IMF Chief Set To Face Sexual Assault Charges


The head of the International Monetary Fund is set to appear in a New York City court Monday to face sexual assault charges following a complaint by a hotel maid.

Lawyers for Dominique Strauss-Kahn say he will plead not guilty, and has agreed to undergo a forensic examination as police gather more evidence in the case.

Authorities said Sunday Strauss-Kahn, who has been considered a leading candidate to be the next president of France, has been charged with criminal sexual assault, attempted rape and unlawful imprisonment.

The International Monetary Fund says the IMF remains fully functioning and operational. It says it has no comment on the arrest.

Also Monday, a lawyer for French writer Tristane Banon said she is considering filing a legal complaint saying Strauss-Kahn sexually assaulted her in 2002.

Strauss-Kahn is married to a prominent French television reporter, but has weathered previous sex scandals. In 2008, he apologized for what he termed “an error in judgement” for an affair with one of his subordinates.

Strauss-Kahn was taken into custody late Saturday afternoon when he was pulled from his first-class seat on an airplane that was just minutes away from taking off for Paris.

Police say a 32-year-old chambermaid the Sofitel Hotel says she entered Strauss-Kahn’s luxury suite to clean it Saturday afternoon. The maid told police Strauss-Kahn came out of the bathroom naked and attempted to force her into performing sex acts. The maid says she broke free, fled the room and told other hotel personnel, who called police.

Police say when they arrived at the hotel, Strauss-Kahn had already left for the airport, leaving behind his mobile phone and other personal items.

New York police say the maid was treated for minor injuries at a local hospital and released.

Strauss-Kahn was considered a leading contender to run as the Socialist party’s candidate against President Nicolas Sarkozy in France’s 2012 election.

The head of the Socialist party, Martine Aubry, appealed for party unity Sunday and said that the news “struck like a thunderbolt.”


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