Strauss-Kahn Released on $1M Bail for Rape Charges | Courthouse News Service
Wednesday, November 29, 2023
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Strauss-Kahn Released on $1M Bail for Rape Charges

MANHATTAN (CN) - Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who resigned late Wednesday as head of International Monetary Fund amid allegations of attempted rape, will be released from prison on $1 million bail on Friday, provided he complies with the "most restrictive possible" measures outlined by his attorney to guarantee he does not flee before trial.

In addition to electronic monitoring, Strauss-Kahn will pay $200,000 a month for up to three armed guards to watch him in a Manhattan apartment with his wife and daughter, who were the only two civilian spectators in a 100-plus seat courtroom filled with international journalists.

Despite spending multiple nights in prison, Strauss-Kahn looked much more relaxed on Thursday than he did at the time of the so-called perp walk, and he flashed a smile to his family when he entered.

After the bail hearing began, a prosecutor announced that a grand jury indicted Strauss-Kahn, but the charges are not yet available to the public.

"The proof against him is substantial, and continues to grow every day," Assistant District Attorney John McConnell said, alluding vaguely to the preliminary results of a forensic examination.

According to Monday's criminal complaint, a Sofitel maid opened the door to Strauss-Kahn's room while he was naked, and the former IMF leader closed the door to prevent her from leaving. He then allegedly grabbed her chest, tried to pull down her pantyhose and twice forced his penis into her mouth to try to initiate oral sex.

Prosecutors say he left the "crime scene" in a hurry to flee to France, and authorities apprehended him on a flight bound for Paris.

Strauss resigned from the IMF on Wednesday.

Defense attorney William W. Taylor III called Strauss-Khan "an honorable man" who intends to "clear his name." He said that his client left the hotel only to meet with a family member at a Midtown restaurant, and boarded the flight where he was detained after contacting the hotel.

Strauss-Khan booked that flight last Wednesday, Taylor added, well before the alleged incident on a long-planned tour of European countries on official business. Taylor submitted the itinerary of that trip to Criminal Court Judge Michael J. Obus.

Unfazed, prosecutor McConnell insisted: "The fact that his travel plans had been booked in advance does not change the fact that his exit from the hotel was unusually paced."

On Monday, the prosecutor convinced Criminal Court Judge Melissa Jackson that Strauss-Kahn's quick exit from the Sofitel, tremendous personal assets and citizenship in a country that does not extradite its citizens made it essential that she remand him to Riker's Island prison.

By Thursday, Strauss-Kahn's wife secured the Manhattan apartment, and his defense team commissioned a private security team to keep watch over him with a guards and cameras.

The arrangement still did not sit well with the prosecutor, who argued that the politician's "global influence" and "propensity for impulsive criminal conduct" required more to restrain him than "a bracelet and a battery."

Defense attorney Taylor said the restrictions are hardly slight.

"Let me be clear," Taylor said. "In addition to the bracelet and the videos, there is a human being with a gun who will be there 24/7."

He said it would be "ridiculous" to imagine that his client would be "teleporting himself to France," and added that continuing to hold him in prison was inconsistent with the presumption of innocence.

"The People's response has been 'no, no, no,'" Taylor said. "That position is unfair. It's inconsistent with the law of the state. The only consideration at this moment is the risk of flight. There is a presumption of innocence."

Judge Obus said that the allegations against Strauss-Kahn are "well-founded, at least to the satisfaction on the grand jury," but he would not be a flight risk if he complies with the measures recommended by his counsel.

In addition, the judge imposed a $5 million insurance bond and said the parties would meet on Friday in Strauss-Khan's absence to issue a formal release order.

Aside from one to three guards and Strauss-Kahn's immediate family, the politician will be limited as to many guests he can have at any one time. Prosecutors say it should be one at a time, but Strauss-Kahn's defense team wants more than four.

Strauss-Kahn is expected to plead not guilty. He is represented by William W. Taylor III and Benjamin Branfman.

The top charge, criminal sexual act in the first degree, carries a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison.

He will face indictment on June 6.

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