French court acquits Strauss-Kahn of pimping charges
A French court on Friday acquitted former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn of pimping charges, drawing a line under a series of legal woes over his sexual escapades.
The 66- year- old economist merely nodded his head in ac- knowledgement of the verdict, the finale of a colorful trial which dragged intimate details of his sex life into the public eye.
His acquittal on the charge of “aggravated pimping” did not come as a surprise after the prosecutor called for him to be let off due to lack of evidence at the end of the three-week trial in February.
Chief Judge Bernard Lemaire ruled that Strauss-Kahn was not the “instigator” of orgies attended by prostitutes but merely the “beneficiary of group sex.”
In France, while prostitution is legal, procuring and benefiting from the practice is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
Strauss-Kahn’s veteran lawyer Henri Leclerc, 84, said the verdict proved his assessment that there was “no fact of any nature proving” his client’s guilt.
The trial was the latest in a long series of high-profile corruption or sexual scandals that have landed Strauss-Kahn in the dock in the past 15 years only to fizzle out.
Most recently, Strauss- Kahn saw his high-flying career at the head of the International Monetary Fund — and his French presidential prospects — implode when a New York hotel maid accused him of sexual assault in 2011.
Not long after those criminal charges were dropped and the case settled in a civil suit, his name cropped up in a probe into a prostitution ring in northern France, which provided sex workers for orgies he attended.