Court dismisses sexual assault case against Oscar-winning director Paul Haggis

Oscar-winning filmmaker Paul Haggis can now breathe a sigh of relief as the judge handling his sexual abuse case in the southern Italian city of Lecce has ruled in his favor. In his judgment, the judge reportedly held that there is no ground to pursue the investigation of the director’s sexual abuse case.

The court delivered its verdict on the matter on Friday, and the Italian news agency ANSA reported it on Saturday. Elaborating on the final decision, Haggis’ Italian lawyer Michele LaForgia said in a statement issued Saturday, “After seeing the evidence and hearing arguments from both sides, the district court of Lacey, an appellate court with three judges, unanimously agreed to a prosecutor. rejected the appeal of Haggis to reinstate the detention.”

The lawyer added, “Two weeks ago, Brindisi Court Judge Wilma Gilli interrogated the alleged victim and then immediately overturned Haggis’s detention.”

Reports suggest that Brindisi’s prosecutor appealed the decision in Lacey’s Court. However, Haggis’s lawyer submitted that what he says is “anecdotal and objective evidence that the woman told many lies to the investigators and the court, the facts and witnesses wholly contradicted her story.”

Haggis’ lawyer LaForgia also reportedly said the director’s arrest was the result of a judicial error and that prosecutors must now close the case based on evidence. He also said that this is expected in the coming weeks until new evidence emerges.

Reports suggest that the Court of Lecce contacted lawyers for both sides on Friday to inform them of the court’s decision that dismissed the Public Prosecutor’s appeal and confirmed the decision made by Judge Gilly. . Four judges have now ruled in favor of the filmmaker.

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“In the coming weeks, the reasons for the decision will be known and, therefore, so will the fate of the pending judicial proceedings in Italy,” LaForgia said in the statement.

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Haggis was previously sued by film publicist Haley Brest. He had accused them of rape. Haggis, however, said that his encounter with Brest was consensual.

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