NEW YORK, N.Y. – A judge was expected to rule on whether to allow a hotel maid’s sexual assault lawsuit against Dominique Strauss-Kahn after the former International Monetary Fund leader claimed diplomatic immunity.
Bronx state Supreme Court Justice Douglas McKeon heard arguments in March on the civil case that emerged from the May 2011 hotel-room encounter that also spurred now-dismissed criminal charges against Strauss-Kahn, then a French presidential contender. The episode was the first in a series of allegations about his sexual conduct that sank his political career. The judge has been weighing whether or not to allow the lawsuit to go forward. He was to rule on Tuesday.
The housekeeper, Nafissatou Diallo, 33, said Strauss-Kahn, 63, tried to rape her when she arrived to clean his Manhattan hotel suite. Strauss-Kahn has denied doing anything violent during the encounter.
Prosecutors dropped related criminal charges last summer, saying they had developed doubts about her trustworthiness because she had lied about her background and her actions right after the alleged attack. She has insisted she told the truth about what happened in the encounter itself.
Strauss-Kahn didn’t assert immunity from the criminal prosecution, and he resigned his IMF job days after his arrest. But his lawyers argued he should be immune from the lawsuit, which was filed about three months later. They say his job title afforded him the luxury under international rules.
But Diallo’s lawyers said the immunity claim is off base. They stressed that an IMF spokesman said shortly after Strauss-Kahn’s arrest that he didn’t have immunity because he was on personal business during his encounter with Diallo. Strauss-Kahn was visiting his daughter in New York.
The Associated Press generally doesn’t name people who report being sexually assaulted unless they come forward publicly, as Diallo has done.
After Strauss-Kahn’s arrest in New York, a French writer came forward to say Strauss-Kahn tried to rape her during a 2003 interview. Paris prosecutors said that accusation was too old to try, but French authorities have pursued an unrelated allegation that he was involved in a hotel prostitution ring including prominent city figures and police in Lille.
In March, he was handed preliminary charges, which mean authorities have reason to believe a crime was committed but allow more time for investigation.
His French lawyer said the married Strauss-Kahn engaged in “libertine” acts but did nothing legally wrong and is being unfairly targeted for his extramarital sex life.
Associated Press Writer Colleen Long contributed to this report.