IMF Head’s NYC Hearing Delayed In Sex Assault Case

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP)— Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s reputation with women earned him the nickname “the great seducer,” and not even an affair with a subordinate could knock the International Monetary Fund leader off a political path pointed in the direction of the French presidency. All that changed with charges that he sexually assaulted a maid in his hotel room, a case that generated shock and revulsion, especially in his home country.

Police said the maid picked Strauss-Kahn out of a lineup. Unless the charges are quickly dropped, they could destroy his chances in a presidential race that is just starting to heat up.

An arraignment expected Sunday night was postponed until Monday. Strauss-Kahn’s lawyer William Taylor said testing for evidence delayed the arraignment.

“Our client willingly consented to a scientific and forensic examination,” Taylor said. Strauss-Kahn is “tired, but he’s fine.”

The IMF, which plays a key role in efforts to control the European debt crisis, named an acting leader and said it remains “fully functioning and operational” despite Saturday’s arrest.

Strauss-Kahn’s lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, told The Associated Press that his client will plead not guilty. He and another lawyer went in and out of the Harlem police precinct where Strauss-Kahn was being held early Sunday afternoon, and declined to answer reporters’ questions until the arraignment, which was expected later Sunday.

“He denies all the charges against him,” Brafman said. “And that’s all I can really say right now.”

LISTEN: 1010 WINS’ Sonia Rincon reports on the French perspective of Strauss-Kahn

Brafman is one of the city’s most high-profile defense attorneys. His clients have included mobsters and such celebrities as Sean “P. Diddy” Combs and ex-New York Giants star Plaxico Burress.

Strauss-Kahn, 62, was arrested less than four hours after the alleged assault, plucked from first class on a Paris-bound Air France flight that was just about to leave the gate at John F. Kennedy International Airport.

The white-haired, well-dressed, thrice-married father of four was alone when he checked into the luxury Sofitel hotel, not far from Manhattan’s Times Square, on Friday afternoon, police said. It wasn’t clear why he was in New York. The IMF is based in Washington, and he had been due in Germany on Sunday to meet with Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The 32-year-old maid told authorities that when she entered his spacious, $3,000-a-night suite early Saturday afternoon, she thought it was unoccupied. Instead, Strauss-Kahn emerged from the bathroom naked, chased her down a hallway and pulled her into a bedroom, where he sexually assaulted her, New York Police Department spokesman Paul J. Browne said.

The woman told police she fought him off, but then he dragged her into the bathroom, where he forced her to perform oral sex on him and tried to remove her underwear. The woman was able to break free again, escaped the room and told hotel staff what had happened, authorities said.

LISTEN: 1010 WINS’ Glenn Schuck reports that Strauss-Kahn plans to plead not guilty

Strauss-Kahn was gone by the time detectives arrived moments later. He left his cellphone behind. “It looked like he got out of there in a hurry,” Browne said.

The NYPD discovered he was at JFK and contacted officials at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which runs the airport. Port Authority officers arrested him.

The maid was taken by police to a hospital and was treated for minor injuries. Stacy Royal, a spokeswoman for Sofitel, said the hotel’s staff was cooperating in the investigation and that the maid “has been a satisfactory employee of the hotel for the past three years.”

Strauss-Kahn was arrested on charges of a criminal sex act, attempted rape and unlawful imprisonment. Authorities were looking for any forensic evidence and DNA.

LISTEN: WCBS 880’s Mike Xirinachs reports on the crime

His wife, Anne Sinclair, defended him in a statement to French news agency AFP.

“I do not believe for one second the accusations brought against my husband. I have no doubt his innocence will be established,” said Sinclair, a New York-born journalist who hosted a popular weekly news broadcast in France in the 1980s.

A member of France’s Socialist party, Strauss-Kahn was widely considered the strongest potential challenger next year to President Nicolas Sarkozy, whose political fortunes have been flagging.

“At the top of the polls,” Strauss-Kahn tweeted proudly in French last December, linking an article that showed him ahead in opinion polls when French voters were asked whom they would choose in a primary. At a soccer game in a Washington suburb last September, he, his wife and others were seen wearing T-shirts that read, “Yes we Kahn.”

Strauss-Kahn also noted that he trailed only Warren Buffett and Bill Gates on a list of 100 “global thinkers” compiled last November by Foreign Policy magazine. Strauss-Kahn was cited for his “steely vision at a moment of crisis” — for convincing Germany to help bail out Greece’s debt-laden government, and for helping to put the brakes on defaults in Hungary, Pakistan and Ukraine.

LISTEN: 1010 WINS’ Terry Sheridan reports on his arrest

The arrest could throw the long-divided Socialists back into disarray about who they could present as Sarkozy’s opponent. Even some of his adversaries were stunned.

“It’s totally hallucinating. If it is true, this would be a historic moment, but in the negative sense, for French political life,” said Dominique Paille, a political rival to Strauss-Kahn on the center right, on BFM television. Still, he urged, “I hope that everyone respects the presumption of innocence. I cannot manage to believe this affair.”

Candidates need to announce their intentions this summer to run in fall primary elections.

“If he’s cleared, he could return — but if he is let off only after four or five months, he won’t be able to run” because the campaign will be too far along, said Jerome Fourquet of the IFOP polling agency.

“I think his political career is over,” Philippe Martinat, who wrote a book called “DSK-Sarkozy: The Duel,” told The Associated Press. “Behind him he has other affairs … I don’t see very well how he can pick himself back up.”

Strauss-Kahn is known as DSK in France, but media there also have dubbed him “the great seducer.” His reputation as a charmer of women has not hurt his career in France, where politicians’ private lives traditionally come under less scrutiny than in the United States.

In 2008, Strauss-Kahn was briefly investigated over whether he had an improper relationship with a subordinate female employee. The IMF board found that the relationship was consensual, but called his actions “regrettable” and said they “reflected a serious error of judgment.”

Strauss-Kahn issued an apology, writing in an email to IMF staff that he showed poor judgment but didn’t abuse his position.

The sexual assault allegations come amid French media reports about Strauss-Kahn’s lifestyle, including luxury cars and suits, that some have dubbed a smear campaign. Some French raised suspicions about sexual assault case as well.

“Perhaps this affair will unravel very quickly, if we learn that there is in the end no serious charge and that what was said by this woman was not true, and we all wish for this,” former Socialist Party boss Francois Hollande said on Canal-Plus television. “To commit an act of such seriousness, this does not resemble the man I know.”

At La Rotonde, a cafe on Paris’ Left Bank, psychiatrist Sylvie Etienne said Strauss-Kahn’s alleged behavior is very sad because he had had a “great chance” of becoming president. Her daughter, high school literature teacher Stephanie Plou, said it was probably for the best.

“This had to come out one day. Better now than when he’s president,” she said.

A former economics professor, Strauss-Kahn served as French industry minister and finance minister in the 1990s, and is credited with preparing France for the adoption of the euro by taming its deficit.

He took over as head of the IMF in November 2007. The 187-nation lending agency provides help in the form of emergency loans for countries facing severe financial problems.

Sarkozy, who did not comment publicly Sunday, had championed Strauss-Kahn to run the IMF. Political strategists saw it as a way for Sarkozy to get a potential challenger far from the French limelight.

Caroline Atkinson, an IMF spokeswoman, issued a statement Sunday that said the agency would have no comment on the New York case. She referred all inquiries to Strauss-Kahn’s personal lawyer and said the “IMF remains fully functioning and operational.”

Another IMF spokesman, William Murray, said the fund’s executive board would be briefed on developments related to Strauss-Kahn on Sunday, and John Lipsky, the IMF’s first deputy managing director, would lead the organization in an acting capacity in Strauss-Kahn’s absence.

Strauss-Kahn was supposed to be meeting in Berlin on Sunday with Merkel about increasing aid to Greece, and then join EU finance ministers in Brussels on Monday and Tuesday. The IMF is responsible for one-third of Greece’s existing loan package, and his expected presence at these meetings underlined the gravity of the Greek crisis.

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments

One Comment

  1. FRENCH FROGGY says:

    WELL HOLY DREYFUS and crusaints…HOW DARE YOU ACCUSE ME OF SODOMY? EETS A FRENCH TERM ANYWAY..ALL I WAS DOING WAS GEEVING HER A TIP..

  2. Charlie Sheenan says:

    The man is innocent. The maid agreed to participate in the role play.

  3. DR. MENGLE,GOT TWINS? says:

    RESTRAINT..DECENCY..BLEEPS HIS IDIOT WIFE..BET IF THAT POOR WOMAN WHO HE RAPED WAS GERMAN..THIS WHOLE HORROR STORY WOULD NEVER HAVE HAPPENED..HE WOULD HAVE ASKED TO TO RAPE HIM.. A FAT BLOATED COWARD..AND FRENCH NO LESS..AND THEY WERE THINKING OF MAKING THIS PIG THE NEXT PRESIDENT..PRICELESS..THIS TIME HE WONT GET AWAY FOR HIS CRIME..THROW HIM IN ROOM WITH SOME NICE GERMAN GUARDS..

  4. Dale Auburn says:

    His defense, of course, will be that the Asian and European stock markets are down because of uncertainty with the IMF, and therefore the “hotel maid” was really an INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC TERRORIST.

  5. pay wahun says:

    He was just doing what the IMF do best – RAPE and rather unfortunate that they are just catching up with him now – he and his mates have been raping Africa for years.

  6. DIVERSITY = DEATH says:

    NUKE ISRAHELL
    SMASH ISLAM
    NUKE MEXICO

    subhumans and parasites all of them

  7. DIVERSITY = DEATH says:

    a jew is a jew is a jew is a jew
    nobody hates a jew more than a jew

  8. lara says:

    like roman polanski will get away he is jewish
    le peuple elu will find a holohoax excuse for him

  9. Socialist world bank IMF leader. says:

    The IMF actually controls the Federal Reserve Bank, what does that tell you?

    The USA is being raped be the FED…
    Now, she, at least, broke free, the question is,

    Can we break free of our $14.3 TRILLION DEBT CEILING orchestrated by Bernanke and the FED?

    She somehow broke free and escaped the room and told hotel staff what had happened, authorities said. They called police. In fact this individual has an apparent history of forcing himself on woman in the past, and this same disgusting assault is performed on a global basis to the worlds finances.
    As to The Fractional Reserve Banking System, it is the IMF (International Monetary Fund), which controls the monetary policies of our Federal Reserve Bank, in which it is not Federal , it is a PRIVATE BANK, and there are no Reserves.
    With this snapshot of a rapist in mind, may it serve as to be a wake up call for Americans, yes, and Europeans, that nations should return to their respective treasuries to regulate monetary policy, rather than putting it in the hands of RAPISTS, who are literally financially RAPING the economic structures of IMF controlled Central Banking Nations, Including Ben Bernake’s FEDERAL RESERVE BANK!!

    Wake up America.

    END THE FED
    Ron Paul for President 2012

  10. BPF says:

    HERE WE GO AGAIN……THE FRENCH……..ALL INSANE MOST ARE PERVERTS, a TOTAL PIG…….THE MAID IS THE VICTIM HERE….
    THROW THE BOOK AT HIM…..WATCH WHAT HIS SLEAZY LAWYER WILL DO
    TO GET HIM OFF…..OFF WITH THEIR HEADS AND ON TO………!!!

    1. BPF says:

      AND HIS WIFE IS SO STUPID AND DUMB TO BELIEVE HIM, WHAT PHONY
      LIVES THESE GUTLESS WONDERS LIVE, THE FACT THAT HE LEFT HIS
      CELL PHONE AND OTHER VALUABLES BEHIND, SPEAKS VOLUMES OF
      HIS GUILT……….OH GOD THE FRENCH……..!!!!

      1. PIKE BISHOP JR. says:

        IF YOU HAVE TO TRY AND RAPE A MAID IN NYC..CAN YOU NOT IMAGINE WHAT A GOAT THIS BLOATED FROG MUST BE MARRIED TOO…

  11. PIKE BISHOP JR. says:

    BET THE OLD FAT FART OWNS 1000S OF SHARES IN CIALIS..BET HE TOOK A FEW TOO MANY THE OTHER DAY..THE STUPID FOOL..HES 62..SO AM I BUT I LOOK NOTHING LIKE HIM..WELL HES FAT AND REAL..STUPID TO BEGIN WITH…THE SEDUCER..A JOKE…THESE FRENCH MEN THINK THEY ARE GREAT LOVERS…JUST LIKE THEY ARE GREAT FIGHTERS..HOW MANY TIMES AND AMERICAN LIVES WERE SPENT TO BAIL THE FROGS OUT???

  12. Nick says:

    Leave the poor guy alone. How else would you expect a frenchie to have any sex at all?

  13. pete says:

    Simple people are for that kind of pervert like condoms. They just throw them away after use. There is probably a long history of his perverted sex acts that was always swept under the table. This time, like Clinton, he went to the well once too often. I just feel sorry for the obviously many victimized women who did not get any revenge, as this PILLAR OF SOCIETY was always innocent before proven guilty, and his pile of shister lawyers took well care of it that it never happened.

  14. Youngc says:

    I would say GUILTY. People like him are drunk on power and think they are above the law. Plus, why is a welfare-focused organization spending $3000 on an executive’s hotel stay? OUTRAGEOUS

    1. DR. MENGLE,GOT TWINS? says:

      YOUNG AND DUMB..WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN THESE PAST FEW MOUTHS..THE IMF..INTERNATIONAL MONEY FUND..THIEVES ON A GIANT SCALE..WELFARE..OH YOU POOR DOPE…AFTER THEY SUCK THE BLOOD OUT OF A COUNTRY..THE PEOPLE ARE NOW ON WELFARE..OH YOUNG AND DUMB..BUT IF YOUR HOT AND TIGHT..AND A GURL..THEN ITS ALRIGHT..LOL

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