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Judge in Italy weighs if Paul Haggis goes free in sex abuse probe

BRINDISI, Italy — A decide in southern Italy on Wednesday was weighing whether or not Academy Award-winning movie director Paul Haggis ought to go free whereas Italian prosecutors examine a girl’s allegations that he had intercourse along with her over two days with out her consent.

Haggis’ lawyer, Michele Laforgia, stated after the listening to Wednesday in Brindisi courthouse that his consumer reiterated his complete innocence and is in “hopeful expectation” that he will probably be in the end vindicated.

Decide Vilma Giil was anticipated to problem her choice later Wednesday.

“Paul Haggis answered all questions and defined what occurred,” Laforgia instructed reporters exterior the courthouse. “He declared himself, as he had already completed proper after the detention, fully harmless, within the sense that the intercourse he had with this girl was completely consensual.”

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Whereas the lady’s allegations are investigated, the 69-year-old Canadian-born director, producer and screenwriter was ordered on Sunday to remain detained in his visitor residence in a farmhouse in Ostuni, a well-liked vacationer city in Puglia, the area forming the “heel” of the Italian peninsula.

Prosecutors have stated he’s beneath investigation for alleged aggravated sexual violence and aggravated private accidents.

They didn’t instantly remark after the listening to, which lasted a number of hours.

Prosecutors have described the lady as younger and international. State TV and different Italian media stated she is a 30-year-old Englishwoman who had recognized Haggis earlier than he got here to Ostuni to take part in an arts competition that started this week.

Requested by a reporter what sort of relationship Haggis and the lady had, Laforgia replied that the 2 had had a “relationship of acquaintance.”

The lawyer stated the protection disputes a hospital report indicating that the lady had suffered bodily accidents.

“There isn’t a signal of harm nor signal of violence,” Laforgia asserted, including, “I imagine that they (the investigators) badly interpreted the findings of the emergency room” of a Brindisi hospital, the place the lady was taken after she instructed authorities that she had been sexually abused.

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Haggis co-wrote, directed and produced “Crash,” which gained the 2006 Academy Awards for finest image and finest screenplay. He additionally wrote the screenplay for “Million Greenback Child,” one other Oscar winner.

He has had authorized issues in recent times stemming from sexual misconduct accusations by 4 girls in the USA.

On Sunday, shortly after Italian prosecutors introduced the investigation and detention of Haggis, he U.S.-based lawyer, Priya Chaudhry, instructed The Related Press that though she couldn’t talk about the proof beneath Italian legislation, “I’m assured that every one allegations will probably be dismissed in opposition to Mr. Haggis. He’s completely harmless, and prepared to totally cooperate with the authorities so the reality comes out shortly.”

As a result of Haggis doesn’t communicate Italian, he submitted written statements in English to the courtroom all through the listening to. Translations back-and-forth lengthened the period of the listening to, Laforgia stated.

© 2022 The Canadian Press

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