NEW YORK CITY For the second time this month, a well-known international businessman has been arrested on accusations of sexually assaulting a housekeeper at a luxury Manhattan hotel.
Mahmoud Abdel-Salam Omar, the 74-year-old former head of Egypt’s Bank of Alexandria, is accused of assaulting a 44-year-old housekeeper inside his guestroom at The Pierre on Sunday.
According to New York City police, Omar called the front desk to have tissues sent to his room. When the alleged victim entered the room to drop off the tissues, police say Omar locked the door behind her and proceeded to fondle her breasts and gyrate against her. He then asked the housekeeper for her phone number; she gave him a false number and he allowed her to leave.
“Experienced NYPD detectives found the complainant to be credible,” police spokesman Paul Browne says.
Omar was arrested Monday and charged with sexual abuse, unlawful imprisonment, forcible touching and harassment. The arrest took place at the hotel, which is owned and managed by Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces.
The incident comes just three weeks after Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the 62-year-old then-head of the International Monetary Fund and a frontrunner in next year’s France presidential election, was indicted on two counts of first degree criminal sexual assault, attempted rape and unlawful imprisonment stemming from an alleged attack on a housekeeper at Sofitel New York.
Even before this latest incident at The Pierre, the New York State Assembly is considering a measure that would require hotels to provide housekeepers with an emergency “panic button” to help prevent sexual assaults by guests. The bill calls for hotels to provide a small device for housekeepers that would, at the touch of a button, trigger an audible alarm or alert hotel security.