IMF chief arrested, charged with sexual attack in New York hotel

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IMF chief and possible French presidential contender Dominique Strauss-Kahn was arrested and charged with an alleged sexual assault, including an attempted rape, on a hotel maid in New York City, police said on Sunday.
Strauss-Kahn, a key player in the world’s response to the 2007-09 financial meltdown and in Europe’s ongoing debt crisis, was removed from an Air France plane minutes before it was to take off for Paris from John F Kennedy International Airport on Saturday, New York police spokesman Paul Browne said.
Browne said Strauss-Kahn was formally arrested at 2:15 a.m. (0615 GMT) on Sunday on charges of criminal sexual act, attempted rape and unlawful imprisonment.
A lawyer representing Strauss-Kahn, Benjamin Brafman, told Reuters in an email that the International Monetary Fund chief “will plead not guilty.” Brafman made no further comment.
A 32-year-old maid filed a sexual assault complaint after fleeing the $3,000-a-night hotel suite at the Sofitel in Times Square where the alleged incident occurred around 1 p.m. (1700 GMT) on Saturday, Browne said.
Strauss-Kahn, 62, who has been considered a possible Socialist Party candidate in the French presidential election in April and May 2012, appeared to have fled the hotel after the incident, the police spokesman said.
Browne said Strauss-Kahn does not have diplomatic immunity. He is expected to be brought before state court on Sunday.