ROME – A judge in southern Italy on Monday ordered the release of film director Paul Haggis from his hotel as prosecutors decide whether to continue their investigation into whether he allegedly had sex with a woman without her consent for two days, his lawyer said .
Michele Laforgia told The Associated Press that his client, who is also a screenwriter and Academy Award winner, was that Haggis was still in Italy. The ruling was given by Judge Vilma Gilli, based in Puglia, which is the region that forms the “heel” of the Italian peninsula.
Canadian Haggis, 69, was arrested by police on June 19 in Apulia after a woman told authorities she had non-consensual sex with her for two days while in Italy to attend an art festival in the resort of Ostuni.
He had proclaimed his innocence, according to the lawyer.
Laforgia said in text messages that the judge ruled that no signs of violence or ill-treatment were found on the woman, which prosecutors described as new and foreign, and, by Italian media, as a 28-year-old Englishwoman.
The court was closed Monday night and Gilli could not be contacted immediately for comment.
Corriere della Sera, citing the judge’s ruling, said it concluded that there was an “absence of constraining violent behavior” on the part of Haggis. The judge also noted in the ruling that the woman’s decision to stay with Haggis in her accommodation was “spontaneous,” the Italian newspaper said.
It was Gilli who on June 22, after a closed-door hearing, had ordered Haggis to remain in custody while the investigation continued.
Prosecutors did not immediately say whether they would move to abandon the investigation or continue with it after the judge’s ruling.
Asked if the case could be closed, Laforgia responded “to see what the prosecution is going to do at this time.”
Haggis, who resides in the United States, had other legal issues. In recent years, four women in the United States have reported sexual misconduct by him.
Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, transmitted, rewritten or redistributed without permission.
The Italian judge is ending Haggis’ arrest for a sexual abuse case
Source link The Italian judge is ending Haggis’ arrest for a sexual abuse case