Arraignment Rescheduled: “DSK” Agrees to Body Exam
Rumors flew throughout a very long day anticipating the appearance of, at least attorney Ben Brafman and the hoped for presentation of his high profile client Dominique Strauss Kahn – known among the French as “DSK.” What was not a rumor, was that Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the International Monetary Fund’s managing director had been arrested Saturday night (2:15 a.m. Sunday) attempting to leave the country and was held in police custody following allegations of sexual assault against a maid at the Soifetel in Manhattan. NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said Strauss-Kahn was formally arrested on charges of criminal sexual act, attempted rape and unlawful imprisonment. According to New York state law, the offences carry a potential sentence of 15-20 years.
Earlier Sunday, reporters were told that the NYPD had requested a full body examination.” Just before 10:30 Sunday night, lawyers for Strauss Kahn, William Taylor and a visibly tired Ben Brafman appeared before reporters and offered brief statements. Confirming what had been speculation, Taylor began his remarks with the announcement that “our client willingly consented to a New York City Police Department request to get a full corporal exam and will undergo a scientific and forensic examination.” (Sunday, May 15). “Brafman reiterated saying Strauss Kahn had “willingly consented to an examination at the request of government authorities,” said Brafman. Asked how his client was, Brafman said he was “tired, but he’s fine.” “He will vigorously defend and fully denies all accusations against him,” continued the attorney.
Throughout Sunday, despite a steady drizzle that forced cameras and equipment “under wraps” the court house steps remained a destination for the curious. A steady stream of visitors, many French, stopped by, seeking an update about the man many had predicted to become France’s next president.
Dominique Strauss-Kahn, known for his financial and political acumen, has also been called “the great seducer,” and has a reputation for sometimes “inappropriate” behavior with women, including an affair with an IMF employee. Until the Saturday hotel “event “- none had disrupted his political ascent that, at least until May 12, had placed him in position to be considered a leading candidate for the presidency of France.
The alleged victim states that Strauss-Kahn, unclothed, chased her and sexually assaulted her. When she escaped and informed hotel staff of the attack, they called the police. He had left before detectives arrived, leaving behind his cell phone and other personal items. When it was discovered he was at JFK, the NYPD contacted the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. PANY/NJ officers removed the Frenchman from an Air France plane and arrested him.
Sunday, she picked Strauss-Kahn out of a NYPD lineup.
Benjamin Brafman who had remained at the Harlem Special Victims unit with him, declined to answer reporters’ questions “until the arraignment.” The AP reported that “a somber-looking Strauss-Kahn was later escorted out of the precinct, his arms behind his back.” He had been arrested on charges of a criminal sex act, attempted rape and unlawful imprisonment. As noted, he agreed to a corporal examination.
Brafman, a well known criminal defense attorney, has defended high profile clients from many worlds. He has defended mobsters and celebrities, usually wining acquittal or reduced sentences. Brafman told The Algemeiner that his client will deny all charges.”
Since the arrest was announced, DSK’s wife, American born journalist Anne Sinclair, has defended him. She told AFP, the French news agency “I do not believe for one second the accusations brought against my husband. I have no doubt his innocence will be established.” Sinclair has hosted TV news broadcast in France in the 1980s.
The French reaction has been swift. A member of France’s Socialist party, Strauss-Kahn was widely considered the strongest potential challenger to President Nicolas Sarkozy. “It’s totally hallucinating. If it is true, this would be a historic moment, but in the negative sense, for French political life,” said Dominique Paille, a political rival to Strauss-Kahn on the center right, on BFM television. Still, he urged, “I hope that everyone respects the presumption of innocence. I cannot manage to believe this affair.”
“I think his political career is over,” said Philippe Martinat, who wrote a book called “DSK-Sarkozy: The Duel.” He told The Associated Press.”Behind him he has other affairs … I don’t see very well how he can pick himself back up.”
In September, Strauss Kahn was seen at a Washington area soccer game wearing shirts that read, “Yes we Kahn,” a play on the 2008 Obama campaign slogan, “Yes we can.” Will his next shirt read “Yes, we Con?”