Published May 16, 2011
IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn was ordered held without bail on Monday as new details emerged about the alleged sexual assault of a maid at a swanky New York City hotel.
Law enforcement sources told FoxNews.com that blood found on bed sheets in the luxury suite in Manhattan’s Sofitel Hotel, where Strauss-Kahn stayed Friday night, could support the sexual assault claim of the alleged victim.
A rape kit found DNA evidence on the woman, who sources described as ashamed to report the violent attack. She eventually told law enforcement officials the graphic details.
Crime scene investigators found additional evidence at the scene, removing fibers and DNA and swaths of carpet and fabric from the suite for further forensic testing, sources said.
Strauss-Kahn appeared Monday in a New York City courtroom, where prosecutors said the IMF chief may have engaged in similar behavior in the past and should be considered a flight risk. Defense attorneys said Strauss-Kahn denies all charges against him.
A Manhattan judge ruled that Strauss-Kahn must remain jailed at least until his next court hearing -- slated for May 20 -- for attempted rape and other charges.
The 32-year-old hotel maid had been a model employee; no complaints had been registered against her in her three years working as a housekeeper at Sofitel hotel, the source said. And she was following protocol when she opened the door to Strauss-Kahn’s room after the noon checkout time on Saturday.
Sources said that the IMF chief, who was seen as a viable candidate for president of France, arrived in the U.S. on Wednesday May 11. He was supposed to be on the first flight from New York to Washington, D.C., Saturday morning. He missed his flight but did not arrange a late checkout, law enforcement sources said, and should not have been in the room.
Strauss-Kahn was plucked off an Air France flight by Port Authority police who halted the plane as it was moving down the runway in line for takeoff. When the officers boarded the plane and located the IMF chief in first class, the alleged assaulter tried to resist arrest, sources said.
Strauss-Khan, known in some circles as “the great seducer,” was picked out in a police lineup by his accuser on Sunday, authorities said. He was supposed to be arraigned Sunday evening, but one of the IMF chief’s lawyers, William Taylor, said testing for evidence delayed the proceeding.
A somber-looking Strauss-Kahn, wearing a black jacket and pants and a gray shirt, was later escorted out of the Harlem police precinct where he was being held, his arms behind his back. He was taken to a hospital for the exam requested by prosecutors to obtain more evidence in the case, and then to a Manhattan court early Monday.
It was shortly after 12 p.m. on Saturday when, law enforcement sources say, the housekeeper was told by a man working room service who had just left Strauss-Kahn’s suite that it was empty. After the noon checkout time, room service personnel sweep the rooms, retrieve trays, leftover food and condiments, and then they tell housekeeping whether or not the room they’ve left is occupied.
A room service employee told the housekeeper that there was no one in the enormous suite where Strauss-Kahn had been staying.
Sources said she knocked on the door of Strauss-Kahn’s 28th-floor suite three times, per protocol, each time saying “Housekeeping,” louder and louder. Then, she rang the doorbell. There was no “Do Not Disturb” sign on the doorknob. There was no sign on the doorknob at all.
According to the housekeeper’s account, as relayed to FoxNews.com by law enforcement sources, that’s when the maid opened the door and encountered a naked Strauss-Kahn. He allegedly lunged at her, grabbing her breasts, throwing her on the bed and sexually assaulting her. The same sources said that’s when the woman fought back against her alleged attacker and started to run toward the door. But she slipped on the marble floor, falling on her knees, which caused severe bruising. That’s when, according to the housekeeper’s account, her still-naked attacker allegedly caught up with her and tried to force her to perform oral sex. She fended him off again, law enforcement sources said, this time successfully.
Sources told FoxNews.com, Strauss-Kahn flew to the U.S. on a G-4 visa on Air France Flight 28 from Paris to Washington, D.C., arriving Wednesday, May 11. It is unclear how he travelled from Washington to New York.
The IMF has said they would deny immunity because the alleged assault occurred when Strauss-Kahn was on a personal visit, not a business trip.
Back at the hotel, the housekeeper, after allegedly escaping the grip of the IMF chief, rushed downstairs, where she told hotel workers of the alleged attack; they then rushed upstairs to find the alleged assaulter. But by the time they reached Strauss-Kahn’s room, he was gone, already downstairs at the front desk checking out and paying for his $3,000-a-night room with his personal credit card, sources said.
Law enforcement sources said Strauss-Kahn appeared to be in such a rush to get out of the hotel he left his cell phone and other personal effects behind in his room.
While he was in the car heading to the airport, the housekeeper was reluctant to speak with police. When detectives arrived, she was taken to the hospital, where a rape kit was conducted. DNA evidence was found, sources said.
On Sunday afternoon, the housekeeper identified Strauss-Kahn in a line-up. Hours later, attorneys for Strauss-Kahn announced that their client had consented to a physical examination.
Earlier on Sunday, New York District Attorney Cyrus Vance made an appearance at the Sofitel hotel, where sources say he conducted interviews.
Strauss-Kahn was expected to be the main challenger against President Nicolas Sarkozy, whose political fortunes have been flagging, in next year's presidential elections. The arrest could shake up the race and throw the long-divided Socialists back into disarray about who they could present as Sarkozy's opponent.
Environment Minister Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet lamented the shadow the incident could cast on all of France.
"I'm very surprised to see at what speed in France we rush to political conclusions about a subject that is a serious one. He is accused of very serious acts. We are hardly speaking at all of the alleged victim," she said Monday on Canal-Plus television. In addition to the hotel maid, Koscuisko-Morizet said there is another "clear victim, which is France."
Strauss-Kahn's wife, Anne Sinclair, defended him in a statement to French news agency AFP.
"I do not believe for one second the accusations brought against my husband. I have no doubt his innocence will be established," said Sinclair, a New York-born journalist who hosted a popular weekly TV news broadcast in France in the 1980s.
In 2008, Strauss-Kahn was briefly investigated over whether he had an improper relationship with a subordinate female employee. The IMF board found that the relationship was consensual, but called his actions "regrettable" and said they "reflected a serious error of judgment."
The IMF employee left the fund and took a job with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
Strauss-Kahn issued an apology, writing in an email to IMF staff that he showed poor judgment but didn't abuse his position.
One of his allies, Jean-Marie Le Guen, expressed doubt about the current case.
"The facts as they've been reported today have nothing to do with the Dominique Strauss-Kahn that we know," Le Guen said on BFM television. "Dominique Strauss-Kahn has never exhibited violence toward people close to him, to anyone."
Strauss-Kahn was supposed to be meeting in Berlin on Sunday with German Chancellor Angela Merkel about aid to debt-laden Greece, and then join EU finance ministers in Brussels on Monday and Tuesday. The IMF is responsible for one-third of Greece's existing loan package, and his expected presence at these meetings underlined the gravity of the Greek crisis.
Associated Press contributed to this report.