The sex assault case against France's Strauss-Kahn

21st August 2011, Comments 0 comments

French politician and former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn was to learn as early as Monday whether prosecutors will drop charges in the sex assault case against him.

Here is a timeline of key events in the saga that sent shockwaves through France and led to Strauss-Kahn's fall from grace:

May 14:

Strauss-Kahn is pulled off a Paris-bound flight minutes before take-off from New York's JFK airport and arrested. He is accused of sexually assaulting a maid in his suite at the luxury Sofitel hotel in midtown Manhattan.

May 15:

The 62-year-old French politician, who denies the accusations, is charged with "criminal sexual act, unlawful imprisonment, attempted rape" of the 32-year-old woman.

In Washington, the IMF insists business continues as usual, calls on acting director John Lipsky to step into management role.

May 16:

A New York judge orders Strauss-Kahn detained without bail at Rikers Island jail.

May 18:

The victim, an immigrant from the West African nation of Guinea, testifies behind closed doors at a grand jury hearing. Her lawyer denies she had consensual sexual relations with Strauss-Kahn.

May 19:

Strauss-Kahn resigns as head of the IMF, and denies "with the greatest possible firmness all of the allegations that have been made."

He is formally indicted by the grand jury and the seven charges against him are confirmed. He faces a potential maximum of 74 years in prison if convicted.

Bail is granted after he agrees to post $1 million cash and $5 million bond, submit to round-the-clock surveillance under house arrest and wear an ankle monitoring bracelet.

May 20:

Strauss-Kahn is released and moves into an apartment near Wall Street. He later moves to a townhouse rented for a reported $50,000 a month in the trendy TriBeCa neighborhood.

May 23:

US and French television stations report that traces of Strauss-Kahn's semen have been found on the maid's shirt. The New York Police Department denies leaking information about its investigation.

May 26:

Lawyers for Strauss-Kahn claim to have information that could "gravely undermine" the maid's credibility, but give no detail.

May 27:

French President Nicolas Sarkozy calls it a "sad" affair.

June 6:

Strauss-Kahn is formally arraigned and pleads not guilty before Judge Michael Obus in New York state court.

June 30:

The New York Times, citing law enforcement sources close to the case, says the case against Strauss-Kahn is collapsing due to doubts over the victim's credibility.

July 1:

Prosecutors agree to lift Strauss-Kahn's bail, amid growing doubts over the solidity of their case, but say they are not moving to dismiss charges against him. The judge says the 'case is not over' and releases Strauss-Kahn on his own recognizance.

July 5:

Former French finance minister Christine Lagarde succeeds Strauss-Kahn as managing director of the IMF.

July 28:

Hotel maid Nafissatou Diallo reveals her identity for the first time, saying she wanted to clear her name after a New York tabloid claimed she was a prostitute after Strauss-Kahn's money. She saying she wants justice.

August 8:

Diallo files a civil suit in New York alleging a "sadistic attack" against her by Strauss-Kahn and seeking unspecified compensation.

August 20:

A lawyer for Diallo tells the New York Times that he expects to learn at a meeting with prosecutors on August 22 that all or some of the charges against the ex-IMF head will be dropped.

August 21:

The New York Post says prosecutors have concluded that the charges against Strauss-Kahn cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt and will ask a judge to dismiss them at an August 23 hearing in New York.

© 2011 AFP

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