Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund, was refused release on bail on charges of attempting to rape a hotel maid because he is considered a flight risk.  As this allegation emerged, prosecutors are working to verify similar previous incident reports on sex charges against him.

Although Strauss-Kahn's attorneys claimed his innocence of the charges against him, they failed in a bid for the bail. In France, his story is said to be more dramatic than the movies being exhibited at Cannes. Strauss-Kahn's weekend arrest has left the IMF in disarray and moreover, it may almost certainly end his presidential hopes.  Strauss-Kahn was expected to pose a serious challenge to Nicolas Sarkozy's re-election bid in the 2012 French presidential election.

This is not the first time Strauss-Kahn is caught up in a sex scandal.  In France, a lawyer said his client, a novelist, is likely to file a criminal complaint accusing the IMF chief of sexually assaulting her nine years ago.  A French lawmaker has also accused him of attacking other maids during previous stays at the Sofitel luxury hotel in New York.   

According to the latest victim, a 32 year old maid, when she entered Strauss-Kahn's $3000 per night suite, thinking it was empty, Strauss-Kahn, naked, came out suddenly from the bathroom and chased her before violently groping her breasts, tearing off her bra and pantyhose, and then forced her to perform oral sex.  The maid struggled and was able to break free and escaped with minor injuries.  She then reported the sexual assault to the hotel management who in turn alerted the police.

Defense  attorney Benjamin Brafman defended Strauss-Kahn saying that his client voluntarily worked with the authorities in a forensic examination.  There is also testimony that Strauss-Kahn was not trying to flee the scene before the police arrived.  Rather he was rushing to catch a booked Air France flight to Paris, because he was late.  Brafman also said that Strauss-Kahn had told the authorities of his whereabouts at the airport after the hotel security called him. Strauss-Kahn was arrested in Air France's first class cabin right before the plane was taking off to Paris. 

The prosecutors requested the court to deny Strauss-Kahn bail suggesting that he was a flight risk, because  he would make a flee to France to avoid extradition.  France does not have any extradition treaty with the US. 

The allegations and photos of a handcuffed Strauss-Kahn has left France in shock.  Supporters such as the Socialist party leader Martine Aubry described the event as profoundly humiliating and were of unbearable cruelty.  Environment minister Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet commented It's so French to see conspiracies everywhere, it's something in our culture I think.

Supporters of Strauss-Kahn are denouncing the recent turn of events, suspecting his rivals to have conspired a smear campaign to foil his presidential bid next year.