FILE - A Nov. 27, 1968 file photo shows the Exterior of the Pierre Hotel at 61st and 5th Avenue in New York. Mahmoud Abdel Salam Omar, former chairman of Egypt's Bank of Alexandria and durrently an executive with El-MexSalines Co., was arrested Monday, May 31, 2011, on charges of sexually abusing a maid at The Pierre hotel,(AP Photo) (AP)

Egyptian businessman accused of abusing hotel maid

The former chairman of one of Egypt's major banks is facing sexual abuse charges in New York City


Colleen Long
May 31, 2011 3:14PM (UTC)

A former chairman of one of Egypt's major banks faces charges of sexually abusing a maid at a luxury Manhattan hotel, just weeks after the arrest of former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn on similar allegations.

Mahmoud Abdel Salam Omar was arrested on Monday and is accused of sexually abusing the maid at The Pierre, a luxurious hotel near Central Park and Fifth Avenue on the Upper East Side, police said.

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The maid was called to Omar's room Sunday night to drop off tissues, police said. But once inside the 74-year-old's room, police said Omar would not let her leave and touched her inappropriately. The encounter was not reported until Monday, police said.

Paul Browne, a spokesman for the New York City Police Department, said detectives found the complainant to be credible.

There was no immediate information on whether Omar had an attorney. He was held Monday night at a police precinct and transferred Tuesday morning to a booking facility near a Manhattan courthouse.

Police said further details will be released at the suspect's arraignment, expected to take place Tuesday.

Omar is the former chairman of Egypt's Bank of Alexandria, but is currently an executive with El-Mex Salines Co., according to the salt production company's website.

The Pierre said it will "fully comply with the investigation," according to a statement read over the phone by a hotel manager. "The Pierre's priority is the safety of our guests and staff," the statement also said.

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The Pierre is owned by Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces of India.

The hotel attack comes about two weeks after Strauss-Kahn quit as the leader of the IMF, on May 18, after he was charged with sexually assaulting a maid at a different city hotel, Sofitel, near Times Square. He has denied the allegations, but is under house arrest as he awaits trial.


Colleen Long

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