IMF Chief Trades Posh Hotel Suite For Stay At Rikers
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s temporary new home is a far cry from the luxurious environs he’s used to. His midtown hotel suite cost $3,000 a night, but now the chief of the International Monetary Fund will spend at least the next three nights in an 11 by 13 foot cell in protective custody at Rikers Island.
He is charged with sex crimes after a hotel housekeeper said he attacked her.
For breakfast, he gets fresh fruit such an apple or banana, a box of Mini-Wheats, milk, two slices of whole wheat bread and a choice of coffee or tea. His meals are served inside his cell and he gets one hour of recreation time outside, with lights out by 11 p.m. and an early 6 a.m. wakeup call.
Strauss-Kahn is in protective custody because of his high-profile status. He will be kept apart from other inmates and have a personal guard to escort him whenever he leaves his cell.
WCBS 880’s Irene Cornell reports
Strauss-Kahn isn’t eligible for diplomatic immunity because he was in New York on personal business, the IMF said. If he had been working on official business, he could’ve sought that protection.
French newspaper Le Monde reported Strauss-Kahn was in New York for a whirlwind trip to visit his daughter, who studies here.
Judge Melissa Jackson decided he’s a flight risk.
“When I hear that your client was at JFK airport, about to board a flight, about to board a flight, that raises some concern,” said Jackson.
The powerful financial figure and France’s top presidential contender was pulled off a plane Saturday moments before it took off from JFK. His arrest derailed France’s upcoming presidential election and stirred fury among citizens there, who have accepted his past transgressions which includes an affair with a younger co-worker.
Some were complaining that the American justice system isn’t about justice at all.
“It’s about humiliating someone. This is unusually cruel. Anything, any kind of explanation is suddenly given for the fact that he was, shock, horror, treated like any other person suspected of a crime,” said Anne-Elisabeth Moutet, French journalist and author.
Police said before heading out of town, Strauss-Kahn tried to rape a housekeeper at Manhattan’s Sofitel where he had been staying. The details of the alleged attack are shocking.
“The defendant restrained a hotel employee inside of his room. He sexually assaulted her and attempted to forcibly rape her,” said Prosecutor John “Ardie” McConnell. “And when he was unsuccessful, he forced her to perform oral sex.”
In arguing against bail, prosecutors said the international banker could afford any amount set. And they reminded the court of Roman Polanski, who was wanted in California for a sex crime for 10 years but escaped to France where he lived openly and notoriously.
Strauss-Kahn has already surrendered his passport.
His high-profile defense team plan to appeal the ruling in court, suggesting the encounter may have been consensual.
“This battle has just begun. We believe and we’ll prove in our judgement that Mr. Strauss-Kahn is innocent of these charges,” said attorney Benjamin Brafman.
Brafman said “there are significant issues that were already found” that he feels make it “quite likely that he will be ultimately exonerated.”
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