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Paul Haggis Detained In Italy For Alleged Sexual Assault

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(CTN News) – In southern Italy, Italian news media quoted local prosecutors as saying that film director Paul Haggis was detained on Sunday following allegations he sexually assaulted a woman.

69-year-old Paul Haggis is in Italy for a film festival that begins in Ostuni, a tourist town in Puglia, the region that forms the “heel” of the peninsula.

news agency LaPresse and several other Italian media carried a written statement from prosecutors in Brindisi that they were investigating allegations a “young foreign woman” had “non-consensual” sexual relations over two days.

According to the statement, the woman was “forced to seek medical care” after a couple of days of non-consensual relations. When the woman was taken to Brindisi airport at dawn on Sunday, despite her precarious physical and psychological state, she was “left there at dawn.”

Brindisi’s prosecutors’ office was closed on Sunday. An attorney for Paul Haggis did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Police and airport staff noticed her “obvious confused state” and took her to Brindisi’s police headquarters, where officers accompanied her to a hospital for treatment.

A police officer in headquarters’ operations room said they weren’t authorized to share details about the case, including whether Paul Haggis was being held at the police station or at a hotel.

Besides directing, producing, and writing, Paul Haggis is also a screenwriter. “Crash” won him an Oscar for a best original screenplay in 2006.

Additionally, prosecutors said the woman “formalized her complaint and cited circumstances, which investigators then verified.” They did not specify her nationality or age.

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