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High-Profile Egyptian Banker Awaits Arraignment In Alleged Sex Assault On Housekeeper

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- It's been just two weeks since Dominique Strauss-Kahn was accused of sexually attacking a hotel maid, and now another high-profile money man is accused of a surprisingly similar assault.

Mahmoud Abdel-Salam Omar is the former chairman of one of Egypt's major banks. He spent the overnight hours being questioned by New York City police detectives, accused of sexually abusing a housekeeper inside The Pierre Hotel.

Omar was awaiting arraignment Tuesday on charges of sexual abuse, unlawful imprisonment, forcible touching and harassment.

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Police said the alleged attack took place just before 7 p.m. Sunday. They said they found the woman's story to be credible. The hotel employee said the alleged attack happened in Omar's room on the 10th floor -- a standard, king-sized room at the luxurious hotel.

She told police she was called there to bring a box of tissues, but once inside, she said Omar would not let her leave alone and touched her inappropriately.

The hotel's statement said in part, "The hotel take all complaints very seriously and the investigation seriously." But that doesn't appear to have happened when the maid reported to the incident to the hotel manager Sunday night.

Instead of calling police immediately, sources tell CBS 2's Sean Hennessey the manager told the maid to wait until Monday when hotel security was back at work. A published report now says that manager has been suspended for not acting quickly enough.

A colleague at the Pierre expressed sorrow over the alleged incident.

"It's a bit little terrible, though, but I feel sorry for her," housekeeper Doris Kodie told CBS 2's Pablo Guzman. "It's strange. It never happened at Pierre, no. And I've been working here 14 years and I've never had something like that."

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Sources told CBS2's Guzman that Omar has deep roots in the international financial world, with experience running the Egyptian American Bank, the Federation of Egyptian Banks and, most recently, the Bank of Alexandria. He left the latter 15 years ago, and became CEO of one of the world's largest salt-mining and chemical companies, El Mex Salinas.

The financial heavy-hitter's arrest comes as the global financial system is reeling.

1010 WINS' Juliet Papa reports: Another Financier, Another Sexual Harassment Accusation 


Just two weeks ago, the then-head of the International Monetary Fund, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, was pulled off a Paris-bound jet.

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On May 14, Strauss-Kahn was accused of attacking a maid at the Sofitel New York hotel. He was eventually granted $1 million bail and is currently being held under house arrest with electronic monitoring inside a lavish townhouse in Tribeca.

Are hotel maids safe? Are you surprised there's allegedly been another, similar case to DSK's? Sound off in our comments section below…

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