Strauss-Kahn investigated for alleged rape at D.C. hotel sex party


The W Hotel at F Street and 15th Street NW on a cloudy afternoon in Washington, D.C. on May 21, 2012. (Melina Mara/THE WASHINGTON POST)
May 21, 2012

A French prosecutor has ordered a preliminary investigation into whether Dominique Strauss-Kahn, former head of the International Monetary Fund and once a leading candidate to become president of France, participated in gang rape at a sex party he is accused of helping to organize in a Washington hotel.

The announcement on Monday from prosecutor Frederic Fevre in the northern French city of Lille added another sulfurous allegation of illicit sex to a list that has torpedoed Strauss-Kahn’s once-bright political future and made him an undesirable outcast whose very presence is politically embarrassing to his former colleagues in the Socialist Party.

Strauss-Kahn, 63, was charged by Fevre on March 26 with helping procure prostitutes for a number of sex parties in France and the United States. The gatherings included a December 2010 party at the W Hotel in Washington. On Monday, Fevre said authorities are now also investigating accusations that Strauss-Kahn committed gang rape, allegedly sodomizing a prostitute while a friend of his held her down.

A prostitute reported to investigating magistrates that she told Strauss-Kahn several times that she did not want to continue the sex act, according to leaked versions of her testimony in the French press. Despite her protests, she said, Strauss-Kahn did not stop. His friend held her hands to prevent her from squirming away, the reports quoted the prostitute as saying.

Strauss-Kahn, a former French finance minister, had no comment Monday. But one of his lawyers, Henri Leclerc, said his client is awaiting results of the inquiry “calmly.” Leclerc added that Strauss Kahn “never had the slightest relations without consent of his partners and did not act in any circumstance with violence.”

Strauss-Kahn has maintained repeatedly, in person and through his lawyers, that he did not know that the women at the parties were prostitutes.

In Washington, Bill Miller, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, declined to answer questions on the matter Monday and referred a reporter to the Metropolitan Police Department.

D.C. police have received no reports of sexual assault by Strauss-Kahn at the W Hotel at any time, according to department spokeswoman Gwendolyn Crump.

Edward Baten, the general manager at the W Hotel, said he is aware of the investigation but could not confirm whether, or when, Dominique Strauss-Kahn stayed there.

“As a general matter of guest confidentiality, we would never confirm whether or not a guest has been here,” Baten said.

He added that French authorities have been in touch with the hotel: “We’re aware of the investigation and that our hotel is named in the investigation and we’re cooperating with authorities.”

Of the sex party allegation, he said, “I have no knowledge of any sex parties taking place.”

Through spokesman Wyn Hornbuckle, the U.S. Justice Department declined to answer questions about the procedures by which the French government would investigate a criminal case based on an incident alleged to have taken place in the District or its role in such an investigation.

The legal case in Lille has evolved separately from sexual assault charges involving a hotel maid that were brought against Strauss-Kahn one year ago in New York, triggering his resignation as head of the IMF. The New York charges were dropped, but Strauss-Kahn was subsequently sued in civil court by his accuser, Nafissatou Diallo, a hotel cleaning woman who alleges he tried to rape her when she came to tidy up his room.

As part of the legal maneuvering, Strauss-Kahn’s lawyers in New York recently brought a countersuit for $1 million, saying Diallo’s charges were false and ruined Strauss-Kahn’s career.

The announcement Monday in Lille meant judicial police would continue a formal investigation into Strauss-Kahn’s conduct in the sex parties and their organization, including the charge of gang rape. It did not mean Strauss-Kahn was being charged with gang rape. That would be a later step if the prosecutor decides such a charge is warranted.

“Only a deep investigation will allow us to determine whether the infraction is constituted or not,” Fevre told reporters in Lille.

The former finance minister has become so radioactive in French political circles that Socialist Party figures were concerned when he showed up at a birthday party for one of their members, Julien Dray, several days before the May 6 presidential runoff.

President Francois Hollande’s companion, Valerie Trierweiler, later banned Dray from Hollande’s campaign headquarters because he had invited Strauss-Kahn and created a compromising situation in which Hollande’s top aides were led into the same room with the disgraced former candidate.

Staff writers Keith L. Alexander and Theresa Vargas in Washington also contributed to this story.

SECTION: {section=world, subsection=europe}!!!
INITIAL commentConfig: {includereply=true, canvas_permalink_id=washpost.com/8bvh5zpd9k, allow_comments=true, commentmaxlength=2000, includeshare=true, display_comments=true, canvas_permalink_app_instance=bg52e9xhqr, display_more=true, moderationrequired=false, includefeaturenotification=true, comments_period=14, defaultsort=reverseChronological, canvas_allcomments_id=washpost.com/km4ey0dajm, includevoteofftopic=false, allow_videos=false, includesorts=true, markerdisplay=post_commenter:Post Commenter|staff:Post Writer|top_commenter:Post Forum|top_local:Washingtologist|top_sports:SuperFan|fact_checker:Fact Checker|post_recommended:Post Recommended|world_watcher:World Watcher|cultuer_connoisseur:Culture Connoisseur|weather_watcher:Capital Weather Watcher|post_contributor:Post Contributor, childrenitemsperpage=3, includeheader=true, includeverifiedcommenters=true, defaulttab=all, includerecommend=true, includereport=true, maxitemstop=3, source=washpost.com, allow_photos=false, maxitems=5, display_ugc_photos=false, includepause=true, canvas_allcomments_app_instance=6634zxcgfd, includepermalink=false}!!!

UGC FROM ARTICLE: {allow_comments=true, allow_photos=false, allow_videos=false, comments_period=14, comments_source=washpost.com, default_sort=, default_tab=, display_comments=true, is_ugc_gallery=false, max_items_to_display=15, max_items_to_display_top=3, moderation_required=false, stream_id=}!!!

FINAL commentConfig: {includereply=true, canvas_permalink_id=washpost.com/8bvh5zpd9k, allow_comments=true, commentmaxlength=2000, includeshare=true, display_comments=true, canvas_permalink_app_instance=bg52e9xhqr, display_more=true, moderationrequired=false, includefeaturenotification=true, comments_period=14, defaultsort=reverseChronological, canvas_allcomments_id=washpost.com/km4ey0dajm, includevoteofftopic=false, allow_videos=false, includesorts=true, markerdisplay=post_commenter:Post Commenter|staff:Post Writer|top_commenter:Post Forum|top_local:Washingtologist|top_sports:SuperFan|fact_checker:Fact Checker|post_recommended:Post Recommended|world_watcher:World Watcher|cultuer_connoisseur:Culture Connoisseur|weather_watcher:Capital Weather Watcher|post_contributor:Post Contributor, childrenitemsperpage=3, includeheader=true, includeverifiedcommenters=true, defaulttab=all, includerecommend=true, includereport=true, maxitemstop=3, source=washpost.com, allow_photos=false, maxitems=5, display_ugc_photos=false, includepause=true, canvas_allcomments_app_instance=6634zxcgfd, includepermalink=false}!!
Comments
SECTION: {section=world, subsection=europe}!!!
INITIAL commentConfig: {includereply=true, canvas_permalink_id=washpost.com/8bvh5zpd9k, allow_comments=true, commentmaxlength=2000, includeshare=true, display_comments=true, canvas_permalink_app_instance=bg52e9xhqr, display_more=true, moderationrequired=false, includefeaturenotification=true, comments_period=14, defaultsort=reverseChronological, canvas_allcomments_id=washpost.com/km4ey0dajm, includevoteofftopic=false, allow_videos=false, includesorts=true, markerdisplay=post_commenter:Post Commenter|staff:Post Writer|top_commenter:Post Forum|top_local:Washingtologist|top_sports:SuperFan|fact_checker:Fact Checker|post_recommended:Post Recommended|world_watcher:World Watcher|cultuer_connoisseur:Culture Connoisseur|weather_watcher:Capital Weather Watcher|post_contributor:Post Contributor, childrenitemsperpage=3, includeheader=true, includeverifiedcommenters=true, defaulttab=all, includerecommend=true, includereport=true, maxitemstop=3, source=washpost.com, allow_photos=false, maxitems=5, display_ugc_photos=false, includepause=true, canvas_allcomments_app_instance=6634zxcgfd, includepermalink=false}!!!

UGC FROM ARTICLE: {allow_comments=true, allow_photos=false, allow_videos=false, comments_period=14, comments_source=washpost.com, default_sort=, default_tab=, display_comments=true, is_ugc_gallery=false, max_items_to_display=15, max_items_to_display_top=3, moderation_required=false, stream_id=}!!!

FINAL commentConfig: {includereply=true, canvas_permalink_id=washpost.com/8bvh5zpd9k, allow_comments=true, commentmaxlength=2000, includeshare=true, display_comments=true, canvas_permalink_app_instance=bg52e9xhqr, display_more=true, moderationrequired=false, includefeaturenotification=true, comments_period=14, defaultsort=reverseChronological, canvas_allcomments_id=washpost.com/km4ey0dajm, includevoteofftopic=false, allow_videos=false, includesorts=true, markerdisplay=post_commenter:Post Commenter|staff:Post Writer|top_commenter:Post Forum|top_local:Washingtologist|top_sports:SuperFan|fact_checker:Fact Checker|post_recommended:Post Recommended|world_watcher:World Watcher|cultuer_connoisseur:Culture Connoisseur|weather_watcher:Capital Weather Watcher|post_contributor:Post Contributor, childrenitemsperpage=3, includeheader=true, includeverifiedcommenters=true, defaulttab=all, includerecommend=true, includereport=true, maxitemstop=3, source=washpost.com, allow_photos=false, maxitems=5, display_ugc_photos=false, includepause=true, canvas_allcomments_app_instance=6634zxcgfd, includepermalink=false}!!
Show Comments