The five month saga that was the Dominique Strauss-Kahn sexual assault case comes to a close this week as the former chief of the International Monetary Fund and opponent of French Prime Minister Nicholas Sarkozy prepares to return to Paris this weekend. When he gets there, he will not be welcomed warmly by members of his own Socialist Party, or the two thirds of his countrymen who — according to a recent poll — don’t want him involved in government.
In May, Strauss-Kahn was accused of sexually assaulting and attempting to rape a 32-year-old maid, Nafissatou Diallo, at the Sofitel Hotel in Midtown Manhattan. After a number inconsistencies in Diallo’s story came to light, and the case against Strauss-Kahn became increasingly complex and unusual, a judge eventually dismissed the charges.
Read about how the scandal unfolded in the timeline below:
May 13: Dominque Strauss-Kahn, International Monetary Fund chief , checks into room 2806 at the luxury Sofitel hotel in Manhattan for $3,000/night.
May 14: Strauss-Kahn is arrested at Kennedy International Airport on “charges of criminal sexual act, attempted rape and an unlawful imprisonment in connection with a sexual assault,” reports the New York Post. His accuser — a 32-year-old maid at the Midtown hotel where Strauss had been staying — claims he jumped on her and forced her to perform a sexual act.
May 16: A Manhattan Criminal Court denies Strauss-Kahn bail. An assistant district attorney tells the court that Strauss-Kahn attempted to rape the maid, and when he was unsuccessful, he forced her to perform oral sex on him. He is transferred to Rikers Island. Reported by Reuters.
May 18: Strauss-Kahn resigns as managing director of the IMF in a letter to the executive board, saying that he wants to devote “all his energy” to fighting the charges. He cites “infinite sadness” in leaving his post and a desire to “protect this institution which I have served with honour and devotion.” The victim testifies to a grand jury. Reported by The Guardian. In response to France’s shock that Strauss-Kahn was forced to do the so-called perp walk, Mayor Michael Bloomberg says, “I think it is humiliating, but if you don’t want to do the perp walk, don’t do the crime.” Reported by the New York Post.
May 19: A grand jury indicts Strauss-Kahn. His bail is set at $5 million, which he pays, under the condition that he will be held under house with around-the-clock surveillance. Reported by WNYC.
May 20: Strauss-Kahn is released from Rikers Island and moves into an apartment near Wall Street.
May 25: Strauss-Kahn finds a new apartment in TriBeCa that rents for a reported $50,000 per month. Reported by Curbed.
June 6: At a Manhattan Criminal Court, Strauss-Kahn pleads not guilty to charges of sexual assault and attempted rape. Lawyers request six weeks to review evidence. Reported by the New York Times.
June 30: Investigators turn up evidence that appears to jeopardize the prosecution’s case. Although forensic tests show evidence of a physical encounter between Strauss-Kahn and his accuser, prosecutors express doubts about witness credibility based on findings that the accuser contacted a convicted drug dealer one hour before the alleged sexual assault. In that call, she discussed the potential financial benefits of pressing charges against Strauss-Kahn, according to investigators. The investigators also say that the incarcerated drug dealer have been making large deposits into the accuser’s bank account for two years, which they say is an indication of money laundering. The woman pleads total ignorance, saying only that her fiance made the deposits. Reported by the New York Times.
July 1: After a hearing in a New York State Supreme Court, Strauss-Kahn is released from house arrest without bail, based on perceived inconsistencies within the case. The accuser admits that she was never gang raped, as she once claimed on her application for asylum in the Untied States. The DA states that the investigative process will continue. Reported by the New York Times.
July 5: Strauss-Kahn’s accuser sues the New York Post for libel after the paper reports that she was working as a prostitute during her time as a housekeeper. Reported by United Press International. When questioned about his thoughts on the perp walk, Bloomberg — in a reversal of position — claims he has always found them “outrageous.” Reported by the New York Times.
July 6: Strauss-Kahn faces additional charges in France after prosecutors receive complaints from French novelist Tristan Barone, 32, that Strauss-Kahn assaulted her eight years ago. In New York, Strauss-Kahn’s lawyers meet with prosecutors in private. The prosecutors offer Strauss-Kahn a plea deal for a minor charge, which Strauss-Kahn did not expect. He rejects the deal. His lawyers call the meeting “productive.” The accuser’s lawyer sends a letter to the district attorney, asking him to step down from the case. Reported by the Washington Post and the New York Times.
July 8: French prosecutors open an investigation into allegations that Strauss-Kahn attempted to rape Barone. Reported by the New York Times.
July 19: Anne Mansouret admits that she had sex with former IMF Chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn around 2000, which she describes as “consensual but brutal.” Mansouret is the mother of Tristane Banon. Reported by the New York Post. Another unexpected event occurs in a Manhattan Criminal Court, when the lawyer for Strauss-Kahn’s first accuser arrives uninvited to a meeting between the District Attorney and Banon’s lawyer, reported DNAinfo.
July 25: Strauss-Kahn’s accuser makes her identity public for the first time. In interviews with Newsweek and ABC-TV, Nafissatou Diallo describes unsettling details of how Strauss-Kahn allegedly forced her to perform sexual acts at the Sofitel Hotel. In a written statement, Strauss-Kahn’s lawyer says, “Ms. Diallo is the first accuser in history to conduct a media campaign to persuade a prosecutor to pursue charges against a person from whom she wants money.”
July 26: Strauss-Kahn’s hearing is postponed for the second time, and will now be held on August 23. Reported by the New York Times.
July 27: Diallo meets with prosecutors at the Manhattan district attorney’s office. The New York Times reports that Diallo is expected to discuss the questionable conversation she had with a prison inmate the day after she says Strauss-Kahn assaulted her.
July 28: The New York Post reports that Diallo will make her first public appearance on Thursday in Brooklyn to thank her supporters.
August 8: Diallo files a civil suit against Strauss-Kahn, reported the New York Observer.
August 22: Prosecutors for the Manhattan DA file paperwork to drop the case against Strauss-Kahn, reported the New York Times. Diallo’s lawyer files a motion to have the DA removed from the case, according to several reports.
August 23: A judge orders that the charges against Strauss-Kahn be dropped. The decision is stayed pending the filing of an appeal by the accuser’s lawyer, according to the New York Times.
September 1: Reuters reports that Strauss-Kahn is preparing to return to Paris by the week’s end, and that members of his own party are distancing themselves from Strauss-Kahn as polls show that the French people do not want him in government.