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Dominique Strauss-Kahn charged in connection with allegations of sexual assault

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  • #31

    May 18, 2011 -- While the International Monetary Fund's chief waits in New York's Rikers Island jail for his next court date on charges that he tried to rape a maid in a posh Manhattan hotel, news reports have detailed numerous other allegations of impropriety toward women on the part of the Frenchman. Dominique Strauss-Kahn's reputation in France for aggressively pursuing women was apparently so bad that French President Nicolas Sarkozy personally warned the former finance minister to control himself in Washington before he left France in 2007 to head the IMF, the British newspaper The Times reported Wednesday. "Over there they don't joke about this sort of thing," The Times quoted Sarkozy saying to Strauss-Kahn then. "Your life will be passed under a magnifying glass. Avoid taking the lift alone with interns. France cannot permit a scandal." After news broke Saturday that the New York Police Department arrested Strauss-Kahn at John F. Kennedy International Airport on suspicion of attempted rape, Sarkozy aides told The Times that the French president rolled his eyes. "We did warn him," Sarkozy said, according to his aides.

    Strauss-Kahn pleaded not guilty Monday to the charges. News reports indicate his attorneys will pursue a defense that the IMF chief and the maid had sex but that it was consensual. Jeffrey Shapiro, the maid's attorney, told Early Show co-anchor Chris Wragge Wednesday that there was nothing consensual about Saturday's incident. "There was nothing about any aspect of this encounter between this young woman and the defendant which was remotely consensual or could be construed as consensual, either physical contact or sexual contact," Shapiro said. Shapiro characterized Strauss-Kahn's possible strategy as "spinning." "In effect, what his defense amounts to is attempting to accuse the victim and so she can't step forward," Shapiro said.

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    • #32
      Wednesday 18th May, 2011:


      Text of Dominique Strauss-Kahn's letter of resignation as managing director of the International Monetary Fund, as released Wednesday by the IMF:

      Ladies and Gentlemen of the Board:

      It is with infinite sadness that I feel compelled today to present to the Executive Board my resignation from my post of Managing Director of the IMF. I think at this time first of my wife — whom I love more than anything — of my children, of my family, of my friends. I think also of my colleagues at the Fund; together we have accomplished such great things over the last three years and more. To all, I want to say that I deny with the greatest possible firmness all of the allegations that have been made against me. I want to protect this institution which I have served with honor and devotion, and especially — especially — I want to devote all my strength, all my time, and all my energy to proving my innocence.

      Dominique Strauss-Kahn

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      • #33

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        • #34

          May 19, 2011 -- A deluge of fresh allegations of sexual misbehaviour engulfed Dominique Strauss-Kahn yesterday. The 62-year-old International Monetary Fund chief, who is accused of the attempted rape of a chambermaid, is said to have targeted young students, ‘behaved like a gorilla’ with an actress and had flings with the widow of an Italian academic. As Strauss-Kahn languished on suicide watch in New York’s Rikers Island prison following the alleged sexual assault at a Manhattan hotel, the new claims sent further shockwaves reverberating through France and the financial world. The revelations will trigger more questions about how the IMF’s managing director escaped censure during his rise to become one of the world’s most powerful money men and a potential president of France.

          The mother of Tristane Banon, a Parisian novelist who claims to have been subjected to a frenzied sex attack by Strauss-Kahn nine years ago, used the Facebook website to deliver a scathing attack on her daughter’s alleged aggressor. Anne Mansouret, a regional official for the same Socialist Party as Strauss-Kahn, wrote: ‘Tristane has remained very deeply traumatised by this attack. This happened after several minor incidents involving [Strauss-Kahn] and female students from Dauphine [University] or pupils from ScPo [Paris Institute for Political Studies].’ Strauss-Kahn, a father of four who is married to millionaire heiress Anne Sinclair, worked as a professor of economics at the ScPo from 2000 to 2007, after graduating from the respected political university in the 1970s. His links to the Paris Dauphine University, which specialises in science and economics, are unclear.

          Strauss-Kahn has been accused of assaulting a 32-year-old Guinean chambermaid at the Sofitel hotel in New York on Saturday. He denies charges including attempted rape, criminal sexual acts and illegal imprisonment. His $1 million bail plea was rejected by a New York judge. In further allegations, an account thought to have originated on a respected French blog has told how a young actress claimed in 2008 that Strauss-Kahn acted ‘like a gorilla’ or, according to another translation, like a ‘randy monkey’ after inviting her back to a Paris flat. The details recall Miss Banon’s description, when she compared the financier with a ‘rutting chimpanzee’ in 2007. A book by a member of Strauss-Kahn’s inner circle suggested that his dealings with the Rome-based widow of an Italian academic could be damaging if revealed. DSK: Secrets of a presidential contender, published last year under the pseudonym Cassandre, said: ‘Our worst nightmare would be if she wanted to write a book.’ It is possible that the woman, named in the book as Carmen, is Carmen Llera, a Spanish writer whose novelist husband Alberto Moravia died in the Italian capital in 1990. Miss Llera, 58, has alluded to flings with Strauss-Kahn in two of her books. The methods that Strauss-Kahn employed to carry out his alleged philandering were underlined in the ‘DSK’ book, which describes him identifying his ‘prey’ with an ‘eye for women (as) sharp as a laser’. Strauss-Kahn has also allegedly had relationships with several high profile French literary figures including playwright Yasmina Reza, who wrote an account of Nicolas Sarkozy’s 2007 presidential campaign, and Spanish writer Carmen Llera. Llera has appeared to allude to a relationship with Straus-Kahn in two of her books.

          President Sarkozy is said to have rolled his eyes and said ‘We did warn him’ after hearing of his arrest. French socialist politician Auriele Filippetti said the IMF chief had groped her in 2008 and from then on vowed to make sure she was never alone in a room with him. Piroska Nagy, a Hungarian economist who had a brief affair with Strauss Kahn when both were married in 2008, told investigators that he had a problem and that she felt coerced into sleeping with him because of his senior position and aggressive advances. Other reports claim he had between two and seven mobile phones, and would send two ‘smiley faces’ at the end of a message. Meanwhile, the second of Strauss-Khan’s three wives leapt to his defence and pointed out changing versions of the alleged hotel assault put out by New York police. Brigitte Guillemette told Le Parisien newspaper: ‘The facts related by the American police are not compatible with the man I know and with whom I lived for more than ten years. He’s someone who is gentle. Violence is not part of his temperament. He has many faults, but not that one.’ Referring to Tristane Banon’s plan to press charges, she added: ‘I ask the question: why is a young woman deciding to file a complaint several years after the event, the day when a 25-year prison sentence is hanging over the man she accuses?’ Strauss-Kahn’s lawyer Dominique de Leusse de Syon last night declined to comment on anything other than the New York case. Most French people believe fallen Strauss-Kahn is the ‘victim of a plot’ over the charge that he tried to rape a hotel chambermaid. A poll found that 57 per cent of French people think he was ‘framed’ in a bid to ruin him. Among socialist voters, 70 per cent believe the Left-wing politician has been set up.

          Strauss-Khan and his many women

          Tristane Banon, 31, journalist

          Allegation: Attempted rape and sexual assault. Strauss-Kahn allegedly summoned her to a Paris apartment for an interview in 2002 and asked to hold her hand before pouncing on her. He undid her bra and jeans before she shouted ‘rape’ and kicked him off, she has said.

          Piroska Nagy, 50, IMF official

          Allegation: Coerced into a liaison. The Hungarian-born blonde met Strauss-Kahn in Washington in 2007. She says his seniority made her feel pressured into a consensual fling. An investigation cleared him of abusing his authority but he admitted an ‘error of judgment’.

          Aurélie Filippetti, 37, Socialist politician

          Allegation: Harassment. The leading politician and novelist described a ‘very heavy, very insistent’ attempt by Strauss-Kahn to chat her up in 2008. She has since denied that he groped her, but said she would ‘forever make sure’ she was never ‘alone in a room with him again’.

          Yasmina Reza, 51, playwright

          Allegation: Affair. France’s most celebrated dramatist has been romantically linked to Strauss-Kahn as well as his rival Nicolas Sarkozy, after she wrote an intimate account of the president’s 2007 campaign. The book was dedicated to ‘G’, a socialist who is expected to become head of the IMF. Strauss-Kahn’s middle name is Gaston.

          Carmen Llera, 58, writer

          Allegation: At least one dalliance. The Spanish author was a member of Strauss-Kahn’s academic inner circle. In two of her books, she hints at possible affairs with him.

          Young actress, age unknown

          Allegation: Gorilla-like behaviour. The unnamed actress was invited to a Paris apartment with Strauss-Kahn, where he allegedly acted like a gorilla or ‘randy monkey’. His alleged assault on Tristane Banon also saw him labelled a ‘rutting chimpanzee’.

          European journalist, age unknown

          Allegation: Harassment. The ‘tall and willowy’ reporter, using the name Martina, said he called her repeatedly and insisted ‘almost directly that I had to sleep with him for an interview’. She did not succumb, but two years later he continued his efforts, when she was pregnant.

          Mexican chambermaid, age unknown

          Allegation: Fling. According to a book published by a member of Strauss-Kahn’s inner circle, he had a fling with a maid in Mexico. If true, the episode echoes the charges he now faces in New York.

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          • #35

            Jeudi 19 Mai 2011 -- La femme de chambre de l'hôtel Sofitel de Manhattan qui accuse Dominique Strauss-Kahn de l'avoir agressée a témoigné mercredi à huis clos devant la chambre d'accusation ("Grand jury") qui pourrait signifier vendredi à l'ex-patron du Fonds monétaire international son inculpation formelle. Elle a nié catégoriquement avoir eu une relation sexuelle consentie. La police new-yorkaise révèle qu'un employé du Sofitel était présent dans la suite de DSK dernier au moment où la victime présumée est entrée dans la chambre d'hôtel. Cet homme aurait laissé la porte de la suite entrouverte, permettant à la jeune femme d'entrer sans utiliser son badge électronique. La victime présumée de Dominique Strauss-Kahn s'est présentée samedi devant la suite 2806 du Sofitel de Manhattan et a constaté que "la porte était entrouverte", a expliqué la source policière. La jeune femme "a poussé la porte, un employé était en train de débarrasser le petit-déjeuner dans la suite et il lui a dit qu'elle pouvait nettoyer la chambre", a poursuivi la source proche du Sofitel. L'accusatrice de DSK est ensuite "revenue dans la chambre avec son chariot et l'autre employé est parti", a ajouté cette source. Cette même source proche de l'hôtel Sofitel a également expliqué que l'établissement de Manhattan était équipé de caméras "uniquement dans le lobby et aux 1er et 2e étages, où se trouvent les salles de réunion", précisant qu'il n'y avait "aucune caméra dans les couloirs, ni dans les chambres, ni dans les suites" de l'hôtel. Selon le récit des enquêteurs américains, la victime présumée était entrée samedi dans la suite 2806, croyant qu'elle était vide, pendant que M. Strauss-Kahn prenait une douche dans la salle-de-bain à l'autre bout de la suite.

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            • #36

              Jeudi 19 Mai 2011 -- Tous les coups sont permis. Soupçonnée par certains médias américains d’être séropositive au motif qu’elle vit dans un immeuble où sont effectivement logés des malades du sida, Nafissatou Diallo, 32 ans, est soumise à forte pression. Cependant, la victime présumée de DSK est davantage une femme humiliée. Hier, ses voisins du 1040 Gerald Avenue, dans le quartier populaire du sud du Bronx, ont pris sa défense pour dénoncer cet amalgame. À cette adresse, un immeuble traditionnel new-yorkais, les habitants décrivent «une très jolie jeune femme agréable à regarder» comme le souligne Tony, un jeune Portoricain qui tient la porte du hall d’entrée avec trois autres comparses récitant du rap. «Tous les occupants de cet immeuble ne sont pas des malades du sida! Ici sont placés des gens bénéficiant de l’aide sociale au logement, d’anciens toxicomanes ou des femmes comme moi, victimes de violences conjugales», explique Tanya, une résidante au visage fatigué, clouée dans un fauteuil roulant électrique. «D’autres locataires bénéficient d’appartements à loyer modéré», ajoute-t-elle. La société propriétaire de l’immeuble, Chain Gross, met des appartements à la disposition de différents organismes d’aide sociale, comme Harlem United qui prend en charge les malades du sida, mais aussi l’association Bridge qui gère tous ceux qui ont besoin d’un logement d’urgence après avoir souffert d’addictions à la drogue.

              Toujours souriante et aimable

              À quelques pâtés de maisons plus à l’est, la révélation de l’agression endurée par Nafi a mis sens dessus dessous la communauté guinéenne de l’ethnie Foula installée dans le sud du Bronx. «Je suis persuadé que si cela ne dépendait que d’elle, cette histoire ne serait jamais sortie», jure Mamadou Diallo, l’un des responsables de la communauté guinéenne. «Nafi et moi venons de la même petite ville, Lélouma, à peine 5.000 habitants dans une région montagneuse. Elle n’a pas beaucoup d’éducation, c’est une femme simple», continue cet homme avant de décrypter l’impact de cette agression sur la jeune femme à la culture africaine. «Elle a dû avoir honte d’être victime de ce genre d’agression», déduit-il. «Pour elle et sa famille, c’est une véritable humiliation. Ils auraient sans aucun doute préféré que personne ne soit jamais au courant de ce drame. Ce sont des collègues de travail qui ont dû la persuader de porter plainte». Les yeux de Mamadou Diallo se remplissent de larmes alors qu’il raconte quand et comment il a rencontré sa compatriote : «C’était il y a trois ans, Nafi était serveuse dans un restaurant gambien. Toujours souriante et aimable». Le propriétaire gambien de l’établissement, une petite cantine africaine située sur l’une des grandes artères du Bronx, se souvient parfaitement de «cette employée modèle et charmante» qui a travaillé pour lui «pendant trois ans». «Puis elle a obtenu ses papiers (Ndlr : la fameuse carte verte permettant de travailler légalement aux Etats-Unis) et elle est partie. Elle revenait de temps en temps acheter à manger». Pour protéger cette femme placée sous les feux des projecteurs bien malgré elle, l’imam de la mosquée que Nafi fréquente avec sa grande sœur dans le Bronx a insisté auprès de ses fidèles. Ils ne doivent dévoiler aucune information la concernant.

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              • #37

                Jeudi 19 Mai 2011 -- L'ancien patron du FMI Dominique Strauss-Kahn a été formellement inculpé jeudi à New York par une chambre d'accusation ("grand jury") à la suite des accusations de crime sexuel portées à son encontre par une femme de chambre, a annoncé le ministère public. Dominique Strauss-Kahn, qui a annoncé dans la nuit sa démission de ses fonctions de directeur général du Fonds monétaire international, a comparu jeudi en début d'après-midi devant le tribunal pénal de Manhattan en présence de son épouse, Anne Sinclair, et d'une de ses filles. "Une inculpation a été votée et prononcée contre l'accusé", a déclaré le procureur devant la cour. L'annonce de l'inculpation formelle, qui signifie que M. Strauss-Kahn passera en procès à moins qu'il ne plaide coupable, a été faite au début de l'audience au cours de laquelle il devait demander sa remise en liberté sous caution. La décision a été prise en secret par un Grand jury, instance qui réunit des citoyens en secret et en dehors de la présence d'un juge. Il a entendu mercredi la victime présumée, une immigrée guinéenne âgée de 32 ans et avait jusqu'à vendredi au plus tard pour rendre sa décision. L'ancien ministre français avait été arrêté samedi dans un avion d'Air France qui s'apprêtait à décoller pour Paris.

                La décision du tribunal pénal de Manhattan est survenue quelques heures après que DSK, qui était encore il y a une semaine l'un des hommes les plus puissants de la planète, eut démissionné du FMI qu'il dirigeait depuis 2007. "Dominique Strauss-Kahn a informé aujourd'hui le conseil d'administration du Fonds monétaire international de son intention de démissionner de son poste de directeur général avec effet immédiat", a indiqué le FMI, qui a publié la lettre de démission de "DSK", dans laquelle il clame son innocence. "À tous, je veux dire que je réfute avec la plus extrême fermeté tout ce qui m’est reproché", a-t-il écrit depuis sa prison de New York, où il a été placé en détention provisoire lundi. "Je veux consacrer toutes mes forces, tout mon temps et toute mon énergie à démontrer mon innocence", ajoute-t-il. Ces mots sont la première déclaration publique de M. Strauss-Kahn depuis qu'a éclaté l'affaire de crime sexuel dans laquelle la femme de chambre du Sofitel l'accuse de l'avoir agressée sexuellement et d'avoir tenté de la violer.

                Les avocats de DSK ont proposé jeudi à nouveau, comme lundi dernier, le versement d'une caution d'un million de dollars. Estimant que l'ancien patron du FMI a les "ressources financières suffisantes" pour s'en acquitter, ils ont joint à leur requête le titre de propriété au nom d'Anne Sinclair, son épouse, de la maison du couple à Washington, achetée quatre millions de dollars. M. Strauss-Kahn s'engage à demeurer 24 heures sur 24 dans une résidence de Manhattan, qui n'a pas été précisée mais pourrait être celle de sa fille, sous ce que le document appelle une "surveillance électronique" et qui pourrait consister en un bracelet électronique. M. Strauss-Kahn a déjà remis son passeport français à la justice américaine et s'engage à remettre aussi son document de voyage de l'ONU aux autorités afin de prouver qu'il ne quittera pas le territoire américain pendant la durée de la procédure judiciaire. Surtout, il a dit "renoncer volontairement à toute procédure d'extradition de toute sorte", dans une déclaration au tribunal sous serment.

                L'avocat de sa victime présumée, Jeff Shapiro, a déclaré que sa cliente était "inquiète" à la perspective que M. Strauss-Kahn quitte la prison. "L'idée que cet homme puisse se retrouver d'une manière ou d'une autre dans la rue et libre, je suis sûre que cela lui cause une grande inquiétude", a-t-il dit jeudi sur CNN. "Elle est très inquiète pour sa sécurité", a insisté l'avocat. M. Strauss-Kahn est visé par sept chefs d'accusation, notamment tentative de viol et séquestration. Il a été incarcéré lundi dernier sur ordre d'une autre juge, Melissa Jackson, qui a refusé de le libérer malgré la première offre d'une caution d'un million de dollars, invoquant un risque de fuite. S'il devait être condamné pour l'ensemble des chefs d'accusation dont il fait l'objet, M. Strauss-Kahn risquerait jusqu'à 74 ans de prison.

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                • #38

                  May 19, 2011 (CBS) -- Kristin Davis, aka the "Manhattan Madam" - best known for having former New York governor Eliot Spitzer on her escort service's client list - is now claiming that then-IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn paid thousands of dollars for her escort girls, and that one of them complained Strauss-Kahn was too aggressive, reports say. According to Davis, the recently resigned IMF managing director used her escort service twice in 2006, while he was seeking the French presidential candidacy, reports the Telegraph. Strauss-Kahn, who is currently held without bail in New York, accused of raping a housekeeper at a luxury hotel, reputedly called Davis in January 2006 requesting an "all American girl." Davis said he paid about $2,400 for two hours with her, The Daily Mail reports. Davis, 35, said she decided to speak out against Strauss-Kahn because of the allegations against him. She said she doesn't feel the need to protect her clients that are abusive, reports The Daily Mail. "The girl said he was pushy, overly grabby and forceful. He did not rape anyone. However, at $1,000 or more an hour, we expected the clients to behave like gentlemen, not animals," said Davis to The Daily Mail. Davis was jailed in 2008 for promoting prostitution, after it emerged that Spitzer had been using call girls. She spent five months at Rikers Island, where Strauss-Kahn is currently being held.

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                  • #39

                    NEW YORK, May 19, 2011 (CBS/WCBS/AP) -- Investigators cut out a piece of carpet in the search of former IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss Kahn's penthouse suite for DNA evidence in his sexual assault case, law enforcement officials said. New York detectives and prosecutors believe the carpet in the hotel room may contain Strauss-Kahn's semen, based on information the victim gave police. The victim, a 32-year-old immigrant from the West African nation of Guinea, told police that the 62-year-old Strauss-Kahn came out of the bathroom naked, chased her down, forced her to perform oral sex on him and tried to remove her underwear before she broke free and fled the room. In addition to examining the Sofitel Hotel suite for potential DNA evidence, investigators were looking at the maid's keycard to determine whether she used it to enter the room, and how long she was there, officials said. The DNA testing is being "fast-tracked" but the results could still be a few days away, according to police. Bail for Strauss-Kahn, who has been jailed at Rikers Island since Monday, was set at $1 million cash or $5 million bond Thursday afternoon.

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                    • #40

                      May 19, 2011 -- A New York judge set bail today at $1 million for Dominique Strauss-Kahn, just moments after a grand jury indicted the former IMF chief on seven counts of sexual assault against a hotel chamber maid. In addition to the $1 million bail, the judge demanded that Strauss-Kahn post an additional $5 million insurance bond and that the French politician agree to house arrest and 24 hour monitoring. The grand jury, which heard testimony Wednesday from his accuser, a 32-year-old chamber maid, gave the go ahead for Strauss-Kahn to be tried for allegedly forcing the women to submit to oral and anal sex. He is also accused of attempted rape.

                      As the grand jury returned its indictment, Strauss-Kahn, 62, who was one of the most influential men in global finance before his arrest, shuffled into a courtroom in a gray suit to request bail. The man who had been a contender to be the next president of France was deemed a flight risk and denied bail earlier this week. Since Monday, he has been in protective isolation and on suicide watch in a 11 foot by 13 foot cell at New York's notorious Riker's Island jail. His lawyers initially proposed a $1 million bail package that was rejected by the court. Under a newly approved bail package, Strauss-Kahn will still pay the $1 million, but he will also be confined to a New York City residence, where he will be monitored around the clock by a private security firm and an electronic bracelet. "We can't think of conditions more restrictive," said his lawyer William Taylor. Taylor said Strauss-Kahn's wife, French journalist Anne Sinclair, would rent a New York City apartment where they would stay. Strauss-Kahn has already turned over his passport to the court.

                      The prosecution, opposing any bail, called Strauss-Kahn an "existential flight risk." Assistant District Attorney John McConnell said the "international figure's... global influence gives him access to a network of contacts throughout the world." Typically such bail hearings occur after a suspect has been officially arraigned. An arraignment hearing is scheduled for Friday, when he is expected to plead not guilty. Today's hearing was the second time Strauss-Kahn's attorneys appeared before a judge. In each instance they gave clues as to their plans for defending their client. In the bail application submitted Wednesday, Strauss-Kahn's lawyers detailed his whereabouts on Saturday afternoon, between the time he is accused of assaulting the maid and his arrest that evening onboard an Air France jet at Kennedy airport. The schedule outlined by his lawyers suggests that Strauss-Kahn's actions were not those of a man who just committed a grave sex crime. According the document, the alleged attack occurred at noon Saturday in his suite at the Sofitel Hotel. At 12:28 p.m., his lawyers say, he checked out of the hotel and joined a relative for lunch a few blocks away at 12:45 p.m. After lunch he took a car to the airport for a flight scheduled to depart at 4:40 p.m., which had been booked a week earlier. Before boarding the plane, Strauss-Kahn called the hotel to report he had left his cell phone in his room and volunteered information about his location. Defense attorney Benjamin Brafman told the judge at a bail hearing Monday that "the evidence, we believe, will not be consistent with a forcible encounter," suggesting that Strauss-Kahn might argue that he and the woman had consensual sex.

                      His accuser, a maid at New York City's Sofitel Hotel, testified in court Wednesday that "there was nothing consensual" about the assault that allegedly took place Saturday, said Jeffrey Shapiro, her personal attorney. The maid is a national of the West African country of Guinea. ABC News has confirmed that police collected several piece of physical evidence from the hotel room, which are being tested for DNA, including a swath of carpet on which the maid spat after allegedly being forced to perform oral sex. New York Police Department investigators say they brought the maid back to the room where, she says, Strauss-Kahn emerged naked from the bathroom and assaulted her. Investigators also say information downloaded from the suite door's electronic card reader indicates the maid entered the room and never closed the door. The hotel policy requires maids to leave the door open when cleaning. The open door, they say, is proof that the women entered the room to work, not to engage in consensual sex. "There was nothing that took place in that hotel room which in any way could be construed as consensual," the woman's personal attorney, Jeffrey Shapiro, said. "This woman was absolutely the victim of a physical and sexual assault."

                      ABC News does not identify alleged victims of sexual assault. On Wednesday, Strauss-Kahn resigned his post as head of the International Monetary Fund, the organization that oversees the global financial system. He was considered a leading contender to become president of France.

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                      • #41

                        Jeudi 19 Mai 2011 -- "Quel beau c...l !" Cette interjection, à l'adresse d'une des hôtesses du vol New York-Paris AF023 du samedi 14 mai, d'autant plus leste que faite à voix haute devant le personnel navigant commercial, est la dernière phrase prononcée par Dominique Strauss-Kahn avant d'être invité par deux policiers à quitter le siège de la Business Class sur lequel il avait pris place pour se rendre à Paris. En effet, contrairement à ce qui a été dit, le type d'appareil, un Airbus A330-200, qui assure le vol de 16 h 40 au départ de l'aéroport Kennedy, n'est pas équipé sur Air France d'une classe First...

                        L'équipage s'est à peine rendu compte qu'il se produisait quelque chose d'anormal, car celui qui était alors encore directeur général du FMI l'avait averti qu'on devait lui rapporter son téléphone portable, oublié dans une chambre d'hôtel. Le commandant de bord avait cependant prévenu DSK qu'il ne pourrait retarder l'avion pour lui permettre de récupérer son bien si le précieux portable n'arrivait pas dans les minutes qui suivaient. Aussi personne n'a été plus étonné que cela quand deux hommes en civil se sont présentés à la porte de l'avion, portant le badge de la Port Authority et réclamant Dominique Strauss-Kahn. Ils semblaient avoir juste l'intention de lui faire une communication un peu confidentielle. Ce qui explique également que DSK les ait suivis sans appréhension, ni réticence apparente.

                        Un incident pourtant aurait pu mettre sur la voie les membres de l'équipage du vol New York-Paris. Quelques minutes avant que DSK soit extrait de l'avion, tous leurs téléphones portables sont devenus subitement muets. Ce qui pourrait bien, après coup, indiquer que les communications avec le vol AF023 ont été volontairement brouillées. Vraisemblablement, ou du moins peut-on le supposer, parce que la police ne voulait pas courir le risque que quelqu'un, depuis l'hôtel Sofitel ou d'ailleurs, avertisse DSK de ce que des policiers allaient venir interrompre définitivement, ce soir-là, son vol de retour vers la France.

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                        • #42

                          Vendredi 20 Mai 2011 -- Il avait été cité comme étant le frère de la femme de chambre de l'hôtel Sofitel de New York qui accuse Dominique Strauss-Kahn de tentative de viol et d'agression sexuelle. Le restaurateur du quartier de Harlem a reconnu jeudi n'être en fait qu'un ami de la victime présumée. Une information importante pour la défense de DSK, qui ne manquera pas de l'utiliser. L'homme avait affirmé que la jeune femme l'avait appelé après le crime sexuel présumément commis dans une chambre du Sofitel de Manhattan. "Elle ne savait pas qui était Dominique Strauss-Kahn au moment des faits. C'est moi qui lui ai expliqué qui il était quand elle m'a appelé", avait-il dit à l'AFP. "Les médias européens qui doutent de cette affaire, ça m'énerve". Contacté jeudi par l'AFP après des informations de la presse new-yorkaise selon lesquelles il n'était pas le frère de la présumée victime, il a déclaré: "Je ne suis pas un menteur. Je n'ai jamais dit qu'elle était ma soeur de sang, je n'ai pas de soeur de sang aux Etats-Unis. C'est une bonne amie, une cliente régulière du restaurant". Selon des journalistes l'ayant interrogé en début de semaine, l'homme s'était néanmoins présenté comme le frère de la victime présumée. Il porte le même nom de famille que cette dernière, que les médias américains ont choisi de ne pas identifier conformément à leur politique de protection des victimes.

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                          • #43

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                            • #44
                              May 20, 2011:


                              A wave of stunned indignation washed across France this week. The allegations of sexual assault against one of country’s most powerful men were appalling — but it was the image of Dominique Strauss-Kahn handcuffed and being escorted by police into a New York City police station that truly shocked the nation. In his position as head of the International Monetary Fund, Strauss-Kahn (or DSK, as he is commonly known in France) is a man who is used to jetting around the world to sort out economic affairs with members of the global super-elite. But today, the man who was once touted as a Socialist party presidential contender sits in a single jail cell in Rikers Island, where he was remanded by a judge without bail.

                              It is a far cry indeed from the $3,000-a-night suite in Manhattan’s Sofitel, where he last slept. It was in that plushy abode, with its grand foyer, living room and marble bathroom, that Strauss-Kahn is accused of sexually assaulting a chambermaid. According to authorities, the 32-year-old woman claims she entered the room to clean it, whereupon a naked Strauss-Kahn chased her thoughout the suite, finally dragging her into the bathroom where he forced her to perform oral sex, before she broke free and fled. He was arrested several hours later, having boarded Air France flight 23 to Paris at John F. Kennedy International Airport, just minutes before takeoff. He was later charged with attempted rape, a criminal sexual act, sexual abuse, unlawful imprisonment and forcible touching.

                              Despite his gilded career and exalted status in France (he served as a government minister under François Mitterrand and is credited with helping manage the recent global economic crisis), the allegations against Strauss-Kahn cannot come as a complete surprise to anyone who knows him well. “Paris has buzzed for months, if not years, in the political and journalistic milieu about the rather pathological relationship that Mr. Strauss-Kahn maintains toward women,” Marine Le Pen, his far-right political rival, gloated to the press this week. And, she added, the news Strauss-Kahn had been arrested “did not make me fall from my chair.”

                              Strauss-Kahn’s hitherto mostly unpublicized history of alleged sexual harassment has for years been an open secret in the French media — which prides itself on respecting the personal privacy of even the most openly promiscuous politicians. The French can be a sensitive bunch, but they are hardly scandalized when it comes to the peccadilloes of powerful men. When Mitterrand was asked during his presidency if it was true he had a child out of wedlock, his answer summed up the prevailing attitude: “Yes, it’s true. And so what? It’s none of the public’s business.”

                              But when it comes to Strauss-Kahn, the signs were somewhat more ominous. Despite being a thrice-married father of four, he has for years been surrounded by murmurs of sexual misconduct. Frédéric Lefebvre, an adviser to President Nicolas Sarkozy, once wrote that the IMF head “wouldn’t last a week” in an election campaign because of the revelations that would emerge. And Tristane Banon, a 31-year-old French writer and goddaughter of DSK’s second wife, has now claimed that in 2002 she was lured by Strauss-Kahn to an apartment by the promise of an interview and then physically attacked. Her mother, a Socialist party ally of Strauss-Kahn, convinced her daughter to keep quiet, on the grounds such a scandal would be bad for her burgeoning career. When Banon finally told all on a French talk show in 2007, DSK’s name was bleeped out.

                              An anonymous book published earlier this year in France, entitled DSK : Les secrets d’un présidentiable, characterized the IMF head as “a pleasure seeker” who, “like all great political animals… has trouble controlling himself.” And Danièle Évenou, a French actress, once said in an interview: “Who hasn’t been cornered by Dominique Strauss-Kahn?” Marc Semo, foreign editor the French newspaper Libération, confirms this perception. “In France, sex scandals are not considered scandals,” he said on the phone from Paris. “Normally, a leader for us is a man who is a womanizer. It’s normal. Everyone knows about it in the media microcosm but we don’t speak about it publicly. With Strauss-Kahn it was a joke around the newsroom. We’d say, ‘If you want to get a good interview, send a young female reporter.’ ”

                              There is speculation that the case of Strauss-Kahn might put an end to the French media’s kid-glove treatment of public figures, but Semo is not so sure. “In France today we still see the distinction between private and public life as necessary,” he said. “And besides, the privacy laws are very strict.” So strict in fact, that the photographs of a handcuffed Strauss-Kahn being escorted by police (a U.S. media ritual colloquially known as “the perp walk”) are technically illegal in France. This goes some way to explain the shocked Gallic indignation in response to Strauss-Kahn’s downfall. The French are simply not used to seeing the powerful and the elite being treated like common criminals in public — even when they are accused of sexual assault. Élisabeth Guigou, the former French justice minister who helped draft some of the country’s strict privacy laws, maligned the U.S. justice system on French radio this week. She called it “an accusatory system” and condemned the images of a cuffed Strauss-Kahn as a form of “brutality, a violence of incredible cruelty,” saying, “I am happy we don’t have to have the same justice system.”

                              Far more bizarre was the speculation Strauss-Kahn was the victim of some sort of conspiracy or “honey trap” — though by whom is not entirely clear. Former Socialist party leader François Hollande speculated on television this week that “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.” Some of his right-wing political rivals went even further. Politician Dominque Paillé rose above party lines to cast doubt on the allegations, calling them “a banana peel that could have been put under his shoe.” And Henri de Raincourt, Sarkozy’s minister for foreign co-operation, did not mince words when he observed, “We cannot rule out the thought of a trap.”

                              With a presidential election less than a year away, France is a nation in a state of political shock. Not only was Strauss-Kahn tipped to be the new leader of the Socialist party (he lost his first leadership bid to Ségolène Royal in 2007), advance electoral polls placed him poised to beat an increasingly unpopular Sarkozy. Semo says that, if proven true, Strauss-Kahn’s actions in that Manhattan hotel suite were “pure self-destruction, a form of political suicide.” Now, as pressure mounts upon him to resign his influential post, most commentators agree: Strauss-Kahn’s political career is finished. But until the trial begins, France and the world will be left to speculate how a man so close to holding his nation’s highest office could fall so far, so fast.

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                              • #45
                                Greg Palast, May 20, 2011:


                                Now that I've dispensed with the obvious and obnoxious teaser headline, let's drop the towel and expose Dominique Strauss-Kahn's history of arrogant abuse. The truth is, the grandee of the IMF has molested Africans for years. On Wednesday, the New York Times ran five – count'em, FIVE – stories on Strauss-Kahn, Director-General of the International Monetary Fund. According to the Paper of Record, the charges against "DSK," as he's known in France, are in "contradiction" to his "charm" and "accomplishments" at the IMF.

                                Au contraire, mes chers lecteurs.

                                Director-General DSK's cruelty, arrogance and impunity toward African and other nations as generalissimo of the IMF is right in line with the story told by the poor, African hotel housekeeper in New York City. Let's consider how the housekeeper from Guinea ended up here in New York. In 2002, this single mother was granted asylum. What drove her here? It began with the IMF rape of Guinea. In 2002, the International Monetary Fund cut off capital inflows to this West African nation. Without the blessing of the International Monetary Fund, Guinea, which has up to half the world's raw material for aluminum, plus oil, uranium, diamonds and gold, could not borrow a dime to develop these resources. The IMF's cut-off was, in effect, a foreclosure, and the nation choked and starved while sitting on its astonishing mineral wealth. As in the sub-prime mortgage foreclosures we see today, the IMF moved quickly to seize Guinea's property. But the IMF did not seize this nation's riches for itself. Rather, it forced Guinea to sell off its resources to foreign corporations at prices much like the sale of furniture on the lawn of a foreclosed house. The French, Americans, Canadians, Swiss (and lately, the Chinese) came in with spoons out and napkins tucked in under their chins, swallowing the nation's bauxite, gold and more. In the meantime, the IMF ordered the end of trade barriers and thereby ruined local small holders. As a result of the IMF attack, Guineans who could, fled for freedom and food. This week, then, marked the second time this poor African was molested by the IMF. Now we have the context of how these two, the randy geezer of globalization and the refugee ended up, in quite different positions, in that New York hotel room.

                                Since taking over the IMF in 2007, erstwhile "Socialist" Strauss-Kahn has tightened the screws in an attempt to maintain the free-market finance mania that ruined this planet in the first place. [That's worth a story in itself – and that's coming. Our team has a stack of inside documents from the IMF that we will be releasing in my new book in the Fall.] DSK's lawyers say the relationship with the housekeeper was "consensual." But DSK says that about all IMF agreements with nations over whom it holds life and death powers. That's like saying a bank robbery is consensual so long as you don't consider the gun. Whether it was agreed-upon sex or brutal rape, it could only have been "consensual" in the same way that the people of Guinea consented to IMF-ordered financial rapine.

                                The Times article quotes an IMF crony of Strauss-Kahn saying DSK gets his way by "persuasion" not "bullying." Tell that to the Greeks. It was DSK who, last year, personally insisted on brutal terms for the so-called bail-out of Greece. "Strong conditionality" is the IMF term. Strauss-Kahn demanded not just a devastating cut in pensions and a deliberate increase in unemployment to 14%, but also the sell-off of 4,000 of 6,000 state-owned services. The DSK IMF plan allowed the financiers who set the financial fires of Greece to pick up the nation's assets at a fire-sale price. The Strauss-Kahn demands were not "tough love" for Greece: The love was reserved solely for the vulture bankers who received the IMF funds but were not required to accept one euro in lost profit in return. DSK, despite the advice of many, refused to ask the banks and speculators to reduce their usurious interest charges that were the root of Greece's woes. Requiring Greece to sell assets, drop trade barriers, and even end the rule that Greek ships use Greek sailors has nothing to do with saving Greece, but everything to do with DSK's commitment to protect every banker's balance sheet from unwanted violations. I do not consider it a stretch to say that a predator in the bank boardroom suite assumes his impunity applies to the hotel suite.

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