IMF chief jailed without bail in NY hotel-sex case

Discussion in 'The Water Cooler' started by reghakr, May 16, 2011.

  1. reghakr

    reghakr Excellent Member

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    [​IMG]

    Dominique Strauss-Kahn (C), head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), departs a New York Police Department precinct in New York late May 15, 2011. More photos »

    NEW YORK – Haggard and unshaven after a weekend in jail, the chief of the International Monetary Fund was denied release on bail Monday on charges of trying to rape a hotel maid as allegations of other, similar attacks by Dominique Strauss-Kahn began to emerge.

    In France, a lawyer for a novelist said the writer is likely to file a criminal complaint accusing Strauss-Kahn of sexually assaulting her nine years ago. A French lawmaker accused him of attacking other maids in previous stays at the same luxury hotel. And in New York, prosecutors said they are working to verify reports of at least one other case, which they suggested was overseas.

    Strauss-Kahn's weekend arrest rocked the financial world as the IMF grapples with the European debt crisis, and upended French presidential politics. Strauss-Kahn, a member of France's Socialist party, was widely considered the strongest potential challenger next year to President Nicolas Sarkozy.

    Making his first appearance on the sex charges, a grim-looking Strauss-Kahn stood slumped before a judge in a dark raincoat and open-collared shirt. The 62-year-old, silver-haired Strauss-Kahn said nothing as a lawyer professed his innocence and strove in vain to get him released on bail.

    The judge ruled against him after prosecutors warned that the wealthy banker might flee to France and put himself beyond the reach of U.S. law like the filmmaker Roman Polanski.

    "This battle has just begun," defense attorney Benjamin Brafman told scores of reporters outside the courthouse, adding that Strauss-Kahn might appeal the bail denial.

    Strauss-Kahn is accused of attacking a maid who had gone in to clean his penthouse suite Saturday afternoon at a luxury hotel near Times Square. He is charged with attempted rape, sex abuse, a criminal sex act, unlawful imprisonment and forcible touching. The most serious charge carries five to 25 years in prison.

    Strauss-Kahn, who has headed the international lending agency since 2007, was in New York on personal business and was paying his own way, so he cannot claim diplomatic immunity, the IMF said. He could seek that protection only if he were conducting official business, spokesman William Murray said. The agency's executive board met informally Monday for a report on the charges against Strauss-Kahn, its managing director.

    The French newspaper Le Monde, citing people close to Strauss-Kahn, said he had reserved the $3,000-a-night suite at the Sofitel hotel for one night for a quick trip to have lunch with his daughter, who is studying in New York.

    The 32-year-old maid told authorities that she thought the suite was empty but that Strauss-Kahn emerged from the bathroom naked, chased her down a hallway, pulled her into a bedroom and dragged her into a bathroom, police said.

    He seized her breasts, tried to pull down her pantyhose, grabbed at her crotch and forced her to perform oral sex on him during the encounter at about noon, according to a court complaint. She ultimately broke free, escaped the room and told hotel staffers what had happened, authorities said. She was treated at a hospital for minor injuries.

    "The victim provided a very powerful and detailed account of the violent sexual assault," Assistant District Attorney John "Ardie" McConnell said. He added that forensic evidence may support her account. Strauss-Kahn voluntarily submitted to a forensic examination Sunday night.

    Brafman said defense lawyers believe the forensic evidence "will not be consistent with a forcible encounter." Defense lawyers wouldn't elaborate, but Brafman said "there are significant issues that were already found" that make it "quite likely that he will be ultimately be exonerated."

    Prosecutors asked the judge to hold Strauss-Kahn without bail, noting that he lives in France, is wealthy, has an international job and was arrested on a Paris-bound plane at Kennedy Airport. He had left the Sofitel hotel before police arrived, leaving his cellphone behind, and appeared hurried on surveillance recordings, authorities said.

    Prosecutors said they couldn't force his return from France if he went there.

    "He would be living openly and notoriously in France, just like Roman Polanski," said Chief Assistant District Attorney Daniel Alonso, referring to the film director long sought by California authorities for sentencing in a 1977 child sex case. Swiss police arrested him in 2009, but he was freed last year when Switzerland declined to extradite him to the United States.

    Defense lawyers suggested bail be set at $1 million and promised that the IMF managing director would remain in New York City. His lawyers said Strauss-Kahn wasn't trying to elude police Saturday: The IMF head rushed out of the hotel at about 12:30 p.m. to get to a lunch date with a family member, then caught a flight for which he had long had a ticket, according to Brafman and fellow defense lawyer William W. Taylor.

    "This is not a case of someone who commits a crime, runs to the airport and jumps on the first available plane," Brafman said.

    Still, Criminal Court Judge Melissa C. Jackson said the fact that Strauss-Kahn was on a plane when arrested "raises some concerns." She ordered him jailed at least until a court proceeding on Friday.

    Strauss-Kahn makes an annual tax-free salary as head of the IMF of $420,930, plus an annual "scale of living" allowance of $75,350, according to a 2007 IMF press release.

    According to the 2000 biography "Les Vies Cachees de DSK" by Vincent Giret and Veronique Le Billon, Strauss-Kahn's wife, Anne Sinclair, was one of France's highest-paid TV journalists before she gave up her job to avoid a possible conflict of interest when her husband became a government minister in 1997. The biography says Sinclair is also a wealthy heiress, whose grandfather Paul Rosenberg was a prominent modern art dealer before the Second World War.

    French newspapers have inventoried the couple's real estate holdings, which reportedly include a six-room apartment in Paris' chic 16th arrondissement; a 240-square-meter apartment on the luxurious Place des Vosges; a home in Marrakech, and a house in Washington.

    Strauss-Khan will be held in protective custody in the city's Rikers Island jail because of his high profile, said city Correction Department spokesman Stephen Morello. Unlike most prisoners, who share 50-bed barracks, Strauss-Kahn will have a single-bed cell and eat all his meals alone there. Also, when he is outside his cell, he will have a prison-guard escort.

    Meanwhile, a lawyer for 31-year-old French novelist Tristane Banon said she will probably file a complaint alleging Strauss-Kahn sexually attacked her in 2002. Lawyer David Koubbi told French radio RTL that Banon hadn't pressed her claim earlier because of "pressures" but would do so now because "she knows she'll be taken seriously."

    The Associated Press is identifying Banon as an alleged victim of sexual assault because she has gone public with her account.

    Banon's mother, Anne Mansouret, a regional Socialist official in Normandy, said she had advised her daughter at the time against pursuing her claim.

    A French lawmaker from a rival political party also alleged, without offering evidence, that Strauss-Kahn had victimized several maids during past stays at the Sofitel near Times Square.

    The hotel issued a statement calling conservative lawmaker Michel Debre's claims "baseless and defamatory." Sofitel management "has had no knowledge of any previous attempted aggressions," the hotel said, adding that it had set up a hotline for workers to report incidents more than a year ago.

    McConnell, the assistant district attorney, said in court Monday that New York authorities are working to verify at least one other case of "conduct similar to the conduct alleged." When the judge asked whether the potential other incident occurred in the United States, McConnell said he "believed that was abroad."

    Strauss-Kahn's lawyers said they had no immediate response to the allegations emerging from overseas.

    In France, defenders of Strauss-Kahn, a former finance minister who had topped the polls as a possible candidate in presidential elections next year, said they suspected he was the victim of a smear campaign.

    The 187-nation IMF provides emergency loans to countries in severe distress and tries to maintain global financial stability.

    Source: IMF chief jailed without bail in NY hotel-sex case - Yahoo! News
     
  2. reghakr

    reghakr Excellent Member

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    NEW YORK – Pressure built Tuesday for Dominique Strauss-Kahn to consider resigning as chief of the International Monetary Fund after he was charged with trying to rape a maid at a New York hotel.

    Strauss-Kahn spent the night at the infamous Rikers Island, a 400-acre penal complex, after being denied bail Monday. Prosecutors had warned the wealthy banker might flee to France and put himself beyond the reach of U.S. law like the filmmaker Roman Polanski.

    Strauss-Kahn's weekend arrest rocked the financial world as the IMF grapples with the European debt crisis, and it upended French presidential politics. Strauss-Kahn, a member of France's Socialist party, was widely considered the strongest potential challenger next year to President Nicolas Sarkozy.

    Austria's finance minister suggested Tuesday that Strauss-Kahn consider stepping down to avoid damaging the IMF, which provides emergency loans to countries in severe distress and tries to maintain global financial stability.

    "Considering the situation, that bail was denied, he has to figure out for himself that he is hurting the institution," Maria Fekter said as she arrived at a meeting of European finance ministers in Brussels.

    Elena Salgado, Fekter's Spanish counterpart, said Strauss-Kahn had to decide for himself whether he wanted to step down, considering the "extraordinarily serious" nature of the charges.

    "If I had to show my solidarity and support for someone it would be toward the woman who has been assaulted, if that is really the case that she has been," she said.

    In France, defenders of Strauss-Kahn, a former finance minister who had topped the polls as a possible candidate in presidential elections next year, said they suspected he was the victim of a smear campaign. Others expressed sympathy.

    "I didn't like the pictures I've seen on television," Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker said Monday night, referring to footage that showed Strauss-Kahn in handcuffs being escorted by police outside a New York precinct house.

    Showing a suspect in handcuffs is illegal in France since a 2000 law aimed at the preserving the presumption of innocence.

    The 62-year-old Strauss-Kahn was arrested Saturday at Kennedy Airport after the allegations at the Sofitel hotel near Times Square.

    Making his first court appearance Monday, a grim-looking Strauss-Kahn stood slumped before a judge in a dark raincoat and open-collared shirt. The silver-haired banker said nothing as a lawyer professed his innocence and strove in vain to get him released on bail.

    "This battle has just begun," defense attorney Benjamin Brafman told scores of reporters outside the courthouse, adding that Strauss-Kahn might appeal the bail denial.

    Because of his high profile, Strauss-Kahn will be held in protective custody on Rikers Island, away from most detainees, said city Correction Department spokesman Stephen Morello. Unlike most prisoners who share 50-bed barracks, he will have a single-bed cell and will eat all of his meals alone there. He'll have a prison guard escort when he is outside his cell.

    Rikers, on an island in the East River between the Bronx and Queens, is one of the nation's largest jail complexes, with a daily inmate population of about 14,000.

    The complex's notable history includes accounts of run-ins between inmates and guards. In one such case last year, a guard was sentenced to six years in prison for ordering inmate beatings as part of a rogue disciplinary system. Prosecutors said he imposed order in a unit at the complex by having teenage inmates beat other teenagers who had stepped out of line. The union that represents jail guards said the prisoners fabricated the allegations.

    Also last year, more than a dozen correction officers were injured while quelling fights between inmates awaiting pretrial hearings at a jail there. And in February, the city settled a wrongful death lawsuit brought by the family of an inmate who died after a scuffle with guards.

    Strauss-Kahn was ordered jailed at least until a court proceeding Friday. He cannot claim diplomatic immunity because he was in New York on personal business and was paying his own way, the IMF said. He could seek that protection only if he were conducting official business, spokesman William Murray said. The agency's executive board met informally Monday for a report on the charges against Strauss-Kahn, the managing director at the international lending agency since 2007.

    The French newspaper Le Monde, citing people close to Strauss-Kahn, said he had reserved the suite at the Sofitel hotel for one night for a quick trip to have lunch with his daughter, who is studying in New York.

    Strauss-Kahn is accused of attacking a maid who had gone in to clean his penthouse suite Saturday afternoon at a luxury hotel near Times Square. He is charged with attempted rape, sex abuse, a criminal sex act, unlawful imprisonment and forcible touching. The most serious charge carries five to 25 years in prison.

    The 32-year-old maid told authorities that she thought the suite was empty but that Strauss-Kahn emerged from the bathroom naked, chased her down a hallway, pulled her into a bedroom and dragged her into a bathroom, police said.

    He grabbed her breasts, tried to pull down her pantyhose, grabbed at her crotch and forced her to perform oral sex on him during the encounter at about noon, according to a court complaint. She ultimately broke free, escaped the room and told hotel staffers what had happened, authorities said. She was treated at a hospital for minor injuries.

    "The victim provided a very powerful and detailed account of the violent sexual assault," Assistant District Attorney John "Ardie" McConnell said. He added that forensic evidence may support her account. Strauss-Kahn voluntarily submitted to a forensic examination Sunday night.

    Brafman said defense lawyers believe the forensic evidence "will not be consistent with a forcible encounter." Defense lawyers wouldn't elaborate, but Brafman said "there are significant issues that were already found" that make it "quite likely that he will be ultimately be exonerated."

    Prosecutors asked the judge to hold Strauss-Kahn without bail, noting that he lives in France, is wealthy, has an international job and was arrested on a Paris-bound plane at Kennedy Airport. He had left the hotel before police arrived, leaving his cellphone behind, and appeared hurried on surveillance recordings, authorities said.

    At one point, Strauss-Kahn called the hotel "in a panic" about the phone, a law enforcement official said Monday.

    Hotel security officers hadn't found a phone. But they were instructed by NYPD investigators to set a trap by informing him they had it and asking where they could get it to him, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation had not been completed.

    Strauss-Kahn told them he was about to board a flight — unknowingly tipping off authorities to his whereabouts, the official said.

    Prosecutors said they couldn't force Strauss-Kahn's return from France if he went there.

    "He would be living openly and notoriously in France, just like Roman Polanski," said Chief Assistant District Attorney Daniel Alonso, referring to the film director long sought by California authorities for sentencing in a 1977 child sex case.

    Defense lawyers suggested bail be set at $1 million and promised that the IMF managing director would remain in New York City. His lawyers said Strauss-Kahn wasn't trying to elude police Saturday: The IMF head rushed out of the hotel at about 12:30 p.m. to get to a lunch date with a family member, then caught a flight for which he had long had a ticket, they said.

    Allegations of other, similar attacks by Strauss-Kahn began to emerge Monday. In France, a lawyer for a 31-year-old French novelist said she is likely to file a criminal complaint accusing him of sexually assaulting her nine years ago. A French lawmaker accused him of attacking other maids in previous stays at the same luxury hotel. And in New York, prosecutors said they are working to verify reports of at least one other case, which they suggested was overseas.

    A French lawmaker from a rival political party also alleged, without offering evidence, that Strauss-Kahn had victimized several maids during past stays at the Sofitel near Times Square.

    The hotel issued a statement calling conservative lawmaker Michel Debre's claims "baseless and defamatory." Sofitel management "has had no knowledge of any previous attempted aggressions," the hotel said, adding that it had set up a hotline for workers to report incidents more than a year ago.

    McConnell, the assistant district attorney, said in court Monday that New York authorities are working to verify at least one other case of "conduct similar to the conduct alleged." When Criminal Court Judge Melissa C. Jackson asked whether the potential other incident occurred in the United States, McConnell said he "believed that was abroad."

    Strauss-Kahn's lawyers said they had no immediate response to the allegations emerging from overseas.

    Source: Pressure rises against IMF chief held at NYC jail - Yahoo! News
     
  3. reghakr

    reghakr Excellent Member

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    Pressure is mounting on Dominique Strauss-Kahn to step down as head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

    [​IMG]

    Austrian finance minister Maria Fekter called on him to consider his position.

    Meanwhile, her Spanish counterpart, Elana Salgado, gave her support for the victim of his alleged sexual assault.

    Mr Strauss-Kahn has been remanded in custody at New York's notorious Rikers Island jail, following his arrest on Saturday for the attempted rape of a hotel maid.

    He was arrested after boarding a plane, prompting the judge to say that Mr Strauss-Kahn, 62, was a flight risk.

    He faces seven charges and could be sentenced to up to 25 years in prison.

    Mr Strauss-Kahn, who had been seen as a favourite in France's 2012 presidential elections, denies the charges.

    The defence offered to post $1m (£617,000) bail, with Mr Strauss-Kahn to stay at his daughter's address in New York until the next hearing on Friday. However, Judge Melissa Jackson rejected the application.

    'Very serious accusations'

    "I don't comment on judicial matters," said Ms Fekter. "But in view of the situation, that bail has been refused, he himself must deliberate on whether he is hurting the institution."

    Continue reading the main story
    Charges against Dominique Strauss-Kahn
    Criminal sexual act in the first degree, two counts (maximum sentence 25 years)
    Attempted rape in the first degree, one count (up to 15 years)
    Sexual abuse in the first degree, one count (up to seven years)
    Unlawful imprisonment in the second degree, one count (up to one year)
    Forcible touching, one count (up to one year)
    Sexual abuse in the third degree, one count (up to three months)
    Source: New York County District Attorney's Office

    New York DA's news release on charges
    The Spanish finance minister added her voice, saying that the IMF head faced "very serious accusations" but that any resignation "is only a decision that Mr Strauss-Kahn can take".

    However, she went on to express sympathy for the alleged victim of the assault: "If I had to show my solidarity and support for someone, it would be towards the woman who has been assaulted, if that is really the case that she has been."

    Ms Fekter's comments touched on concerns that, irrespective of the legal outcome, Mr Strauss-Kahn's detention creates a practical obstacle for his role in negotiating rescue loans for Portugal and Greece.

    Mr Strauss-Kahn had been due to attend an EU finance ministers' meeting in Brussels to discuss financial bail-outs.

    The IMF has played a central role in organising rescue packages for the troubled economies of Portugal and Greece.

    However, according to the Portuguese finance minister, Fernando Teixeira dos Santos, the IMF head's absence had not been an issue.

    Mr Strauss-Kahn received support from the Luxembourg prime minister and eurogroup head, Jean-Claude Juncker, a self-professed close friend.

    "I'm very sad and upset," he said. "I didn't like the pictures I've seen on television."

    French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde described Mr Strauss-Kahn's predicament as "crushing and painful".

    Flight halted

    The IMF said in a statement that it had been briefed on the charges against its managing director, and that it would "continue to monitor developments".

    The charges relate to an alleged assault at the Times Square Sofitel hotel in New York.


    Writer Tristane Banon alleges Mr Strauss-Kahn assaulted her in 2002 According to the New York Police Department, a 32-year-old maid told officers that when she entered his suite on Saturday afternoon, Mr Strauss-Kahn emerged from the bathroom naked, chased her and sexually assaulted her.
    [​IMG]


    The woman was able to break free and alert the authorities, a NYPD spokesman added.

    Later on Saturday, Mr Strauss-Kahn was detained on board an Air France flight at New York's John F Kennedy airport minutes before take-off.

    The IMF chief underwent medical examinations on Sunday. Police were looking for scratches or any other evidence of his alleged assault.

    He was later charged with a "criminal sexual act, unlawful imprisonment and attempted rape". Police say the maid formally identified him in a line-up.

    'Thunderbolt'

    Until he was arrested, Mr Strauss-Kahn was considered a favourite to become the Socialist candidate for the French presidency next year.

    Opinion polls gave him a good chance of defeating President Nicolas Sarkozy.

    Socialist party president Martine Aubry described his arrest as a "thunderbolt" but called for Mr Strauss-Kahn to be presumed innocent.

    Mr Strauss-Kahn's wife, French TV personality Anne Sinclair, has also protested his innocence.

    Meanwhile, another allegation against Mr Strauss-Kahn has emerged. A French writer says she may file a complaint for an alleged sexual assault in 2002.

    Tristane Banon, 31, says Mr Strauss-Kahn tried to rape her when she went to interview him for a book she was writing.

    "We're planning to make a complaint," Ms Banon's lawyer told AFP news agency. Mr Strauss-Kahn's lawyers have so far not responded to the allegation.

    Source: BBC News - Strauss-Kahn: Pressure grows on IMF chief to resign
     
  4. reghakr

    reghakr Excellent Member

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    Maid's lawyer says she is telling the truth
    NEW YORK – The hotel maid accusing IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn of trying to rape her as she went to clean his suite is telling the truth, has "no agenda" and did not know even know who he was until after the fact, her lawyer said Tuesday.

    The woman is an immigrant from the West African nation of Guinea with a 15-year-old daughter, lawyer Jeffrey Shapiro said.

    Her story of being attacked by Strauss-Kahn in the Sofitel hotel suite near Times Square is "consistent" because she is telling the truth, he said.

    "There is no way in which there is any aspect of this event which could be construed consensual in any manner," Shapiro said. "This is nothing other than a physical, sexual assault by this man on this young woman."

    He continued: "It's not just my opinion that this woman is honest. The New York City Police Department reached the same conclusion." He added, "This is a woman with no agenda."

    The 62-year-old Strauss-Kahn is jailed in New York on charges including attempted rape after being denied bail on Monday.

    Defense attorney Benjamin Brafman has said defense lawyers believe the forensic evidence "will not be consistent with a forcible encounter."

    He wouldn't elaborate but said "there are significant issues that were already found" that make it "quite likely that he will be ultimately be exonerated."

    The maid has not been identified, and The Associated Press generally does not name people alleging sexual assault.

    She arrived seven years ago in the United States from Guinea under "very difficult circumstances," Shapiro said, and lives in the city with her 15-year-old daughter.

    Shapiro said the woman didn't know that Strauss-Kahn was managing director of the International Monetary Fund and did not know of him in the hotel.

    "She did not know who this man was until a day or two after this took place," Shapiro said. "She had no idea who the man was."

    The 32-year-old maid told authorities that she thought the suite was empty but that Strauss-Kahn emerged from the bathroom naked, chased her down a hallway, pulled her into a bedroom and dragged her into a bathroom, police said.

    He grabbed her breasts, tried to pull down her pantyhose, grabbed at her crotch and forced her to perform oral sex, according to a court complaint. She broke free, escaped the room and told hotel staffers what had happened, authorities said. She was treated at a hospital for minor injuries.

    Other allegations of sexual misbehavior by Strauss-Kahn have begun to circulate since his arrest.

    A person close to an IMF employee who had a brief affair with Strauss-Kahn said Tuesday that the woman warned the organization about his behavior toward women in a letter sent three years ago.

    The woman, Hungarian-born economist Piroska Nagy, voiced "doubts about Dominique Strauss-Kahn's suitability for running an international institution," according to the person, who was familiar with the letter's content but declined to be identified, citing the sensitivity of the matter.

    Nagy, who had worked at the IMF for decades, left the organization after the affair with Strauss-Kahn in 2008. Although the relationship has long been public knowledge, and an IMF-commissioned investigation into the case cleared Strauss-Kahn of wrongdoing, it is back in the news after the 62-year-old Frenchman's incarceration on sex crimes charges in New York.

    The New York Times published an excerpt of the letter, along with an account that alleged Nagy had been aggressively pursued by her boss, who sent her sexually explicit messages and at one point even had her summoned from the bathroom to speak to him.

    In France, a lawyer for a 31-year-old novelist said she is likely to file a criminal complaint accusing him of sexually assaulting her nine years ago.

    A French lawmaker accused him of attacking other maids in previous stays at the same luxury hotel. And in New York, prosecutors said they are working to verify reports of at least one other case, which they suggested was overseas

    Source: Maid's lawyer says she is telling the truth - Yahoo! News
     
  5. reghakr

    reghakr Excellent Member

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    IMF chief under suicide watch at NYC jail

    NEW YORK – IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn was placed under a suicide watch in jail, while pressure mounted on him to resign Tuesday and the hotel maid who accused him of attempted rape said through her lawyer that she had no idea who he was when she reported him to the police.

    Law enforcement officials emphasized that Strauss-Kahn had not tried to harm himself but that guards were keeping a close watch on him just in case.

    Meanwhile, details began to emerge about his accuser, a 32-year-old immigrant from the West African nation of Guinea with a 15-year-old daughter.

    "There is no way in which there is any aspect of this event which could be construed consensual in any manner. This is nothing other than a physical, sexual assault by this man on this young woman," her attorney, Jeffrey Shapiro, told The Associated Press. He added: "She did not know who this man was until a day or two after this took place."

    Strauss-Kahn, the 62-year-old managing director of the International Monetary Fund, was arrested Saturday and is being held without bail at the city's Rikers Island jail, kept apart from his fellow prisoners in a unit that normally houses inmates with contagious diseases.

    Police and prosecutors said he ambushed a housekeeper who had come to clean his $3,000-per-night at a New York hotel. Lawyers for the influential banker have challenged that account, saying the evidence doesn't support accusations of forcible sex.

    They wouldn't elaborate, but the assertion gave rise to speculation that they might argue it was consensual sex. At the same time, some of Strauss-Kahn's supporters in France, where he was considered a possible challenger next year to President Nicolas Sarkozy, have suggested he may be the victim of a setup.

    The woman's lawyer, Shapiro, said there was no truth to suggestions that she had fabricated her account, describing her as an honest woman with "no agenda."

    "Her life has now been turned upside down. She can't go home. She can't go back to work. She has no idea what her future will be, what she will be able to do to support herself and her daughter. This has been nothing short of a cataclysmic event in her life," Shapiro said. He said she "feels alone in the world."

    The woman, he said, came to the U.S. seven years ago under "very difficult circumstances" and is raising her daughter by herself now that the girl's father is dead. The family was granted asylum in the U.S., and she is a legal resident. She has worked at the hotel for three years, according to Shapiro.

    The Associated Press does not identify alleged victims of sexual assault without their consent.

    Strauss-Kahn's arrest continued to produce calls for his resignation from the IMF, which provides emergency loans to stabilize countries in economic distress and is now grappling with the debt crisis in Europe.

    Austria's finance minister, Maria Fekter, said: "Considering the situation, that bail was denied, he has to figure out for himself that he is hurting the institution."

    Meanwhile, Strauss-Kahn's past conduct with other women is getting new scrutiny.

    The banker was investigated internally by the IMF following a 2008 affair with an employee, the Hungarian-born economist Piroska Nagy. The institution eventually absolved him of wrongdoing, but on Tuesday a person close to Nagy said she had sent the organization a letter at the time warning about his behavior toward women.

    The letter voiced "doubts about Dominique Strauss-Kahn's suitability for running an international institution," according to the person, who declined to be identified, citing the sensitivity of the matter.

    The New York Times published an excerpt of the letter, along with an account that said Strauss-Kahn had aggressively pursued Nagy, sent her sexually explicit messages and once had her summoned from the bathroom to speak to him.

    Strauss-Kahn himself appeared to realize that his relationships with women could be a political problem. The French daily newspaper Liberation reported this week that at a meeting with Strauss-Kahn in April, he speculated that his presidential campaign might be subjected to low blows over "money, women and my Jewishness."

    "Yes, I love women ... so what?" the newspaper quoted him as saying.

    Strauss-Kahn also theorized that his enemies might try to pay someone to accuse him of rape, according to the newspaper.

    Strauss-Kahn's American lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, said Monday that he believes that once all of the physical evidence is in, his client will be exonerated.

    All prisoners arriving at Rikers Island are given a mental health assessment to determine whether they pose a suicide risk. Norman Seabrook, president of the guards union, said Strauss-Kahn did or said something during that evaluation that made doctors concerned, and he is being monitored day and night.

    A law enforcement official, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of prisoner medical information, said Strauss-Kahn had not tried to harm himself.

    Because of his stature, Strauss-Kahn has been assigned to a section of the Rikers Island jail that normally houses prisoners with highly contagious diseases, like measles or tuberculosis. Corrections spokesman Stephen Morello said Strauss-Kahn has been placed in a wing with about 14 cells, all of them empty except for his.

    The cell has a toilet and a sink. He takes his meals there, with breakfast at 5 a.m., lunch at 11 a.m. and dinner at 4 p.m. or 5 p.m.

    Morello said Strauss-Kahn is free to leave his cell from time to time and wander the wing, and can leave the building for an hour each day for recreation outdoors, if he wants. Because he is awaiting trial, Strauss-Kahn isn't required to wear a prison uniform. He may bring his own clothing and wear what he chooses, except for his shoes. All prisoners are required to wear prison-issue slip-on sneakers.

    Also, he must change out of his street clothes and put on a gray jumpsuit when he wishes to see visitors. The suits are designed without pockets or other hiding places where a person could stash contraband.

    Strauss-Kahn is charged with attempted rape, sex abuse, a criminal sex act, unlawful imprisonment and forcible touching. The most serious charge carries five to 25 years in prison.

    Source: IMF chief under suicide watch at NYC jail - Yahoo! News
     
  6. reghakr

    reghakr Excellent Member

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    NYC maid's lawyer: Case vs. IMF chief not a setup

    NEW YORK – The maid came from one of the world's poorest countries to the U.S., working to support the teen daughter she raised alone. To her, the penthouse suite at the Sofitel Hotel was just another empty room to clean.

    She says she had no idea there was a man inside or that he was a famous French politician. She says he was naked, chased her down and tried to rape her.

    The man, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, remained jailed under a suicide watch Wednesday as a lawyer for the woman sought to rebut whispered allegations that her charges were a conspiracy and a setup.

    Calls intensified for the 62-year-old Strauss-Kahn to step down as head of the powerful International Monetary Fund, with U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner saying Strauss-Kahn "is obviously not in a position to run" the agency.

    Strauss-Kahn was one of France's most high-profile politicians and a potential candidate for president in next year's elections. His arrest on charges including attempted rape shocked France and cast intense attention on his accuser, a 32-year-old chambermaid from the West African nation of Guinea.

    On Tuesday her lawyer, Jeffrey Shapiro, said he had no doubts his client was telling the truth about her encounter with Strauss-Kahn on Saturday.

    "She came from a country in which poor people had little or no justice, and she's now in a country where the poor have the same rights as do the rich and the powerful," Shapiro said. "What (Strauss-Kahn) might be able to get away with in some countries, he can't here in this country."

    Strauss-Kahn's lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, said at his client's arraignment this week that defense lawyers believe the forensic evidence "will not be consistent with a forcible encounter."

    But Shapiro dismissed suggestions that the woman had made up the charges or tried to cover up a consensual encounter.

    "This is nothing other than a physical, sexual assault by this man on this young woman," Shapiro said in an interview in his Manhattan office. He said that the woman didn't know who was staying in the 28th-floor suite she went to clean on Saturday afternoon, before she said she was attacked.

    "She did not know who this man was until a day or two after this took place," Shapiro said. "She had no idea who this man was."

    Strauss-Kahn is also charged with sex abuse, a criminal sex act, unlawful imprisonment and forcible touching. The most serious charge carries five to 25 years in prison.

    Because of his high profile, he was being held Tuesday at Rikers Island in a section of the jail that normally houses prisoners with highly contagious diseases like measles or tuberculosis. Corrections spokesman Stephen Morello said Strauss-Kahn has been placed in a wing with about 14 cells, all of them empty except for his.

    Norman Seabrook, president of the correction officers union, said Strauss-Kahn did or said something during a mental health evaluation that concerned doctors, and he is being monitored day and night.

    A law enforcement official, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of prisoner medical information, said Strauss-Kahn had not tried to harm himself.

    Strauss-Kahn's cell has a toilet and a sink. He takes his meals there, with breakfast at 5 a.m., lunch at 11 a.m. and dinner at 4 or 5 p.m.

    Morello said Strauss-Kahn can occasionally leave his cell and wander the wing, and can go outside for an hour each day. Because he is awaiting trial, Strauss-Kahn isn't required to wear a prison uniform. He may bring his own clothing and wear what he chooses, except for his shoes.

    Meanwhile in Europe, Strauss-Kahn's past conduct with other women was getting new scrutiny.

    The IMF investigated him following a 2008 affair with an employee, the Hungarian-born economist Piroska Nagy. The institution eventually cleared him of wrongdoing, but a person close to Nagy said Tuesday that she had sent the organization a letter at the time warning about his behavior toward women.

    The letter voiced "doubts about Dominique Strauss-Kahn's suitability for running an international institution," according to the person, who declined to be identified, citing the sensitivity of the matter.

    The New York Times published an excerpt of the letter, along with an account that said Strauss-Kahn had aggressively pursued Nagy, sent her sexually explicit messages and once had her summoned from the bathroom to speak to him.

    The scandal comes at a delicate time for the IMF, which is trying to shore up teetering economies in Europe. The IMF is an immensely powerful agency that loans money to countries to stabilize the world economy. In exchange it often imposes strict austerity measures.

    Strauss-Kahn seemed to anticipate that his problems with women could be a political liability ahead of France's presidential elections.

    The French daily newspaper Liberation reported this week that at a meeting with Strauss-Kahn in April, he speculated that his presidential campaign might be subjected to low blows over "money, women and my Jewishness."

    Strauss-Kahn also theorized that his enemies might try to pay someone to accuse him of rape, according to the newspaper.

    The Associated Press does not name victims of alleged sex crimes unless they agree to it. But in the days since the alleged attack in Manhattan, details are beginning to emerge about Strauss-Kahn's accuser.

    The woman came to the United States under "very difficult circumstances" in 2004 from Guinea, one of the world's most destitute countries, said Shapiro, her lawyer.

    Guinea's average annual income of $1,000 per person is lower than Haiti's and Rwanda's and about the same as Afghanistan's, according to the CIA World Factbook.

    The woman's daughter, then 8, came with her. The girl's father is dead, and they have no other relatives in the United States, Shapiro said.

    "They are very much alone in this world," he said.

    The United States gave the pair political asylum, he said, though he was unsure of the reason.

    The woman found work as a chambermaid in hotels, he said, eventually landing a job in 2008 at the French-owned Sofitel Hotel on 44th Street in Manhattan. The hotel said she was a satisfactory employee.

    The woman and her daughter moved into an apartment building in the Bronx about 10 months ago, said Zulema Zuniga, who lives on the same floor. The neighbors would occasionally meet in the elevator and say hello.

    "She was very nice," Zuniga said.

    But this humble immigrant life was shattered, police say, on Saturday afternoon, when the woman entered Strauss-Kahn's suite at the Sofitel to clean the room.

    Strauss-Kahn came out of the bathroom naked, chased her down a hallway and pulled her into a bedroom, the woman told police. Then he dragged her into a bathroom, forced her to perform oral sex on him and tried to remove her underwear, she said.

    She broke free, fled the room and told hotel security, but Strauss-Kahn was gone by the time detectives arrived, authorities said. They arrested him soon afterward on an airliner that was just about to depart for Europe.

    Brafman said he is confident his client will be exonerated once all the physical evidence is collected.

    Shapiro, a personal injury attorney, said he was put in touch with the woman through a mutual acquaintance. He said they had not discussed the possibility of a civil lawsuit against Strauss-Kahn.

    Media attention has made it impossible for his client to return to her house or to work, Shapiro said. This week television crews and photographers hung around the employee entrance of the Sofitel and loitered outside her apartment, hoping for a glimpse of her.

    Shapiro said his client is now in a "safe place," but would not elaborate.

    "Her life has now been turned upside down," Shapiro said. "She can't go home, she can't go back to work. ... This has been nothing short of a cataclysmic event in her life."

    Source: NYC maid's lawyer: Case vs. IMF chief not a setup - Yahoo! News
     

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