Judge in Italy ends detention of Haggis in sexual abuse case | Entertainment News

ROME (AP) — A judge in southern Italy ordered the release of director Paul Haggis to his hotel on Monday while prosecutors decide to continue their investigation into whether he had sex with a woman without her consent. for two days, his lawyer said. .

Michele Laforgia told The Associated Press that her client, who is also a screenwriter and Oscar winner, Haggis was still in Italy. The decision was made by Judge Vilma Gilli, based in Puglia, which is the region that forms the “heel” of the Italian peninsula.

Haggis, 69, born in Canada, was arrested by police on June 19 in Puglia after a woman told authorities he had non-consensual sex with her for two days while he was to Italy to take part in an arts festival in the tourist town of Ostuni.

He had claimed his innocence, according to the lawyer.

Laforgia said in text messages that the judge ruled there were no signs of violence or abuse on the woman, who prosecutors described as young and foreign and by Italian media as a 28-year-old Englishwoman .

The courthouse was closed on Monday evening and Gilli could not immediately be reached for comment.

Corriere della Sera, citing the judge’s ruling, said she found there was an “absence of constrictive violent behavior” from Haggis. The judge also noted in the judgment that the woman’s decision to be with Haggis in her accommodation was “spontaneous”, the Italian daily said.

It was Gilli who, on June 22, after a closed hearing, ordered Haggis to remain in custody while the investigation continues.

Prosecutors did not immediately say whether they would decide to drop the investigation or continue after the judge’s decision.

When asked if the case could be dismissed, Laforgia replied “let’s see what the prosecutor’s office will do at this stage”.

Haggis, who resides in the United States, has had other legal issues. In recent years, four women in the United States have accused him of sexual misconduct.

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