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Sexual assault case in opposition to director Paul Haggis dropped in Italy | Rape and sexual assault

Oscar-winning director Paul Haggis has had a sexual assault cost dropped by an Italian court docket six weeks after he was accused by a 28-year-old British lady of forcing her to have “non-consensual” intercourse with him.

A decide within the southern Italian metropolis of Lecce dominated on Friday that there have been no grounds to additional pursue an investigation.

“After viewing the evidence and hearing arguments from both sides, the district court of Lecce, an appellate court with three judges, unanimously rejected a prosecutor’s appeal to have Haggis’s house arrest reinstated,” stated Haggis’s Italian lawyer, Michele Laforgia, in a press release to the Italian information company Ansa on Saturday.

The ruling got here weeks after Haggis, 69, was launched from home arrest whereas prosecutors determined whether or not to pursue their investigation.

In that listening to, on 5 July, decide Vilma Gilli of the court docket of Brindisi stated there was an “absence of constricting violent behavior”, including that “the methods of meeting between the suspect and the offended person” have been “spontaneous”.

The decide, in line with Variety and quoting from Ansa, additionally famous “a complex story that blurs the original judgment expressed in the ordinance which had ordered house arrest”.

The prosecutor of Brindisi appealed that call to the court docket of Lecce after Laforgia introduced what he stated was “irrefutable and objective evidence that the woman told multiple lies to investigators and the court, with facts and witnesses completely contradicting her story”.

Haggis, who gained two Academy awards for Crash and can be recognized for writing Million Dollar Baby, had been arrested on 19 June in Ostuni, within the southern area of Puglia, and spent 16 days below home arrest.

Laforgia says Haggis’s arrest was the results of a judicial error. On Friday, the court docket of Lecce contacted attorneys for each events to tell them of the court docket’s determination. Four judges have now dominated in favor of Haggis on this specific case.

Haggis is awaiting civil court docket proceedings within the US the place there’s a declare by movie publicist Haleigh Breest that the director raped her in January 2013. Breest filed that swimsuit in December 2017, and the next month, three different lady got here ahead to Breest’s attorneys and offered particulars of different sexual misconduct allegations in opposition to Haggis. Haggis denies the allegations.

A trial date for Breest’s swimsuit has been tentatively set for 11 October in Manhattan. Haggis maintains that their encounter, which allegedly passed off after a movie premiere, was consensual.

In a court docket submitting to the Manhattan court docket, he stated Breest’s claims have been “shocking and scandalous claims of fiction” which he “vehemently denies”.