The former chief of the International Monetary Fund goes on trial Monday in France for charges of aggravated pimping. Dominique Strauss-Kahn, 65, is accused of soliciting sex workers for sex parties for a prostitution ring at hotels in Lille and sex parties in Paris, Lille and Washington. The case -- only the latest in a string of sex-related accusations against Strauss-Kahn -- is known as the Carlton affair.
Strauss-Kahn has admitted to attending these sex parties. The heart of the case, according to AFP, is whether the former IMF chief knew women at the parties were being paid. He says he did not. According to the AFP, prosecutors aim to show that his presence at the parties encouraged prostitution. According to the BBC, Strauss-Kahn is accused of exploiting business contacts to find women to hire for sex parties. In 2012, Strauss-Kahn unsuccessfully appealed the pimping charges against him.
In a previous high-profile case against Strauss-Kahn, commonly referred to as DSK, he was accused in 2011 by a hotel maid in New York of attempted rape. The criminal charges were later dropped, but not before they put an end to Strauss-Kahn’s potential bid for the French presidency.
The trial is expected to last three weeks, according to AFP, and is being held in the Palais de Justice in Lille. Strauss-Kahn appears Monday with 13 others, including a convicted pimp, “Dodo the Pimp.” Aggravated pimping carries a punishment of up to 10 years and a fine of up to 1.5 million euros ($1.7 million). In France, prostitution is legal but pimping is not.
Other such cases against Strauss-Kahn, including allegations of sexual assault in Paris in 2003 and an investigation into alleged gang rape in 2012, were dropped. The 2003 incident involved French author Tristane Banon, who said Strauss-Kahn attacked her during a meeting. A live report of the trial by AFP can be viewed here. So far it anticipates “lurid details” of “high-end prostitution” along with “a colorful cast of characters.”