NY maid sues Egyptian on sex assault for $5 million

Reuters News
Posted: Jun 24, 2011 11:19 AM
NY maid sues Egyptian on sex assault for $5 million

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A maid at a posh New York hotel is asking for $5 million in damages in a civil suit against a former Egyptian banker charged with sexually assaulting her, court papers filed on Friday said.

Mahmoud Abdel-Salam Omar, 72, a former chairman of the Bank of Alexandria and the Egyptian American Bank, was arrested in late May on criminal charges of assaulting the maid when she delivered tissues to his room at the Pierre Hotel on Manhattan's Upper East Side.

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. He has denied the allegations.

In the lawsuit filed in Manhattan federal court, the maid, Doris Offei, a U.S. citizen, asks for $1 million for each of the three counts Omar was charged with. She also asks a judge to grant her a $2 million punitive damage award, bringing the total to $5 million.

"The defendant's conduct was outrageous," the lawsuit said.

Omar's attorney, Lori Cohen, said the lawsuit "speaks volumes to her (the maid's) true motives."

Omar has pleaded not guilty to criminal charges and is due back in Manhattan criminal court later on Friday.

At the time of his arrest he was the board chairman of El-Mex Salines Co. A judge freed him on $25,000 bail.

In the Strauss-Kahn case, the maid who has accused him of abusing her has assembled a team of lawyers likely in order to file a lawsuit seeking damages, legal experts say.

(Reporting by Basil Katz, Editing by Sandra Maler)