A judge in Italy on Monday ordered that film director Paul Haggis be released from detention at his hotel while prosecutors decide whether to pursue their investigation into whether he allegedly had sex with a woman without her consent over two days, his lawyer said.
Michele Laforgia told The Associated Press that his client, who is also a screenwriter and an Academy Award winner, that Haggis was still in Italy.
The ruling was made by judge Vilma Gilli, based in Puglia, southern Italy.
Canada-born Haggis, 69, was detained by police on June 19 in Puglia after a woman told authorities that he had non-consensual sex with her over two days while he was in Italy for an arts festival in the tourist town of Ostuni.
He said he was innocent, according to the lawyer.
Laforgia said in text messages that the judge had ruled there were neither signs of violence nor abuse found on the woman, who prosecutors have described as young and foreign, and by Italian media as a 28-year-old Englishwoman.
Corriere della Sera newspaper, quoting from the judge’s ruling, said she concluded there was an “absence of constrictive violent behaviour” by Haggis.
The judge also noted in the ruling that the woman’s decision to be with Haggis in his lodgings was “spontaneous”, the Italian daily said.
It was judge Gilli who on June 22, after a closed door hearing, had ordered Haggis to remain in detention while the investigation continued.
Prosecutors did not say if they would move to drop the investigation or pursue it after the judge’s ruling.
Asked if the case might be closed, Laforgia replied “let’s see what the prosecutor’s office will do at this point”.
Haggis, who lives in the US, has had other legal problems. In recent years, four women in the US have alleged sexual misconduct by him.