By Shayna Jacobs
MANHATTAN — A grand jury has indicted Dominique Strauss-Kahn on charges he tried to rape a maid in a Manhattan hotel, as a judge agreed to allow the French politician to post bail on condition he submit to house arrest.
The former head of the International Monetary Fund will have to post $1 million bail, $5 million bond and submit to 24-hour-a-day, 7-day-a-week surveillance, paid out of his own pocket, according to the terms of his release by Manhattan Supreme Court Chief Adminstrative Judge Michael Obus.
Strauss-Kahn's wife had rented an apartment at the Bristol Plaza, on East 65th Street, for her husband to live in while awaiting trial.
Strauss-Kahn has been held without bail and kept on suicide watch at Rikers Island jail since Monday, when he was arraigned on charges that he attempted to rape a maid at West 44th Street's Sofitel hotel on Saturday.
He headed back to Rikers Island after his bail hearing Thursday, but was expected to be freed Friday, lawyer William Taylor said.
"We want to express our pleasure that the judge has made this decision," Taylor told reporters at a press conference after the hearing, "It's a great relief to the family to be able to have him with them. We look forward to continuing the defense on this case."
Prosecutors estimated that the house arrest will cost an excess of $200,000 a month, and added that the number of security guards assigned to keep watch over Strauss-Kahn will be determined by the security company.
Strauss-Kahn will also have to put up a $5 million insurance company bond secured by his home or other assets, must surrender all of his travel documents, and will have to be accompanied by security guards 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, until monitoring can be set up, Obus ruled.
After the bail hearing, Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr. held a brief press conference to discuss Strauss-Kahn's indictment by a grand jury on charges he tried to rape a 32-year-old maid who showed up to clean his hotel room Saturday.
Vance said the grand jury reached a decision to indict Strauss-Kahn on attempted rape and criminal sex act charges, both felonies, on Wednesday based on evidence collected by the DA's office and the NYPD. He was also indicted on felony charges of sexual abuse, and misdemeanor charges of unlawful imprisonment and forcible touching.
"Under American law, these are extremely serious charges," Vance said. He added that Strauss-Kahn was subject to the full protection of the country's legal system.
Strauss-Kahn's lawyer William Taylor, who is co-representing him along with Benjamin Brafman, had argued Thursday that the one-time contender for French president has a net worth of roughly $2 million and a US bank account with enough cash to bail him out immediately.
Authorities arrested him on an Air France jet at JFK airport minutes before it was set to depart for Paris.
Taylor dismissed Assistant Distict Attorney John McConnell's claims that his client has friends who might help him to flee the country. Prosecutors had warned Obus on Thursday that Strauss-Kahn has a "network of contacts throughout the world" who might help him flee.
"It is simply an assumption with no basis," Taylor said.
Sinclair and Strauss-Kahn's daughter were present in the coutroom Thursday, and kept their eyes straight ahead and remained silent, except for when Strauss-Kahn, who was clean shaven and dapper in a dark suit, gave little smile to his wife when he entered the courtroom. The wife and daughter were beaming as they left the courthouse Thursday.
McConnell reminded the judge that France has no extradition agreement with the US, meaning that if Strauss-Kahn ever made it to French soil, he could not be compelled to return.
He has "personal, political and financial means to flee," ADA McConnell warned, echoing prosecutors' warnings during Strauss-Kahn's criminal court arraignment Monday.
Prosecutors said Strauss-Kahn might pull a "Roman Polanski" and escape from justice, a reference to the award-winning filmmaker who eluded US prosecution on charges he raped an underage girl.
Taylor denied prosecutor claims that Strauss-Kahn was in "panic mode" when he was caught on camera hurrying out of the Sofitel hotel following the alleged attack.
He said he made no attempt to conceal his whereabouts, telling the hotel staff he was en route to JFK airport when he called to ask about a missing cellphone.
McConnell said the alleged victim gave a "compelling and unwavering story" and that CSI teams investigated the hotel room and found initial forensic evidence that supports the woman's account.
Strauss-Kahn is due back in court on June 6.