Update as of 6:42 a.m. EDT: Former IMF Chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn has been found not guilty of soliciting prostitutes for parties across Europe and the United States, in a case that has drawn on for four years, the BBC reported Friday.
Ex-IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn found not guilty of procuring prostitutes for parties in France, Belgium and US http://t.co/JToU9gV2OO
— BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) June 12, 2015
French judges ruling on the case said there was no evidence to convict Strauss-Kahn, Bloomberg reported.
A French court is set to decide Friday whether Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief, is guilty of charges of "aggravated pimping." If convicted, the 66-year-old, once tipped to become the president of France, will face 10 years of imprisonment.
Strauss-Kahn was charged in 2012 for his alleged involvement in a prostitution ring run out of luxury hotels in northern France, mostly during his time as IMF head. He and his lawyers denied the accusations during the February trial this year in the French city of Lille, maintaining that he attended the orgies but was not aware that some women were sex workers. His lawyer asked the court how anyone "could be expected to know a woman was a prostitute, just by looking at her," according to Sky News.
While prostitution is legal in France, procuring sex workers for others is illegal in the country.
The trial heard the lurid testimonies from women who claimed they were paid to attend the orgies in Paris, Lille and Washington and asked to perform demeaning sex acts, Sky News reported. There are reportedly 14 defendants in the case. Sex workers had described Strauss-Kahn’s behavior as rough at some of the parties. To this, he argued that he has an appetite for rougher-than-average sex but did not know that the women were prostitutes, Reuters reported.
The Socialist politician further argued that obtaining services from prostitutes "horrified" him and that paying for sex would be risky for a man at the helm of an international organization, which was busy "saving the world" from the economic crisis that started in 2008, Agence France-Presse reported.
State prosecutor Frederic Fevre had recommended the court that Strauss-Kahn be acquitted, saying that they were "working with the penal code, not the moral code," according to BBC. He also said that neither the investigation nor the evidence established that he was guilty.