IMF Chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, presumed to be a front-runner in France’s upcoming presidential elections, was ordered to be held without bail today over allegations that he sexually assaulted a maid at the Sofitel hotel in midtown. According to the complaint, Strauss-Kahn stands accused of seven criminal counts, including attempted rape in the first degree and unlawful imprisonment in the second degree. Some of the misdemeanor counts were DNA eligible, although that doesn’t mean authorities found anything when they searched him for signs of injury or a struggle yesterday. During today’s 26-minute hearing, Strauss-Kahn’s lawyers argued that they had a “very very defensible case” and that their client wasn’t trying to flee the country when he was arrested on an Air France flight out of JFK. But prosecutors alleged the charges were serious and that Strauss-Kahn poses a flight risk.
Prosecutors also said they are investigating whether Strauss-Kahn may have engaged in similar conduct once before, likely referring to allegations from French TV reporter and author Tristane Banon based on an encounter in 2002. Banon’s lawyer said she is likely to file a criminal complaint. According to the AP, without evidence, a rival of Strauss-Kahn alleged that this isn’t the first time he has victimized a maid at his $3,000-a-night room at the hotel near Times Square. Despite rumors of more potential charges, the defendant’s attorney said that it is “quite likely he will be exonerated.” The next court date is set for May 20.
Judge Denies Bail to I.M.F. Chief in Sexual Assault Case [NYT]
Judge denies bail to IMF chief in sex assault case [Reuters]
IMF head Strauss-Kahn accused of 2002 sex assault [AP via Forbes]