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Strauss-Kahn Faces Gang-Rape Probe

  • Lisa Bryant

Former IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn (C) and Deputy Mayor of Sarcelles Francois Pupponi (2nd R), arrive at a polling station in the second round of the 2012 French presidential elections in Sarcelles, May 6, 2012.

PARIS - French police have opened a preliminary probe into gang-rape charges involving former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn.

The latest probe into the sexual life of Dominique Strauss-Kahn zeroes in on an alleged sexual encounter two years ago at a Washington, D.C., hotel involving the former International Monetary Fund chief and a pair of prostitutes. In a statement on Monday, prosecutors in the northern French city of Lille said they are probing whether it can be described as gang rape.

Strauss-Kahn already faces charges of so-called "aggravated procurement in an organized crime," in connection with a high-profile prostitution ring. Three other people - two French businessmen and a police chief - face similar charges.

'Carlton affair' involved sex parties

French describe the scandal as the Carlton affair, because it involved sex parties in 2010 and 2011 that were held in luxury hotels in Washington, Paris and the Hotel Carlton in Lille.

According to news reports, the latest probe is based on testimony from one of the prostitutes at the Washington sex party. She said Strauss-Kahn forced her into a sexual act with him and the three other men.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn

  • 1949 - Born in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France
  • 1997-1999 - French Finance Minister
  • 2007-2011 - IMF Managing Director
  • May 2011 - Resigned from IMF following sexual-assault charges that were later dropped
  • March 2012 - Charged in connection to prostitution ring
  • May 2012 - French police launch investigation into 2010 gang rape
Strauss-Kahn admits he attended orgies, but said he was not aware the women involved were prostitutes. He denies any violence took place in the encounters.

Accusations denied

In remarks to the French media, Strauss-Kahn lawyer Henri Leclerc also rejected the latest accusations.

Leclerc said while Strauss-Kahn was involved in so-called libertine soirees of dubious morality, they were not illegal.

Strauss-Kahn resigned from the IMF last year following sexual-assault charges that were later dropped. His accuser, New York hotel maid Nafissatou Diallo, has since filed a civil suit against him. Last week, Strauss-Kahn filed a countersuit, saying her statements had damaged his political career.

Even with a reputation as a womanizer who has faced other sexual harassment accusations, Strauss-Kahn was once considered a likely presidential candidate. Instead, fellow Socialist Francois Hollande was elected president earlier this month.

A member of Hollande's newly named Cabinet, Culture Minister Aurelie Filippetti, made public in 2008 an account of being groped by Strauss-Kahn.