IMF Chief Awaits Arraignment After Alleged Midtown Sex Attack
By Tom Liddy
DNAinfo News Editor
MANHATTAN — International Monetary Fund Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn was awaiting arraignment Monday after being accused of sexually assaulting a maid in a luxury Midtown hotel.
Cops charged the French politician with sexual assault early Sunday, hours after Strauss-Kahn, a leading candidate for his country's presidency, was yanked off a Paris-bound flight minutes before it was set to leave JFK airport Saturday evening.
The 62-year-old finally emerged from the Special Victims Unit in East Harlem late Sunday night in handcuffs and surrounded by detectives. He consented to a physical exam after police had requested a warrant to search for scratches and possible DNA belonging to the accuser.
The alleged victim, who has not been identified by police, was seen leaving the precinct house Sunday in a police car with a blanket covering her head. The woman, an African immigrant who reportedly lives in the Bronx with her daughter, is believed to have picked Strauss-Kahn out of a police lineup.
The alleged attack unfolded in a suite at the tony Sofitel Hotel on West 44th Street, off Fifth Avenue, Saturday afternoon.
Sources said that Strauss-Kahn pounced on the 32-year-old victim around 1:30 p.m. after emerging from the bathroom of his 28th floor room naked.
The victim managed to break free, but Strauss-Kahn allegedly caught up to her, dragged her into a bathroom and sexually attacked her, according to reports.
She was able to get away again and reported the incident to hotel staff.
Meanwhile, Strauss-Kahn, who has been at the helm of the IMF for more than three years, made a dash for the airport, police said.
He was in such a rush that he allegedly left his cell phone behind.
Just before his 4:40 p.m. flight was about to leave, Strauss-Kahn, who also faces a criminal sex act charge, was arrested by Port Authority cops and turned over to the NYPD.
The victim was taken to Roosevelt Hospital and released, sources said.
Strauss-Kahn was dubbed the "great seducer" after it was revealed that the married money honcho had an affair with a subordinate, Piroska Nagy in 2008.
He was ultimately cleared of trying to score her preferential treatment at the agency and his wife, Anne Sinclair, stood by him.
In this case, the New York-born Sinclair is standing by him once again.
"I do not believe for a single second the accusations leveled against my husband," Sinclair said in a statement, according to Reuters.
"I do not doubt his innocence will be established. I appeal for restraint and decency."
Last year, French author Tristane Banon said that she had to physically fight off Strauss-Kahn during an interview, according to the Guardian.
However, she didn't file a complaint in that case.
Strauss-Kahn, who made a failed bid for the Socialist party's nomination, resigned as France's finance chief amid accusations of corruption.
His attorney, Benjamin Brafman, did not immediately return a call for comment.
Lawyers for Strauss-Kahn claim they have proof that he was at a restaurant having lunch with his daughter at the time of the alleged attack, and that he had already checked out of the hotel and handed in his key, the French radio station RMC reported.
"In line with standard IMF procedures, John Lipsky, First Deputy Managing Director, is Acting Managing Director while the MD is not in DC," IMF spokesman William Murray said.
An earlier statement said the organization had no comment and "remains fully functioning and operational."