Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the head of the International Monetary Fund, was denied bail during his arraignment on sexual assault charges today. Strauss-Kahn, a leading French politician who had been expected to challenge Nicolas Sarkozy, is accused of forcing a Sofitel hotel maid to perform oral sex in his $3,000/night suite on Saturday, but his lawyers are apparently going with the "it was a consensual act" route, as defense lawyer Benjamin Brafman said, "The evidence we believe will not be consistent with a forcible encounter."
However, prosecutors said that Strauss-Kahn tried to vaginally rape the maid first, "He grabbed the victim's chest without consent, attempted to remove her pantyhose, and forcibly grabbed the victim's vaginal area. His penis made contact with the victim's mouth twice through the use of force." The victim, a 32-year-old African immigrant who lives in the Bronx, identified Strauss-Kahn in a police line-up.
Strauss-Kahn's legal team had argued Strauss-Kahn's bail be $1 million, but the Manhattan DA's office argued, “He has almost no incentive to stay in this country and every incentive to leave. If he went to France, we would have no legal mechanism to guarantee his return to this country.“ Brafman had argued, "The defendant has an interest to clear his name. Life before the arrest will not be the same as after the arrest." ADA John McConnell, though, said, "Some of this information include reports that he has in fact engaged in conduct similar to the conduct alleged in this complaint on at least one other occasion," referring to an incident that occurred outside of the U.S.
The judge sided with the DA's office—"When I hear that your client was at J.F.K. Airport about to board a flight, that raises some concern"—and remanded the 62-year-old to police custody, and Brafman said afterward, "We are obviously disappointed by the court's decision. This battle has just begun. We believe that we'll prove in our judgment that Mr. Strauss Kahn is innocent of these charges."
And now it turns out there was no cell phone in the hotel room: The Daily News reports, "Contrary to earlier reports, sources say Strauss-Kahn did not leave his cell phone at the hotel. The banking big-wig carries two and had misplaced one when he went to the airport. He did call the hotel to see if he left it there, which tipped cops off to the fact that he was about to board a flight."