A judge in southern Italy on Monday released Canadian-born film director Paul Haggis from his hotel detention as prosecutors decide whether to prosecute charges of having sex with a woman without her consent for two days, his lawyer said. lawyer.
Michele Laforgia told The Associated Press that Haggis, who is also a screenwriter and Academy Award winner, was still in Italy. The ruling was made by Judge Vilma Gilli in Puglia, the region that forms the “heel” of the Italian peninsula.
Haggis, 69, was detained by police in Puglia on June 19 after a woman told authorities he had sex with her for two days without consensual consent while he was in Italy to participate in an art festival in the touristy town of Ostuni. .
He had declared his innocence, the lawyer said.
Laforgia said in text messages that the judge had ruled that no signs of violence or abuse had been found on the woman. Italian media have said the woman is 28 and English, while prosecutors have only described her as young and a foreigner.
The courthouse was closed Monday night and Gilli was not immediately available for comment.
An ‘absence of restraining violent behavior’: judge
Citing the judge’s ruling, Italian daily Corriere della Sera said Gilli concluded there was an “absence of restraining violent behavior” by Haggis. The judge also noted in the ruling that the woman’s decision to be at his residence with Haggis was “spontaneous.”
It was Gilli who on June 22, after a closed-door hearing, ordered Haggis to remain in detention while the investigation continued.
Prosecutors did not immediately say whether they would close the investigation or continue after the judge’s ruling.
When asked if the case can be closed, Laforgia replied: “Let’s see what the prosecutor’s office will do on this point.”
Haggis, who lives in the United States, has had other legal problems. In recent years, four women in the United States have alleged sexual misconduct by him.