Film director Paul Haggis arrested for alleged sexual assault

ROME ITALY.- Canadian film director Paul Haggiswinner of several Oscars, was arrested in southern Italy on suspicion of sexual assault aggravated, Italian news agencies reported Sunday, citing local prosecutors.

The director and screenwriter was “suspected of the crimes of aggravated sexual assault and aggravated personal injury, crimes committed to the detriment of a young foreigner,” according to the agencies. ANSA and AGI citing a note written by Brindisi prosecutors.

Haggis, 69, who wrote and produced the crash movie, winner of an Oscar, was scheduled to headline the film festival Allora Fest which begins on Tuesday in the city of Ostuni, in the province of Brindisi.

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The victim had been staying at Haggis’ home before the festival, according to prosecutors.

“The suspect allegedly forced the young woman, whom he had known for some time, to have sexual relations,” they wrote.

After one of the encounters, the woman was “forced to seek medical attention,” they wrote.

AFP sent a voicemail and email to one of Haggis’s lawyers, but no response has yet been received.