Egyptian pleads guilty to abusing Guyanese hotel maid in NY

NEW YORK,  (Reuters) – A former Egyptian banker  pleaded guilty in a New York court today to a criminal  charge that he sexually abused a hotel maid and now faces a  multimillion dollar civil suit in connection with the case.
Mahmoud Abdel-Salam Omar, 74, a former chairman of the Bank  of Alexandria and the Egyptian American Bank, was sentenced to  one year probation after doing five days community service.
He was arrested in late May on charges of abusing the maid  when she delivered tissues to his room at the Pierre Hotel on  Manhattan’s Upper East Side.
The maid, Guyanese Doris Offei, also on Friday filed a civil lawsuit  against Omar in Manhattan federal court asking for $5 million  in damages for the assault.
When asked in court on Friday during the criminal case if  he kissed Offei on the lips and neck and touched her breast  without her consent, Omar, who initially had pleaded not guilty  and had been out on $25,000 bail, replied: “Yes.”
Omar’s lawyer Liz Beal said the Egyptian businessman, who  at the time of his arrest was the board chairman of El-Mex  Salines Co., pleaded guilty to the criminal charge so he could  return home to see his sick wife.
“This was the most expeditious way (for Omar) to return  home … plead guilty to a charge that’s less than jumping over  a turnstile,” said Beal. “This is an overblown accusation  against someone who has never been in trouble in 74 years.”
The maid’s attorney, John Grill, did not immediately return  a call for comment.
Omar abused Offei two weeks after former International  Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn was charged with  trying to rape a maid at the luxury Sofitel hotel in midtown  Manhattan. He has denied the allegations.
In the civil lawsuit, Offei seeks $1 million for each of  the three counts Omar was charged with. She also asks a judge  to grant her a $2 million punitive damage award, bringing the  total to $5 million.
“The defendant’s conduct was outrageous,” the civil lawsuit  said.
Omar’s lawyer Beal said the woman’s “motivations are made  crystal clear by less than three weeks (after the incident)  filing a multimillion dollar lawsuit.”

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