Breaking News Emails
PARIS — Dominique Strauss-Kahn goes on trial Monday for sex charges in France — the nation where he once was considered a top presidential contender.
The former head of the International Monetary Fund, whose career went down in flames amid accusations of sexually assaulting a hotel maid in New York, is facing similarly shocking charges in France: aggravated pimping and involvement in a prostitution ring operating out of luxury hotels.
The French economist, known widely as DSK, faces up to 10 years in prison and a $1.7 million fine, as he and more than a dozen other French and Belgian businessmen and police officers go on trial in the northern French city of Lille.
The trial is scheduled to last three weeks, with Strauss-Kahn not expected to testify until Feb. 10.
Investigators have compiled hundreds of pages of testimony from prostitutes describing the orgies allegedly organized by the 65-year-old Strauss-Kahn and his co-defendants, centered on the expensive Carlton Hotel in Lille near the Belgian border. Strauss-Kahn says he took part in "libertine" activities but insists he never knew the women involved were prostitutes. It is not illegal to pay for sex in France, but it is against the law to solicit or to run a prostitution business.
The trial comes nearly four years after accusations that Strauss-Kahn had sexually assaulted Guinean-born Sofitel housekeeper Nafissatou Diallo. He was forced to resign from his $500,000-a-year position as head of the IMF, even though New York prosecutors dropped the case because they said Diallo had changed her account.