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IMF Head Arrested, Accused of Sexual Assault

International Monetary Fund [IMF] Managing Director Dominique Strauss Kahn attends the IMF/World Bank spring meetings in Washington, April 15, 2011

The head of the International Monetary Fund has been arrested in New York City and accused of sexually assaulting a hotel maid.

New York police spokesman Paul Browne says Dominique Strauss-Kahn is in custody and was being questioned Saturday evening. Police say the French national was pulled from his first class seat on an airplane Saturday evening that was just minutes before taking off for Paris.

He has not yet been charged.

Police say a 32-year-old chambermaid at the Sofitel Hotel says she entered Strauss-Kahn's hotel room to clean it early on Saturday afternoon. The maid told police Strauss-Kahn came out of the bathroom unclothed and attempted to force her into performing sex acts. She escaped the room and told other hotel personnel, who called the police.

Police say when they arrived at the hotel, Strauss-Kahn had already left for the airport, leaving behind his mobile phone and other personal items.

The maid has been treated for minor injuries at a local hospital.

Strauss-Kahn took charge of the IMF in November 2007. The former French Finance Minister is considered a leading contender to run as the Socialist Party's candidate against President Nicolas Sarkozy in France's 2012 election. Some say Mr. Sarkozy supported Strauss-Kahn to become the IMF director as a ploy to keep him away from French politics.

Strauss-Kahn is married to a prominent French television reporter, but has weathered previous sex scandals. In 2008, he apologized for what he termed "an error in judgement" for an affair with one of his subordinates.