THE HEAD OF the International Monetary Fund, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, has been denied bail by a court in New York after being charged with a number of offences including the attempted rape of a hotel maid.
Strauss-Kahn, a French national who was considered a frontrunner in the country’s presidential election next year, was hauled off a plane on Saturday evening in connection with the alleged incident at a hotel near New York’s Times Square.
He faces charges of attempted rape, unlawful imprisonment, forcible touching, two counts of sexual abuse and two counts of committing a criminal sexual act on the maid at the Sofitel Hotel in midtown Manhattan.
Strauss-Kahn’s representatives offered to make bail of $1m for the IMF chief, wired from his wife’s personal bank account, and even offered to have him electronically monitored while he remained within New York City.
The judge ruled, however, that Strauss-Kahn must remain in jail at least until his next court hearing on the charges, which has been fixed for Friday.
The full criminal complaint against Strauss-Kahn alleges that he shut the door of his hotel suite to stop the chambermaid from leaving, grabbed her breasts without consent, grabbed her genitals and attempted to pull down her pantyhose, and “forcibly made contact with his penis” and the maid’s mouth on two occasions.
If convicted, he could face up to 25 years in prison for the rape charge alone.
The court hearing had originally been scheduled for yesterday, but was delayed when investigators asked for time to conduct physical examinations on him, to which Strauss-Kahn assented.
Bloomberg reports that the tests included exams to Strauss-Kahn’s body for evidences of scratches, and samples of his accuser’s DNA.
It has also emerged that a 31-year-0ld novelist is to file a criminal complaint over an alleged assault by Strauss-Kahn in 2002, saying she had been dissuaded from pressing charges at the time by her mother, who is a councillor from his Socialist Party.
Tristane Banon’s lawyer told RTL radio that she was now filing the charges because “she knows she’ll be taken seriously”.
A two-day meeting of EU finance ministers took place in Strauss-Kahn’s absence today, though it was not known to what extent the meeting discussed Strauss-Kahn’s position.
The white-haired, well-dressed, thrice-married father of four was alone when he checked into the luxury Sofitel hotel, not far from Manhattan’s Times Square, on Friday afternoon, police said. It wasn’t clear why he was in New York.
The 32-year-old maid told authorities that when she entered his spacious, $3,000-a-night suite early Saturday afternoon, she thought it was unoccupied.
Instead, Strauss-Kahn emerged from the bathroom naked, chased her down a hallway and pulled her into a bedroom, where he sexually assaulted her, an NYPD spokesman said.
The woman told police she fought him off, but then he dragged her into the bathroom, where he forced her to perform oral sex on him and tried to remove her underwear. The woman was able to break free again, escaped the room and told hotel staff what had happened, authorities said.
Strauss-Kahn was gone by the time detectives arrived moments later. He left his cellphone behind. “It looked like he got out of there in a hurry,” the police spokesman said.
Additional reporting by AP