French former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn will face trial on pimping charges along with 12 others in connection with an alleged prostitution ring at a Lille hotel, the local prosecutors’ office said on Friday.
By Alex Spillius, and Agencies
3:16PM BST 26 Jul 2013
Prosecutors had in June called for the charges of “aggravated pimping as part of an organised gang” against Strauss-Kahn to be dropped, but investigating magistrates have decided he should face trial. The charges carry a sentence of up to 10 years.
The 64-year-old former presidential hopeful has admitted attending sex parties there, or what his lawyer called “libertine soirees”, but says he did not know that some of the women were paid prostitutes.
The case is the last of the sex-related allegations faced by Mr Strauss-Kahn, who had begun to re-emerge in the public eye with a speech in parliament and a public outing at the French tennis open with a new girlfriend.
He had faced two years of legal turmoil involving multiple sexual allegations, but has not been convicted for any crime. He was head of the IMF and poised to stand as a Socialist presidential candidate when in 2011 he was accused by a New York chambermaid of attempted rape. He maintained that the sexual act that took place was consensual, but was sued by his accuser, Nafissatou Diallo.
The two sides reached an undisclosed financial settlement late last year, reported to be about £950,000.
Last October, a French prosecutor dropped a criminal investigation connecting Mr Strauss-Kahn to a possible gang rape in Washington DC.
A Belgian woman withdrew her allegations, and said she would not press charges, despite initially insisting that he had attacked her.
Mr Strauss-Kahn faced further allegations two years ago when Tristane Banon, a young Paris writer, said he had tried to rape her in 2003. But prosecutors said the case could not be pursued because of a statute of limitations.
Mr Strauss-Kahn denied the allegations and has since filed a counter claim in France, alleging slander.
Earlier this month, he was involved in a fresh sex scandal, as claims emerged that he tried to assault an Italian television journalist in the late 1990s.