Home > Head of IMF Arrested for Alleged Sexual Assault
Dominique Strauss-Kahn, head of the International Monetary Fund, has been arrested on charges of attempted rape, criminal sexual act and unlawful imprisonment, New York City police said Sunday, the Associated Press reported.
A law enforcement official said Mr. Strauss-Kahn was taken into police custody Saturday after being removed from an airplane at Kennedy Airport.
The law enforcement official said Mr. Strauss-Kahn allegedly forced a cleaning woman onto his bed and sexually assaulted her at around 1 p.m. Saturday inside his room at the Sofitel Hotel near Times Square.
Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s attorney didn’t immediately return phone or email messages seeking comment, AP reported.
Mr. Strauss-Kahn allegedly allowed the woman to leave and then departed for the airport, the official said. The alleged victim informed co-workers who then alerted authorities, the official said.
Mr. Strauss-Kahn left personal belongings behind in his hotel room, including a mobile phone, according to the official.
Two detectives from the Port Authority Police Department removed Mr. Strauss-Kahn from the first-class section of a Paris-bound Air France flight minutes before the crew closed the door, a spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said.
"He was cooperative," said the spokesman, John Kelly.
The Port Authority police, which has jurisdiction over the city’s airports, was acting at the request of the NYPD, Mr. Kelly said. The Port Authority turned Mr. Strauss-Kahn over to the NYPD after he was taken into custody.
Detectives from the Manhattan Special Victims squad, which handles allegations of sex crimes, are interviewing Mr. Strauss-Kahn.
Two police officers were still guarding Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s room on the 28th floor of the Sofitel in midtown Manhattan late Saturday night.
The arrest of Mr. Strauss-Kahn, 62 years old, comes at a pivotal time for the fund. John Lipsky, Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s deputy, said last week that he is resigning in August. Mr Lipsky, the Deputy Managing Director, helped Mr. Strauss-Kahn usher the fund through the global financial crisis. He has agreed to stay on as a consultant through November.
Mr. Strauss-Kahn has shepherded the IMF through a period of expanding supervisory heft and power following the global economic crisis. In the past year, the fund has played a central role in the bailouts of ailing euro-zone nations Greece, Ireland and Portugal.
For some time, Mr Strauss-Kahn has been seen as harboring ambitions to the French presidency and was considered a leading contender in France’s Socialist Party. He was dispatched to the helm of the IMF in Washington, some French political insiders say, because he was seen as a rival to President Nicholas Sarkozy.
The charges, if true, would strike a tremendous blow to France’s current politics. The Socialist Party is holding primaries this fall, but candidates have been requested to apply between June 28 and July 13.
Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s decision regarding his candidacy has been much awaited as polls have constantly shown over the past few months that he would beat Mr. Sarkozy as soon as the first round. His decision was expected as soon as the end of May, a person close to him told Dow Jones Newswires.