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Egyptian charged with sex assault of NY hotel maid

NEW YORK (Reuters) - An Egyptian businessman and one-time head of a major Egyptian bank has been charged with sexually assaulting a hotel maid at a luxury New York City hotel, police said.

The arrest Monday of Mahmoud Abdel-Salam Omar came two weeks after former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn was charged with trying to rape a hotel maid at another upscale Manhattan hotel.

Omar, 74, is accused of assaulting the maid when she delivered tissues that had been requested to room 1027 about 6 p.m. Sunday at the Pierre Hotel on Manhattan's Upper East Side, police said.

Omar, a former chairman of the Bank of Alexandria and the Egyptian American Bank, is board chairman of El-Mex Salines Co., according to the salt company's website.

El-Mex Salines Company said it had no comment to make when contacted by Reuters on Tuesday.

An assault was reported to police Monday morning. Omar, of Alexandria, Egypt, was arrested and charged with sexual abuse, unlawful imprisonment, forcible touching and harassment.

Strauss-Kahn, now under house arrest in a multi-million dollar New York townhouse, has denied charges of a criminal sexual act, attempted rape, sexual abuse, unlawful imprisonment and forcible touching.

If convicted, Strauss-Kahn, who resigned as managing director of the International Monetary Fund after his arrest, faces up to 25 years in prison. He is due to appear in court again on June 6.

(Reporting by Michelle Nichols and Doina Chiacu; Editing by Matthew Jones)

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