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IMF chief faces sexual assault charges, EU talks bailouts

by Adam Russett on May 16, 2011

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the head of the International Monetary Fund, has been embroiled in a sexual scandal before. In 2008, he publicly apologized for having sexual relations with one of his subordinates. Now, a new case is coming to light. 

A hotel maid employed at New York City's Sofitel Hotel says that she entered Strauss-Kahn's luxury suite to clean it on a weekend afternoon and Strauss-Kahn emerged from the bathroom, naked, and tried to force her to perform sex acts on him, according to The Voices of America.

She managed to escape the room and informed other staff at the hotel, who then called the police. Strauss-Kahn had left personal items in his suite when investigators arrived at the scene, and he was pulled from a plane that was bound to fly to Paris only a few minutes later.

Authorities charged Strauss-Kahn with criminal sexual assault, attempted rape and unlawful imprisonment. The case has been widely publicized and the lawyer of French writer Tristane Banon said that the woman is considering filing a legal complaint that says she was sexually assaulted by Strauss-Kahn in 2002.

This comes at a time when the International Monetary Fund is playing a crucial role in further talks about the bailouts in Europe and the state of the euro. Thus far, officials say that Strauss-Kahn's absence won't have any significant impact on the meeting as finance ministers review the requests of Ireland, Greece and Portugal for assistance.

"There’s absolutely no question: Decisions which are under way will not be impacted and this will not have an impact on the programs being applied," said Amadeu Altafaj Tardio, a spokesman at the European Commission, The New York Times reports.

He explained that the International Monetary Fund will remain a strong institution, whether Strauss-Kahn is heading it or not. 

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