Troubled sex assault case against ex-IMF chief

1st July 2011, Comments 0 comments

Key events in the case accusing former IMF chief and French presidential hopeful Dominique Strauss-Kahn of sexual assault against a New York hotel housekeeper on May 14.

- July 1: Strauss-Kahn is due to make a hastily-arranged appearance before a New York judge amid reports that prosecutors fear their case against him is collapsing due to doubts about the credibility of the alleged victim. Strauss-Kahn's lawyers are expected to demand an easing of his house arrest pending further investigations.

- June 8: Defense lawyers for Strauss-Kahn, in a "demand for discovery" document, inform prosecutors they intend to investigate the alleged victim for evidence of "physical or mental disability, emotional disturbance, drug addiction, or alcohol addiction."

- June 6: Strauss-Kahn pleads not guilty to all charges related to the alleged sexual assault on the hotel maid.

The alleged victim gets a new lawyer, Kenneth Thompson, whose firm specializes in pursuing multi-million dollar settlements for individuals battling major employers and other formidable opponents.

- May 26: Lawyers for Strauss-Kahn complain in a letter filed in court that leaks are feeding a "media frenzy." They claim to have information that could "gravely undermine" the maid's credibility, but give no detail.

- 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 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 more than 74 years 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 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 a consensual relation with Strauss-Kahn.

New York police conduct forensic search of hotel suite.

- May 17: Strauss-Kahn is reportedly under suicide watch on Rikers Island.

Meanwhile, the alleged victim is living through "extraordinary" trauma, according to her lawyer.

US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner says Strauss-Kahn is "obviously not in the position to run the IMF."

- May 16: A New York judge accepts the prosecution argument that Strauss-Kahn is a flight risk and orders him detained without bail in New York's Rikers Island jail.

High-profile defense attorneys William Taylor and Benjamin Brafman represent Strauss-Kahn.

Wife Anne Sinclair, a multi-millionaire heiress and French journalist, arrives in New York from Paris.

- 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, so far unidentified woman employee of the hotel.

The case shakes political life in France, where Strauss-Kahn had been widely tipped as presidential favorite. Opposition French ministers make claims of a "plot" and "trap" against him.

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

- 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 a sexual assault on a maid in his suite at the luxury Sofitel hotel in midtown Manhattan.

© 2011 AFP

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