Friday 26 May 2017

DSK's dizzying trip from top hotel to cell

Minute by minute -- how powerful banker's world imploded

TRIAL: Mr Strauss-Kahn in New York's Supreme Court last Thursday Photo: AP
TRIAL: Mr Strauss-Kahn in New York's Supreme Court last Thursday Photo: AP

Michelle Nichols, Edith Honan and Basil Katz in New York and Mark Hosenball in Washington

Fallen IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn left jail on bail on Friday and was whisked to a safe house off Wall Street where he will be held under round-the-clock armed guard.

Charged with trying to rape a hotel maid in Manhattan, the scandal appears to have wrecked Mr Strauss-Kahn's hopes of running for the presidency of France. He has denied the charges and is due to reappear in a New York court on June 6.

Here is a timeline of events:

FRIDAY MAY 13 AFTERNOON -- Mr Strauss-Kahn checked into a $3,000-a-night (€2,100) suite at the luxury Sofitel hotel in midtown Manhattan, which a law enforcement source said he got for a discounted rate of $800. The hotel is near Times Square, Broadway theatres, Fifth Avenue shopping and Central Park.

SATURDAY ABOUT 12 NOON -- A law enforcement official said that according to the maid's account, she entered Mr Strauss-Kahn's suite, room 2806, which she apparently thought was unoccupied. Following routine procedure, she announced herself when she entered the suite, and left the front door to the suite unlocked and ajar.

She entered the living room and didn't see anyone. Then she opened the door to the bedroom, where she saw Mr Strauss-Kahn, naked. She apologised and said she would come back later, and started to leave the room.

Mr Strauss-Kahn allegedly ran after the maid and, according to the criminal complaint filed by prosecutors, shut the door of his hotel room, preventing her from leaving. He grabbed the victim's chest without consent, attempted to remove her pantyhose, and forcibly grabbed the victim's vaginal area. His penis made contact with the victim's mouth twice through the use of force, prosecutors said.

The woman fled and reported the incident to her supervisor, who called the police. Mr Strauss-Kahn left the hotel, leaving behind his mobile phone.

An ambulance was called to the hotel and the woman was taken to a hospital where she was treated for minor injuries and released.

SATURDAY, 12.28PM -- Mr Strauss-Kahn checked out of the hotel, according to court papers filed by his lawyers with the New York State Supreme Court last Wednesday.

SATURDAY, 12.45PM -- Mr Strauss-Kahn went to a scheduled lunch a few blocks from the hotel, according to the court papers. He lunched with a family member, defence lawyers said.

SATURDAY, about 1.30PM -- Security staff at the Sofitel called police to report the alleged sexual assault. The first police units arrived at the hotel at 1.45pm, the source said.

SATURDAY, about 2.15PM -- "Mr Strauss-Kahn was driven to John F Kennedy International Airport to catch an Air France flight to Paris, which was scheduled to depart at 4.40pm.

A seat for Mr Strauss-Kahn had been reserved on that particular flight approximately one week in advance," court papers filed by defence lawyers stated.

SATURDAY, about 3.30PM -- Mr Strauss-Kahn called the hotel to ask about his missing mobile phone and asked that it be delivered to the airport.

SATURDAY, TIME UNKNOWN -- Mr Strauss-Kahn boarded Air France flight 23 for Paris and was seated in the first-class section. He had been due to meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Europe last Sunday. Defence lawyers said Mr Strauss-Kahn again called the hotel to ask about his mobile phone.

SATURDAY about 4.40PM -- Police from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which is in charge of airports, boarded the flight minutes before it was due to depart and detained Mr Strauss-Kahn. He was not handcuffed.

The Port Authority police turned him over to New York Police Department detectives. They handcuffed him.

Mr Strauss-Kahn made no statements and requested a lawyer. He was taken to the NYPD's Special Victims Unit in Harlem, which investigates sex crimes. He made no statements.

SATURDAY NIGHT/SUNDAY MORNING, TIME UNKNOWN -- The French consul general met Mr Strauss-Kahn, said Marie-Laure Charrier, a spokeswoman for the French consulate in New York.

SUNDAY 1.15AM -- Mr Strauss-Kahn's lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, told Reuters in an email that the IMF chief would plead not guilty.

SUNDAY 2.15 AM -- Mr Strauss-Kahn was arrested and charged with a criminal sexual act, attempted rape and unlawful imprisonment. He spent the night at the Special Victims Unit, sleeping in a chair.

SUNDAY 11AM -- Mr Strauss-Kahn's wife, French television personality Anne Sinclair, said in a statement: "I do not believe for a single second the accusations levelled against my husband . . . I do not doubt his innocence will be established."

SUNDAY 1PM -- Mr Strauss-Kahn's lawyers, Brafman and William Taylor, arrived and spent half an hour with their client. Brafman again said Mr Strauss-Kahn would plead not guilty.

SUNDAY 2 PM -- Sofitel New York manager Jorge Tito said in a statement sent by property owner Accor in Paris that the maid had worked for the hotel for three years and was "completely satisfactory in terms of her work and behaviour".

SUNDAY 3.50PM -- The maid arrived at the Special Victims Unit in a van and shielded from photographers by police with a white sheet. She identified Mr Strauss-Kahn in a six-man line-up, an NYPD spokesman said.

SUNDAY 11PM -- A handcuffed Mr Strauss-Kahn was taken to Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn where he was examined by forensic technicians who specialise in investigating sexual assault cases.

MONDAY about 3.30AM -- Mr Strauss-Kahn's mug shot was taken at the Manhattan Criminal Court building. The photo showed him looking haggard, his eyes downcast and his shirt collar open.

MONDAY 10.50AM -- mr Strauss-Kahn entered Manhattan Criminal Court for his hearing. Before his appearance, other defendants appeared before the judge in the media-packed courtroom on charges including drug possession and criminal trespassing.

He appeared to be dressed in the same clothes he was wearing on Sunday, looked tired, grim and unshaven.

MONDAY 12PM -- Mr Strauss-Kahn was denied bail.

MONDAY, TIME UNKNOWN -- Mr Strauss-Kahn was transferred to Rikers Island jail and held in protective custody, a spokesman for the New York City Department of Correction said.

TUESDAY, TIME UNKNOWN/ WEDNESDAY, TIME UNKNOWN -- At Mr Strauss-Kahn's request, the French consul general visited him at Rikers Island jail both days, a consul spokesman said.

WEDNESDAY -- Mr Strauss-Kahn resigned as managing director of the International Monetary Fund. "I deny with the greatest possible firmness all of the allegations that have been made against me," he said in his letter of resignation, which was released by the IMF and dated May 18.

THURSDAY, 4PM -- A New York judge granted Mr Strauss-Kahn bail. The terms were $1m cash bail and 24-hour home detention with electronic monitoring. He was ordered to have one armed guard at all times at his own expense and to have a $5m insurance bond. Prosecutors had argued that he was a flight risk.

His wife rented a New York City apartment where the couple had intended to live, his lawyer William Taylor said. The cost of the security arrangements alone was put at $200,000 a month.

THURSDAY, TIME UNKNOWN -- Mr Strauss-Kahn was taken back to Rikers Island jail. He was expected to be released on Friday when bail paperwork was completed.

FRIDAY, about 3.30PM -- A New York judge ordered that Mr Strauss-Kahn be released from Rikers Island jail and sent to a temporary home in Lower Manhattan.

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