After being arrested for allegedly forcing a hotel maid to perform oral sex on him, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the head of the International Monetary Fund, is going to plead not guilty. His lawyer Benjamin Brafman said, "He denies all the charges against him. And that’s all I can really say right now
Strauss-Kahn was removed from an Air France flight to Paris that was 10 minutes from takeoff at JFK Airport yesterday after the alleged incident. According to the Daily News, the 32-year-old maid at the Sofitel in Times Square recounted the attack to the NYPD:
At about 1 p.m., she walked into Strauss-Kahn's $3,000-a-night-suite - Room 2806 - at the posh W. 44th St. hotel, thinking it was empty.
Strauss-Kahn, who is married to a New York-born journalist, emerged from the bathroom naked, chased her down the hallway in his suite and yanked her into a bedroom, where he sexually assaulted her, the maid told police.
She fought him off, but he dragged her into the bathroom, forced her to perform oral sex and tried to peel off her panties.
At one point, he tried to lock the suite's door, police said.
The woman escaped, scampered out of the room and alerted a hotel staffer, who called 911, according to cops.
When police arrived, they found Strauss-Kahn's cellphone and other belongings there. Police spokesman Paul Browne said, "It looked like he got out of there in a hurry." Port Authority police officers found him in the Air France flight's first class cabin, where he allegedly said, "What's this all about?"
The 62-year-old, who does not have diplomatic immunity, is a member of France's Socialist Party and had been eyed as one of the leading challengers to President Nicolas Sarkozy during next year's election. However, this accusation appears to have shattered his prospects: Reuters reports, "The serious nature of the alleged crime means Strauss-Kahn's reputation will not be spared by a culture in France of turning a blind eye to the sexual antics of politicians, as was the case in 2008 when he emerged apologetic but unscathed from a scandal over an affair with an economist at the Fund," with a newsstand seller in Paris ominously saying, "Whether it's true or not, he's dead."
And the NY Times, which called reaction in French politics and media as "stunned disbelief and expressions of national humiliation," rounds up what the various political parties are saying: " Bernard Debré, a lawmaker in Mr. Sarkozy’s center-right UMP party, told French television that the arrest was 'a humiliation and an affront to the honor of France. Everyone will now say, "Look at what the French do." ' Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s political career, he added, 'must be ended — he will be condemned.' François Bayrou, a centrist politician who lost to Mr. Sarkozy in the last race, said he was amazed. 'If the accusations turn out to be true — and even if they are proved false — this is a degrading thing' for France, he said."
But some believe Strauss-Kahn was set up: Christine Boutin of the Christian Democratic part said on French TV, "I really believe that somebody set a trap for Dominique Strauss-Kahn to fall into. That he could be taken in like that seems astounding, so he must have been trapped."
Strauss-Kahn's nickname is "The Great Seducer" for his reputation with the ladies during his single days; three years ago (while married), he admitted to an affair with a staffer. In recent months, he's been criticized for his lavish lifestyle, which his colleagues say it part of a smear campaign by Sarkozy.
The IMF, which said it "remains fully functioning and operational," appointed deputy John Lipsky to act as interim head.