(JTA) — A French court cleared Dominique Strauss-Kahn, a former head of the International Monetary Fund, of pimping charges.
Three judges of the Correctional Tribunal of the northern French city of Lille determined Friday that Strauss-Kahn, who is Jewish, did not promote or profit from the prostitution of seven women as prosecutors charged based on police investigations that began in 2011 into an alleged prostitution network at Lille’s smart Hotel Carlton.
Strauss-Kahn, who resigned from the IMF following allegations of sex crimes, said he has sought “recreation” from the stress of world politics by having rough sex with strangers at orgies in Europe and the United States, but he denied any knowledge of the women’s employment as sex workers, AFP reported.
The judges said there was no proof he knew that some of the women he had sex with at orgies were prostitutes. Throughout his trial, he maintained that he had not known that some of the partners brought to him by business friends at group-sex sessions had been paid, saying he thought they were merely “swingers” like himself. The businessmen told the women who had sex with Strauss-Kahn not to say they had been paid.
Strauss-Kahn’s name came up during interrogations conducted by police with others implicated in the prostitution ring. The trial focused international attention on the sex life of Strauss-Kahn, who was married at the time. His ex-wife, Anne Sinclair, divorced him in 2013 following his investigation and indictment. Strauss-Kahn, a Socialist, was once considered a leading candidate for the French presidency.
Two sex workers said Strauss-Kahn forced them to have anal sex with him. He said he penetrated them consensually.
In New York, a hotel maid, Nafissatou Diallo, complained in 2011 that Strauss-Kahn tried to rape her, but prosecutors dropped criminal charges after investigating her claims. Strauss-Kahn settled a civil action with her out of court. Fabrice Paszkowski, 47, who was a close friend of Strauss-Kahn, was also cleared on pimping charges, as was David Roquet, a building contractors who also attended orgies with Strauss-Kahn. Also cleared was Jean-Christophe Lagarde, 50, a Lille police chief.