IMF chief picked out in NY police lineup in sexual assault case

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Dominique Strauss-Kahn, head of the International Monetary Fund NEW YORK (AP) --
Dominique Strauss-Kahn's reputation with women earned him the nickname "the
great seducer," and not even an affair with a subordinate could knock the
International Monetary Fund leader off a political path pointed in the direction
of the French presidency. All that changed with charges that he sexually
assaulted a maid in his hotel room, a case that generated shock and revulsion,
especially in his home country.

Police said the maid picked Strauss-Kahn out of a lineup. Unless the charges are
quickly dropped, they could destroy his chances in a presidential race that is
just starting to heat up.

The IMF, which plays a key role in efforts to control the European debt crisis,
named an acting leader and said it remains "fully functioning and operational"
despite Saturday's arrest.

Strauss-Kahn's lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, told The Associated Press that his
client will plead not guilty. He and another lawyer went in and out of the
Harlem police precinct where Strauss-Kahn was being held early Sunday afternoon,
and declined to answer reporters' questions until the arraignment, which was
expected later Sunday.

"He denies all the charges against him," Brafman said. "And that's all I can
really say right now."

Brafman is one of the city's most high-profile defense attorneys. His clients
have included mobsters and such celebrities as Sean "P. Diddy" Combs and ex-New
York Giants star Plaxico Burress.

Strauss-Kahn, 62, was arrested less than four hours after the alleged assault,
plucked from first class on a Paris-bound Air France flight that was just about
to leave the gate at John F. Kennedy International Airport.

The white-haired, well-dressed, thrice-married father of four was alone when he
checked into the luxury Sofitel hotel, not far from Manhattan's Times Square, on
Friday afternoon, police said. It wasn't clear why he was in New York. The IMF
is based in Washington, and he had been due in Germany on Sunday to meet with
Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The 32-year-old maid told authorities that when she entered his spacious,
$3,000-a-night suite early Saturday afternoon, she thought it was unoccupied.
Instead, Strauss-Kahn emerged from the bathroom naked, chased her down a hallway
and pulled her into a bedroom, where he sexually assaulted her, New York Police
Department spokesman Paul J. Browne said.

The woman told police she fought him off, but then he dragged her into the
bathroom, where he forced her to perform oral sex on him and tried to remove her
underwear. The woman was able to break free again, escaped the room and told
hotel staff what had happened, authorities said.

Strauss-Kahn was gone by the time detectives arrived moments later. He left his
cellphone behind. "It looked like he got out of there in a hurry," Browne said.

The NYPD discovered he was at JFK and contacted officials at the Port Authority
of New York and New Jersey, which runs the airport. Port Authority officers
arrested him.
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