What Is It With Bankers


Mahmoud Abdel-Salam Omar -- the 74-year-old former chairman of Egypt's Bank of Alexandria -- allegedly groped and "gyrated" against the maid in Room 1027 at The Pierre hotel on Fifth Avenue, a law-enforcement source told The Post. 

He was wearing a bathrobe at the time, but it was not clear what, if anything, he had on under it. The alleged attack came just two weeks after Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the disgraced former head of the International Monetary Fund, was charged with sexually assaulting a maid at the Sofitel hotel in Midtown. 

Omar summoned the 44-year-old woman to his room to bring tissues at around 6 p.m. Sunday and quickly locked the door behind her, according to police. Then, the elderly banker allegedly grabbed her breasts and began kissing her on the lips and neck.

Via Daily Intel, The Times looks at this from a security perspective:

Some safety experts recommend that hotels send a male employee to deliver bathrobes or blankets when guests call for them, although they say that even male hotel workers are occasionally grabbed or propositioned by female guests. There is also debate about whether an open or closed door is safer for a housekeeper cleaning a room. 

Mr. Whitlatch recommends that housekeepers keep the door closed, saying that makes it harder for an outsider to enter to attack them or to steal the guest's belongings. If the guest enters with a key, he said, the housekeeper should return later to finish the room. 

But some maids disagreed, saying an open door can discourage a guest from misbehaving because another guest might be walking by outside. "Keeping it wide open is the best option," Ms. Babbington said. "When the door is shut, no one knows you're inside." 

 Ms. Carrington, the retired Grand Hyatt housekeeper, said the smartest approach was to keep the door open with the cart wedged in the doorway. "If someone comes into the room, they have to move the cart, and you hear it," she said.

Yeah, I think I'd want that door open. It's only since this DSK charge came down that I started thinking about how isolated hotels actually are. Those hallways are dead silent some times. Thinking back, I often see maids working in teams of two with each in adjacent or nearby rooms. 

It would seem that having somebody with you would help a lot. But perhaps that isn't always an option.
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Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

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