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Strauss-Kahn Faces Pimping Charges in Court

FILE - Former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn.

A man once seen as a potential challenger to former French President Nicolas Sarkozy goes on trial Monday in France on charges of allegedly procuring prostitutes.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn was once the world's top financier as head of the International Monetary Fund.

His career came to a halt four years ago when a New York hotel maid accused the IMF chief of sexually assaulting her in his hotel room.

Strauss-Kahn, now 65, was forced to resign from the IMF after Nafissatou Diallo's accusations, and ended up settling the case after criminal charges were dropped.

The trial Monday in Lille, in northern France, stems from charges concerning organized sex parties.

In France, it is not against the law to pay for sex, but it is against the law to solicit or to run a prostitution business.

Strauss-Kahn admits he has a penchant for sex parties, but says he had no idea the women at the gatherings in Lille, Brussels, Paris and Washington were prostitutes. He also maintains that he did not organize the parties.

Lurid details of group sex and high-end prostitution are likely to emerge in the three-week trial during which Strauss-Kahn will take the stand alongside others, including luxury hotel managers, police officers, freemasons and a brothel owner known as "Dodo the Pimp."

Strauss-Kahn is facing up to 10 years in prison and a fine of 1.5 million euros ($1.7 million).

Strauss-Kahn, who has been separated from his celebrity journalist wife, Anne Sinclair, has allegedly met a new partner and has been pursuing a career in private-sector investment.

Some information for this report came from Reuters.

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