As Dominique Strauss-Kahn languishes on suicide watch in New York's Rikers Island prison following the alleged sexual assault at a Manhattan hotel, a fresh set of mugshots emerges to the world media.

Strauss-Kahn is accused of attempted rape and unlawful imprisonment. The allegations are extremely serious and can carry a multi-year prison sentence in the United States.

Sex scandals among politicians, however, are hardly unprecedented.

Improper sexual behavior - if monogamy is the standard for propriety - has arguably always existed among rulers and politicians; they've only come to light in modern times because the media in certain Western countries have been willing to report them to the public.

If Strauss-Kahn is actually convicted and jailed, his misstep would be the second biggest sex scandal in the history of modern politics; he would not only lose his title as the IMF's chief, but also kill his political career in France.

Before this scandal, Strauss-Kahn was the leading candidate for the 2012 French presidential elections, according to polls.

In 2007, a French journalist said Strauss-Kahn tried to rape her. In 2008, he was accused of having an affair with a married subordinate. He was able to brush off these two instances of alleged sexual impropriety.