Egyptian charged with sexual assault on NY maid released on bail

Reuters News
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Posted: Jun 03, 2011 1:43 PM
Egyptian charged with sexual assault on NY maid released on bail

By Joseph Ax

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A former Egyptian banker charged with sexually assaulting a New York hotel maid was released on bail Friday.

Mahmoud Abdel-Salam Omar, 72, a former chairman of the Bank of Alexandria and the Egyptian American Bank, was arrested on Monday after the alleged attack at the luxury Pierre Hotel on Manhattan's Upper East Side.

He spent four days at Rikers Island jail before posting $25,000 bail.

"I think it was a very trying and horrible experience for him," said Omar's lawyer, Lori Cohen.

The incident came two weeks after former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn was charged with trying to rape a maid at the luxury Sofitel hotel in midtown Manhattan.

Omar, who has handed his passport over to authorities, appeared in court Friday on charges of sexual abuse, unlawful imprisonment, forcible touching and harassment. Prosecutors said he grabbed the hotel maid in a tight hug and fondled her when she delivered tissues to his room.

Omar, the board chairman of El-Mex Salines Co., is due to reappear in court on August 23.

Strauss-Kahn is due back in court Monday to be formally arraigned on charges of a criminal sexual act, attempted rape and other related crimes. He has denied the allegations and his lawyers have said he will plead not guilty.

(Reporting by Joseph Ax, editing by Michelle Nichols and Doina Chiacu)