Canadian director Paul Haggis arrested for sexual assault

Canadian director and producer Paul Haggis has been arrested in southern Italy on suspicion of “aggravated” sexual assault against a young foreign woman, Italian news agencies said on Sunday, citing the prosecution.

The director and screenwriter is “seriously suspected of crimes of sexual assault and aggravated bodily harm, crimes committed against a young foreign woman”, indicated the agencies ANSA and AGI quoting the Brindisi prosecutor.

The prosecutor’s office did not provide further information on Sunday.

Haggis, 69, who wrote and directed the Oscar-winning film ‘Crash’, was due to star in the Allora Fest film festival which kicks off on Tuesday in the town of Ostuni in the province of Brindisi .

The young woman had been with Haggis before the festival, according to the prosecution.

“The suspect allegedly forced the young woman, whom he met some time earlier, to have sex,” the prosecutor said.

After a meeting, the young woman was “forced to return to medical care”, according to him.

One of Haggis’ lawyers, solicited by telephone and email, did not react on Sunday.

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