Former IMF head to deny sexual assault charges

Dominique Strauss-Kahn set to plead not guilty to sexual assault charges, according to lawyer Benjamin Brafman.

By REUTERS
June 6, 2011 15:02
2 minute read.
Strauss Kahn

Strauss Kahn 311. (photo credit: Reuters)

 
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NEW YORK - Disgraced ex-International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn will plead not guilty on Monday to charges he sexually assaulted a New York hotel maid in a case that cost him his job and a chance at the French presidency.

Strauss-Kahn, 62, faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted on charges including attempted rape, sex abuse, a criminal sex act, unlawful imprisonment and forcible touching.

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His lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, told Reuters that the former head of the IMF will plead not guilty in New York Supreme Court before Judge Michael Obus.

Praised for his role tackling the 2007-09 global financial crisis and attempts to keep Europe's debt crisis under control, Strauss-Kahn resigned as IMF managing director a few days after his May 14 arrest in the first-class section of an Air France plane, minutes before it was to depart New York for Paris.

He was accused of attacking a 32-year-old African immigrant a few hours earlier when she came to clean his suite at the luxury Sofitel hotel in Midtown Manhattan, apparently believing it had been vacated.

Strauss-Kahn, who has four daughters, has denied the charges. His arraignment on Monday will be the start of what could be lengthy legal proceedings.



A new IMF chief has not yet been appointed. French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde and Mexican central bank chief Agustin Carstens both want to replace Strauss-Kahn.

Until the New York arrest, Strauss-Kahn had been expected to quit his IMF post for a different reason -- a bid to become the Socialist candidate for president of France. He had been a strong favorite to beat conservative President Nicolas Sarkozy at the polls next year.

Instead, Strauss-Kahn spent four days in New York's Rikers Island jail before he was released on $1 million cash bail and $5 million bond and placed under house arrest with 24-hour armed guards and electronic monitoring.

He spent a few days in a Lower Manhattan apartment but is now living in a luxurious townhouse rented by his wife - French television journalist Anne Sinclair - in Manhattan's TriBeCa district.

A prosecutor estimated Strauss-Kahn would pay $200,000 a month for his security arrangements.

Strauss-Kahn's lawyer has said that although his client has a net worth of roughly $2 million, his wife, an heiress, has "substantially greater assets." So far, Sinclair has not displayed any hesitation about using her personal wealth to help her husband.

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