Nightly News | May 21, 2011
HOLT: Good evening.
LESTER HOLT, anchor: Freedom from a New York City jail cell has come at a very high price for the disgraced former head of the IMF . Dominique Strauss-Kahn , accused of sexually assaulting a hotel housekeeper, is spending his first full day under house arrest after posting $1 million cash bail and agreeing to paying for hundreds of thousands of dollars in special security. It's a deal well beyond the means of the average accused person, yet the wealthy Frenchman is finding his political prominence and stature can no longer seem to even buy him a place to live, at least not here in New York . NBC 's Kristen Dahlgren is in lower Manhattan tonight with the latest. Kristen :
KRISTEN DAHLGREN reporting: Good evening, Lester . Well, the man who was once one of the world's most powerful is now holed up here. Dominique Strauss-Kahn was released after posting that $1 million cash bail, a $5 million insurance bond, and agreeing to restrictions that are being called some of the most stringent in New York history . It is a world away from Rikers Island , where Dominique Strauss-Kahn spent part of the last week. Instead of a small cell, he's now in a spacious apartment, a building that advertises nine-foot ceilings, bay windows and two bedrooms that start at more than 4200 a month.
Unidentified Woman #1: Who cares he gets to wear an ankle bracelet? I could stay there and wear an ankle bracelet. That's no big deal.
DAHLGREN: But for the former head of the IMF and would-be French presidential candidate now charged with attempting to rape a maid in his New York hotel, there are other restrictions as well. For now, Strauss-Kahn can't leave the building, his front door features alarms and surveillance cameras, and an armed guard will be watching at all times, security expected to cost $200,000 a month, paid for by Strauss-Kahn . Outside there are cameras as well, tourists snapping pictures and hordes of media from all over the world .
DAHLGREN: So for residents who found themselves with a new neighbor meant all the commotion...
Unidentified Woman #2: It's kind of a little bit scary to come out and I'm mobbed by camera crews, so.
DAHLGREN: ...and that has been the problem with finding a more permanent place for Strauss-Kahn to spend his house arrest . He was supposed to move to an apartment on New York 's wealthy upper east side , until the media found out and angered residents put their foot down. So the security company guarding Strauss-Kahn arranged the temporary apartment, but the judge has ordered him to find a new place in the next few days, something that may not be easy.
Mr. RICHARD GROSSMAN (Lower Manhattan Real Estate Specialist): Right now he's going through a lot of attention in his life, which is exactly the type of attention a building does not want to see.
DAHLGREN: Many New Yorkers now saying, ' Not in my backyard .'
Unidentified Woman #3: I wouldn't feel safe. I wouldn't like to have a person with that background in my neighborhood, of course not.
DAHLGREN: Now, when Strauss-Kahn does move, he'll be given a little more leeway, able to leave the apartment for things like court dates, attorneys' meetings and doctors visits, as long as he gives the prosecution six hours' notice. But at this point, Lester , it's still unclear just where he'll go.
HOLT: Kristen Dahlgren in New York