Conflict & Justice

Egyptian businessman arrested in NYC on sexual assault charges


A view of New York City's Hotel Pierre, the luxurious five-star inn overlooking Central Park where Egyptian businessman Mahmoud Abdel Salam Omar allegedly groped a female chambermaid before his arrest on May 30, 2011.


Hotel Pierre

What is it about springtime in the Big Apple that brings out the alleged misogynist in high-profile international bankers?

New York City police officers took an Egyptian businessman into custody on Monday for an alleged sexual assault on his hotel chambermaid - the second such arrest of a prominent foreigner in two weeks.

Mahmoud Abdel Salam Omar, 74, the former chairman of Bank of Alexandria in Egypt, was charged with sexual abuse and unlawful imprisonment after allegedly groping a female maid at the luxurious Hotel Pierre on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, according to ABC News.

The incident, which occurred on Sunday, came after Omar requested a box of tissues from the hotel's room service.

The Egyptian reportedly greeted the maid wearing only his bathrobe.

From ABC:

When the maid arrived, he asked her to leave the tissues on a table inside his room. Once she was in the room, he allegedly closed the door and locked it. Then, he allegedly grabbed her, kissed her, and fondled her breasts and buttocks. She fought him off and, according to sources, she told him she wasn't there for that. He then grabbed her again. This time, sources say, he rubbed up against her and she again resisted him. He then asked for her phone number. She gave him a false number, and he let her out of the room.

Omar's arrest comes two weeks after the former managing director of the International Monetary Fund, Frenchman Dominique Strauss-Kahn, was picked up for allegedly assaulting a housekeeper in his New York City hotel.

Strauss-Kahn resigned from the IMF on May 18.

Omar, like Strauss-Kahn, has had a distinguished career. The Egyptian businessman worked at several of the country's leading banks before becoming the chairman of an Alexandria-based salt company, El-Mex Salines.

A senior executive at El-Mex Salines hung up the phone when asked for comment by GlobalPost.