UPDATE: IMF Chief to Remain Jailed at Rikers Island in NYC Sex-assault
A New York City judge says the head of the International Monetary Fund must remain jailed at least until his next court hearing for attempted rape and other charges. A tired and grim-looking Dominique Strauss-Kahn appeared Monday before a judge. (May 16)
New York (CNN) — The head of the powerful International Monetary Fund arrived Monday at New York’s Rikers Island jail complex, dispatched there after a judge denied him bail for allegedly chasing and sexually assaulting a hotel employee.
At least until his next court appearance on Friday, he will be in protective custody, staying in an 11-by-13 foot cell by himself and having no contact with other inmates — steps taken because he is considered a high-profile detainee, the spokesman said. His new neighbors will include 14,000 men and women who are being held or have been convicted for a host of violent and other crimes committed in New York City.
His arrest rattled the financial world, given his leadership directing multi-billion-dollar loans and financial policy that regularly affect tens of millions of people. But its impact was most felt in France, where Strauss-Kahn had been not only a leading contender to be the Socialist party’s presidential nominee but a favorite to unseat incumbent President Nikolas Sarkozy.
Prosecutors argued Monday, during the IMF chief’s arraignment, that they believed Strauss-Kahn would right now be there in France, living “open and notoriously,” if two plainclothes Port Authority police officers had not detained him in the first-class cabin of an Air France plane Saturday minutes before take-off.
About midday Saturday, Strauss-Kahn was in his suite in the 30-story hotel when the housekeeping employee came in to clean it, said New York Police Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne. He shut the door, preventing the woman from leaving, according to a criminal complaint released by prosecutors.
Strauss-Kahn emerged from a room naked, according to Browne, and ran after her down the hallway of the suite.
“He grabbed the victim’s chest without consent, attempted to remove her pantyhose” and forcibly grabbed her between her legs, the complaint said. He also forced her to perform oral sex on him, Assistant District Attorney John McConnell said at Monday’s arraignment.
The 32-year-old woman said Strauss-Kahn pulled her into a bedroom and started attacking her, police said. She fought him off, she told investigators, but he then dragged her into the bathroom and forced himself on her.
Afterward, the employee ran to the front desk, Browne said. Hotel staff alerted New York police.
By the time officers arrived, Strauss-Kahn had left, leaving his cell phone behind at the hotel, according to Browne.
He departed in a hotel limo, according to the law enforcement source. He called the hotel to say he had left his phone behind and asked if it could be brought to him. That call came in about the same time police arrived to investigate the alleged sexual assault, the source said. Investigators told the hotel staff to advise him the phone would be taken to him and went to the airport. Two plainclothes Port Authority police detectives led him off the plane, the source said.