French Academic Found Dead in Hotel Room

By Tom Liddy on April 3, 2012 9:24pm 

Richard Descoings, the director of Sciences Po in France, was found dead at the Michelangelo Hotel in Midtown on April 3, 2012.
Richard Descoings, the director of Sciences Po in France, was found dead at the Michelangelo Hotel in Midtown on April 3, 2012.
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Sciences Po

MANHATTAN — A French academic who heads up the school where Dominique Strauss-Kahn once taught was found mysteriously dead in a Midtown hotel room, according to sources and reports.

Richard Descoings, 54, of Paris, was found naked in bed at the Michelangelo Hotel, on West 51st Street, near Seventh Avenue, just before 1 p.m., according to police. There were no signs of forced entry, police noted.

Descoings, the head of the Institute of Political Studies in Paris, was set to attend a conference at Columbia University Tuesday morning but did not show up, according to Reuters.

Colleagues phoned the hotel, but staff believed they heard the man snoring and let the matter drop, Reuters said.

Staff from the hotel went back to Room 723 a while later and found Descoings' naked body in the room.

Police said that the Medical Examiner will determine the cause of death.

Descoings headed the Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris, the prestigious French institute also known as "Sciences Po," where Strauss-Kahn was a professor.

Strauss-Kahn, once considered a frontrunner for the French presidency, resigned as head of the International Monetary Fund last May after a maid at a Midtown hotel, the Sofitel, accused him of rape.

The charges were later dropped, but Strauss-Kahn still faces a civil suit from his accuser, Nafissatou Diallo.

Richard Descoings, 54, was found dead at the Michelangelo Hotel, on West 51st Street near Seventh Avenue.
Richard Descoings, 54, was found dead at the Michelangelo Hotel, on West 51st Street near Seventh Avenue.
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DNAinfo/Trevor Kapp

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