Trial Begins for Dominique Strauss-Kahn in Prostitution Ring Case

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, former head of the International Monetary Fund and all-purpose disgusting old man, who made headlines in 2012 when a New York maid accused him of rape, is standing trial Monday in a different sex scandal (who can keep track?). Strauss-Kahn and 13 others are accused of "aggravated pimping" for their alleged involvement in a prostitution ring.

The general allegation is that Strauss-Kahn participated in orgies held at expensive hotels around the world. Prosecutors say the "Champagne-fueled sex parties," as the New York Times puts it, were held in several major cities, including Washington and New York, and attended by, the Times says, "lawyers, judges, police officials, journalists and musicians." Prostitution is not illegal in France, solicitation is; Strauss-Kahn is accused of facilitating the hiring of sex workers, leading to a "pimping" charge. The orgies were organized between 2009 and 2011, when Strauss-Kahn was still IMF chief, and prosecutors say the orgies were organized in an attempt to curry favor with him.


Strauss-Kahn has previously admitted attending the parties, but says he didn't know the women were sex workers. In 2011, his lawyer told the Associated Press, "He could easily not have known, because as you can imagine, at these kinds of parties you're not always dressed, and I challenge you to distinguish a naked prostitute from any other naked woman."

Strauss-Kahn faces up to ten years in prison and a potential fine of roughly $1.7 million. According to the Associated Press, he's expected to begin his testimony February 10.


Image via AP

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