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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

NYPD: Another financial figure accused of hotel sexual assault

New York  The chairman of a salt company who once headed an Egyptian bank was arrested Monday in New York, accused of sexually abusing an employee at a luxury hotel.
Mahmoud Abdel-Salam Omar is charged with sexual abuse, unlawful imprisonment, forcible touching and harassment, according to the New York Police Department.
The alleged incident took place Sunday -- a little more than two weeks after Dominique Strauss-Kahn, then chief of the International Monetary Fund, was accused of sexually assaulting and attempting to rape a housekeeping employee at another swank New York hotel. Strauss-Kahn's attorneys deny the allegations, and he has since stepped down from the IMF to focus on his defense.
Omar, 74, did not immediately make a public statement.
The New York Police Department said it was informed Monday of an incident at the Pierre Hotel in Manhattan. Police came to the hotel, where the alleged victim told them that at about 6 p.m. Sunday she went to Omar's room to drop off tissues he had requested. "Once inside the room the victim was sexually abused," police said.
Timeline of events in ex-IMF chief's case
A spokeswoman for Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance said prosecutors would not release any information until after Omar's arraignment, which could take place Tuesday.
The Pierre Hotel released a statement saying, "The Pierre's priority is the safety of our guests and staff. We take all complaints very seriously and investigate thoroughly. This incident has been formally reported to the New York Police Department and is under investigation. And we will fully comply with the investigation as requested."
Omar is chairman of El-Mex Salines Co. On its website, the firm describes itself as a subsidiary of Chemical Industries Holding Co., a chemical production company. It is "one of the oldest international companies in (the) salt industry," the website says.
A spokesman for El-Mex Salines said that Omar was head of the Bank of Alexandria 15 years ago.
El-Mex Salines had no immediate comment on the arrest.
The Bank of Alexandria was established in 1957 as an Egyptian joint stock company, according to its website. It was privatized in 2006.

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