Strauss-Kahn IMF Chief Denied $1 Million Bail; Charged In Sex Attack of African Hotel Worker

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[New York]

A judge has denied bail for IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn and agreed with prosecutors that the French national is a flight risk in connection with his alleged sex attack on a Manhattan hotel worker.

Prosecutors used the fact that Strauss-Kahn was captured onboard a plane heading to Europe hours after the alleged attack to make their case against the granting of bail by Judge Melissa C. Jackson. 

Strauss-Kahn, 62, has now been charged with a first-degree criminal sex act, attempted first-degree rape, first-degree and third-degree sexual abuse, unlawful imprisonment and forcible touching. He also allegedly forced the victim into anal sexual intercourse, according to a copy of a complaint on The Smoking Gun.

He had been seen as the leading contender for the presidency in France next year as a possible candidate for the Socialist Party against the incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy.

The powerful IMF chief is charged with sexually assaulting a woman of considerably modest social status--an African immigrant who works as a room cleaner at the Sofitel Hotel near Times Square in midtown--a very popular tourist area-- on Saturday shortly after noon. The cleaner, a Guinean immigrant, was unaware he was in the room when she entered to clean at noon, she told the authorities. He came out of the bathroom and approached her, naked, from behind and fondled her breasts, according to her account to the New York Police.

The IMF chief is said to have tossed the 32-year old woman on a bed and tried to rape her but that she fought him off. He is said to have pursued her into a narrow hallway towards the rear of the $3,000 a night suite and forced her to perform oral sex in a bathroom.

The woman is said to have reported the attack to hotel security immediately; in past cases, the quick reporting of sexual assaults have boosted the victims' credibility. The woman was shown a photo and she identified Strauss-Kahn and the police were called. The woman was treated at a hospital and also examined for the sex crimes she reported.

The Frenchman checked out of the hotel at 12:28 PM Saturday. After he called at 3:40 PM to inquire about his missing cell phone, the police set in motion to apprehend him, according to the authorities. A hotel employee asked Strauss-Kahn his whereabouts so he could return the cell phone. New York police alerted airport police; Strauss-Kahn was arrested on board a plane which was almost on its way to Europe and handed to New York Police.

His alleged victim also identified him on a police lineup on Sunday, the authorities said. Strauss-kahn's arraignment was delayed until today after he had agreed to provide DNA evidence yesterday. The police had separately obtained DNA evidence from the scene of the alleged crime.

There's no extradition treaty between the U.S. and France.

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