Dominique Strauss-Kahn, former managing director of the International Monetary Fund, was acquitted Friday of “aggravated pimping” in a case that has highlighted the dramatic fall of a man once seen as the next president of France.
The verdict is the last step in four years of legal drama for Strauss-Kahn — sometimes referred to as DSK — that began when a New York hotel maid accused him of sexual assault in 2011. That case was later settled out of court, although it left the economist’s reputation in tatters and his career in jeopardy.
The charges that he was cleared of Friday relate to separate accusations that he took part in and even organized orgies with prostitutes at a French luxury hotel — accusations DSK has consistently denied.
Ten other people were also acquitted on Friday at the court in Lille, France.
“All that for this?” DSK said as he left the courtroom in northern France on Friday. “What a waste.”
The ex-IMF boss previously told the French court that he participated in sex parties because he needed “recreational sessions” while he was busy “saving the world” from one of its worst financial crises.
But he also said that at no time was he aware that the women involved were prostitutes, a lack of knowledge that was backed up by testimony from prostitutes who said they did not disclose their professions to DSK.
The trial also included testimony from women who described DSK’s sexual escapades as unusually brutal.
Prostitution is legal in France, but seeking to procure the services of sex workers is not.
SOURCE: Kim Hjelmgaard