French court ac­quits Strauss-Kahn of pimp­ing charges

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL - BY MARINE LAOUCHEZ AND FRAN BLANDY

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.

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