French prosecutors open investigation into Strauss-Kahn gang rape allegations
French prosecutors have opened a preliminary investigation into accusations that disgraced ex-IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn took part in a gang rape in the United States.
Earlier this month Lille prosecutors said investigating magistrates in the case had submitted new evidence, based on testimony from two Belgian sex workers, that could also implicate him and three other men in a gang rape.
Testimony from one of the prostitutes indicated that she had been forced into a non-consensual sex act while in Washington in December 2010 with Strauss-Kahn and the other accused. She has not filed a complaint.In a statement from his lawyers this month Strauss-Kahn denied the accusations, saying he "absolutely contests having committed the slightest act of violence of any nature whatsoever."
Strauss-Kahn, two businessmen and a police chief have already been charged with "aggravated pimping in an organised gang" in Lille for allegedly organising a prostitution ring for orgies in France, the United States and elsewhere.
The former head of the International Monetary Fund and frontrunner for the French presidency, Strauss-Kahn suffered a stunning fall from grace following his arrest last year on accusations he sexually assaulted a New York hotel maid.
The charges were eventually dropped but Strauss-Kahn, 63, has since faced a series of criminal and civil actions in connection with alleged sex crimes.
The hotel maid, Nafissatou Diallo, has launched a civil suit against Strauss-Kahn in New York seeking unspecified damages, while he has in turn filed a ê1 million countersuit for malicious prosecution and defamation.
The pimping case in Lille centres on accusations that prostitutes were procured for sex parties attended by Strauss-Kahn and paid for by executives who corruptly charged the parties to company expenses.
Strauss-Kahn admits he attended a string of orgies in various cities, but insists he had no idea that many of the female guests were paid to attend, telling police in a reported interview that he may have been "naive".