Formal charges filed against Strauss-Kahn: prosecutors

Reuters News
Posted: May 19, 2011 5:04 PM
Formal charges filed against Strauss-Kahn: prosecutors

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn has been formally charged over accusations he tried to rape a hotel maid, New York prosecutors said on Thursday.

Prosecutors also told New York Supreme Court that they were opposing his bid for bail for procedural reasons.

The indictment, which was made by a grand jury, means formal charges have been brought and the case can proceed to trial if Strauss-Kahn pleads not guilty. A plea has not yet been entered in the case, although his lawyers have said he does plan to plead not guilty.

Strauss-Kahn, a man accustomed to luxury hotel suites and first-class plane travel, had been denied bail in Manhattan Criminal Court on Monday and has spent the past three nights in New York City's notorious Rikers Island jail.

He strongly denied charges of a criminal sexual act, attempted rape, sexual abuse, unlawful imprisonment and forcible touching, in a letter released on Wednesday by the IMF announcing his resignation.

"I want to devote all my strength, all my time, and all my energy to proving my innocence," Strauss-Kahn wrote.

The former International Monetary Fund managing director faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted.

He was detained by New York police on Saturday aboard an Air France flight minutes before it was to depart for Paris.

Prosecutors said that about 12 p.m. on Saturday, Strauss-Kahn had sexually assaulted the a maid at the Sofitel hotel in midtown Manhattan, attempted to rape her and then, when unsuccessful, forced her to perform oral sex on him.

(Reporting by Basil Katz, writing by Michelle Nichols, editing by Stella Dawson)