy," and that it was "more of the same by women jumping on the perceived money train who are likely to have been paid to make these fabricated accusations."

In her original complaint to the Manitoba Law Society Nygard rape victim, KC Allan, wrote, "Prober's very public comments were a blatant attempt to try his case in the court of public opinion... calculated to chill due process by harassing identified witnesses, deterring potential witnesses and tainting possible jurors... He intended and succeeded at systematically tarring all complainants with a tainted brush as part of a, 'liar, liar your pants are on fire' defense of his client."

Moroney says Prober's comments were not only devastating to the women who bravely came forward, but could have had an impact on the Crown Attorney's decision not to lay charges in Winnipeg despite charges being laid in other jurisdictions (Toronto, Montreal, New York) for women and girls who bear close similarity to the Winnipeg accusers in both demographics, bodies of evidence, and allegation details.

In a victim impact statement, delivered to the Law Society of Manitoba on behalf of survivors, Moroney shared a message from one of her clients who accuses Nygard of raping her at one of his several homes:

"In reading what Peter Nygard's lawyer, Jay Prober, publicly said regarding us survivors, I became physically ill. My stomach immediately started churning and I started having PTSD flashbacks of the many times I was not believed about the assaults inflicted on me. Mr. Prober asserted the myth that women come forward to seek financial reward. It is exactly why many women don't come forward to speak their truth, to seek justice and start their healing journeys. And while everyone has right to counsel, that does not give counsel the right to do harm and Mr Prober's words did indeed do harm, not only to KC Allan and our group of Jane Does, but to all women who hear these words and experience the emotional bondage they bring, keeping us silenced and in fear." (California survivor)

Moroney's victim impact statement was heavily edited by MLS prosecutors, and she was prevented from speaking in defense of crime survivors as thoroughly as she hoped. One section cut from her statement reads, "While other jurisdictions -New York, Ontario and Quebec-have all moved forward with criminal charges against Nygard, we have to ask why Manitoba is the holdout when Peter Nygard got his start as a serial rapist in Winnipeg. There are many Manitobans, going back decades, who are waiting for justice, some of whom were only 14 years old at the time they state Nygard raped them. When you've been harmed, you have a right to pursue both criminal and civil remedies, and we had a Manitoba survivor, April Telek, who was told that because she was involved in a civil lawsuit against Nygard, her credibility was lessened. This was used as one reason why the Crown wouldn't press charges for her. That's an excuse that doesn't wash in any other jurisdiction except Manitoba. The public deserves to know why, and April Telek-like all Nygard accusers-deserves the same treatment as her sister survivors in other regions. Justice cannot be a matter of luck. I'm convinced that if she had been assaulted in Toronto or Montreal, charges would have been pressed for her and for the other Winnipeg victims."

As KC Allan stated: "Not only was I physical raped by Peter Nygard, I have been emotionally and mentally raped by Jay Prober and Manitoba Justice."

During Question Period in the Manitoba Legislature, Manitoba Liberal Leader and MLA for St. Boniface Dougald Lamont asked the PC Government, on behalf of Shannon Moroney as a representative of survivors, and KC Allan, one of those survivors, to reopen investigations and to launch an inquiry into the Winnipeg Police Service and Manitoba Justice's handling of Nygard investigations.

"We are asking the PCs to consider the damage that the failure of Manitoba to lay charges against Peter Nygard caused, when more than 20 gave reports to the police and 8 were brought to the Crown. We also need to consider the public's faith in the justice system. That Peter Nygard was a serial rapist and abuser has been an open secret in Winnipeg for decades-now fully out in the open as journalists from across Canada and internationally have put Winnipeg on the map as Nygard's sheltered training ground from where he grew his local sexual assault enterprise into an international sexual assault and trafficking scheme with a scope bigger than Epstein, Weinstein and Cosby combined," said Lamont. "We are asking to reopen the investigations and to call a public inquiry. This is a huge issue with too many unanswered questions, and only an independent inquiry will allow us to make changes and ensure we fix the system."



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