Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and a possible French presidential candidate, was hauled off the Air France flight about 10 minutes before it was to take off at John F. Kennedy International Airport on Saturday afternoon and turned over to police for questioning in connection with an alleged sexual assault.

Strauss-Kahn, who was taken off the flight by officers with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which patrols John F. Kennedy International Airport, is being questioned as part of an investigation into an alleged sexual assault, a New York police officer said.

The alleged victim, a 32-year-old hotel maid, told authorities that she had entered Strauss-Kahn's room at the Sofitel near Manhattan's Times Square at about 1 p.m. Saturday and he had tried to sexually assault her after throwing her down on the floor, Paul J. Browne, New York Police Department (NYPD) spokesman said. The woman said Strauss-Kahn was naked when he attacked her. However, she managed to break herself free and escaped from the room before alerting the hotel staff, who in turn, informed the police. The maid suffered minor injuries during the ordeal and was taken to Roosevelt Hospital for treatment.

Browne said Strauss-Kahn had left the hotel by the time the police arrived at the hotel, leaving behind his cellphone and other personal belongings. It looked like he got out of there in a hurry, Browne said. The sexual assault allegedly took place around 1 p.m. The flight Strauss-Kahn had boarded was scheduled to take off at around 5p.m.

Strauss-Kahn, 62, who gained international recognition as France's finance minister in 1997-99, was rejected by the French Socialists as their presidential candidate in 2006. However, he's a possible challenger to French President Nicolas Sarkozy re-election bid in the 2012 presidential election.

William Murray, a spokesman for the IMF in Washington, said the IMF had no immediate comment on the reports of Strauss-Kahn's arrest.

This is not the first time Strauss-Kahn had his brush with the law. In 2008, he was briefly investigated over whether he had an improper relationship with a subordinate female employee. The IMF board found his actions regrettable and said they reflected a serious error of judgment. The board, however, found that the relationship was consensual.

The NYPD said no charges have been pressed yet against Strauss-Kahn. Investigations are still going on.