Egyptian business tycoon Mohamed El-Amin
In a statement on Saturday, the prosecution said it has ordered the detention of El-Amin pending investigation.
El-Amin founded and owned a host of private satellite channels, including the CBC group and Modern network.
El-Amin, according to the prosecution, is charged with using force and the threats of force to indecently assault girls in Upper Egypt's Safe Hands Home for Girls Orphanage, which he owns.
The prosecution has not revealed the ages of the victims. However, the orphanage had 11 girls whose ages ranged from six to 18 when inaugurated in March last year, according to a statement by the Ministry of Social Solidarity.
The Safe Hands Home for Girls Orphanage is located in Beni Suef. It is the first in Upper Egypt to house homeless girls and it serves many governorates, the ministry said when Minister Nevine El-Qabbaj attended the orphanage’s inauguration.
The orphanage had a capacity of 30 girls, El-Amin told El-Qabbaj during the tour.
The ‘Safe Hands Home for Girls’ was shut down recently due to administrative reasons, according to local media reports, which added that the residents were transferred to another home.
In a statement on Saturday, the Ministry of Social Solidarity said it had shut the orphanage after "violations punishable by law were discovered."
The ministry, which is responsible for orphanages nationwide, said that it had informed the Public Prosecution about the violations after coordinating with the authorities concerned.
The ministry said that "it was not able to announce the size of the violations" in compliance with the investigation.
El-Amin has “exploited the [girls’] weakness with the aim of sexually assaulting them and incited another [female] to commit this crime ... given that he has authority over them,” the prosecution said in its statement on Saturday.
The victims told the prosecution that El-Amin used to indecently assault them without their consent and brought them with him to his villa in Egypt's North Coast for a week, where he asked them to do indecent acts, the statement said.
El-Amin denied the accusations, the prosecution said.
In December, the prosecution received a notification from the National Council for Childhood and Motherhood over posts on social media about the alleged assaults, the statement said.
Psychiatrists have spoken to the prosecution, saying that the victims are currently suffering from psychological and behavioral disturbances after having been harassed in the orphanage
The Ministry of Social Solidarity also reported that the girls are suffering from a lack of trust in others, shock, panic and concerns toward sexual matters, a specialist at the ministry told the prosecution.
Egypt has recently been encouraging sexual assault victims to come forward. A number of sexual violence incidents have been under investigation in the past several months.
Last year, the state has ratified a law to keep the identity of victims of sexual assault and harassment confidential in a bid to encourage the victims to speak up.
Under the Egyptian penal code, sexual assault is punishable by a minimum prison sentence of seven years and a maximum of life imprisonment. The anti-human trafficking law also punishes traffickers with a maximum sentence of life in prison.