Strauss-Kahn faces 'group rape' inquiry

Tue, May 22, 2012, 01:00

LILLE – French prosecutors say they have opened an inquiry into allegations of group rape by former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn and three friends, as part of an investigation into his ties to a suspected prostitution ring in the northern city of Lille.

The French Socialist Party politician is under formal investigation over whether he was aware he was dealing with prostitutes and pimps when attending sex parties in Lille, Paris and Washington in 2010 and 2011 that were organised by business acquaintances.

Investigators asked prosecutors to extend the inquiry after a prostitute told them in her deposition that Mr Strauss-Kahn and his friends forced her to have sex in a group when she went to Washington to meet him in December 2010. The woman has not filed a formal complaint.

“Following accusations by investigators . . . relating to events in Washington between December 15th and 18th, 2010, that they believe could be qualified as group rape, Lille prosecutors have ordered the start of a preliminary inquiry,” the prosecutors said.

The case, dubbed the “Carlton affair” after the high-class hotel where the prostitution ring is alleged to have operated, is the latest scandal to bedevil Mr Strauss-Kahn, whose career as a high-flying economist and Socialist politician was shattered last year by a separate sexual encounter.

Once tipped to win France’s presidential race, he was forced to abandon his political plans and step down as head of the IMF after being arrested in New York last May on charges of attempting to rape a hotel maid. – (Reuters)