Tuesday, May 17, 2011

IMF chief jailed on Rikers Island, charged with attempted rape

The head of the powerful International Monetary Fund will spend the next few days in an 11-by-13-foot cell at New York's Rikers Island jail complex -- a far cry from the $3,000-a-night luxury suite where he allegedly chased a housekeeping employee naked down a hallway and attempted to sexually assault her.

A haggard-looking Dominique Strauss-Kahn was denied bail in a New York courtroom on Monday. By the end of the day, the 62-year-old was "settled" in at the East River compound, said a New York Department of Corrections spokesman who declined to be named.

Strauss-Kahn's next court appearance is scheduled for Friday. Until then, he will have no contact with other inmates because he is considered a high-profile detainee, the spokesman said.

His new neighbors will include 14,000 men and women who have been accused or convicted of a host of crimes committed in New York City.

Just a few days earlier, Strauss-Kahn was staying in a posh suite at the Sofitel hotel replete with its own foyer, conference room, hallway and living room. Police said the IMF chief was naked when he allegedly tried to lock the 32-year-old hotel employee in the suite and force himself on her Saturday.

The next day, Strauss-Kahn was supposed to be in Europe talking with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and preparing to be a leading figure in sessions addressing economic crises in Greece, Portugal, Ireland and beyond. Instead, he found himself in "The Tombs," a Lower Manhattan jail that proved to be a way station before his departure to Rikers Island.

His arrest rattled the financial world, given his leadership directing multi-billion-dollar loans and financial policy that regularly affect tens of millions of people.

But its impact was most felt in France, where Strauss-Kahn had been not only a leading contender to be the Socialist party's presidential nominee but a favorite to unseat incumbent President Nikolas Sarkozy.

Stauss Kahn arrest

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