Strauss-Kahn Meets Rape Accuser at Paris Police Station

Posted September 29th, 2011 at 3:50 pm (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

Former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn has held a two-hour meeting with French writer Tristane Banon, who accused him of attempted rape after luring her to an empty apartment with the promise of an interview in 2003.

The face-to-face meeting was held without lawyers in a Paris police station Thursday. Police investigators were present and the meeting could determine whether prosecutors press charges in the case.

Neither side indicated a change in their claims during the confrontation. Strauss-Kahn has called the charge “imaginary,” and says their encounter was consensual. Banon says Strauss-Kahn tried to force himself on her and tore at her clothes as she attempted to fight him off.

Legal sources have pointed out it might be difficult for Banon to make a criminal case because of a lack of physical evidence since the alleged attack took place eight years ago. It is also possible the charges could be downgraded and dismissed due to the statute of limitations. But Banon has said she will bring a civil lawsuit against the ex-IMF chief if prosecutors do not move forward with a criminal prosecution.

Strauss-Kahn returned home to France earlier this month after separate sexual assault charges against him were dropped in the United States.

He resigned as the IMF's managing director in May after being arrested at John F. Kennedy International airport and charged with the sexual assault and attempted rape of a hotel maid in New York City. U.S. prosecutors dropped the case, saying they did not trust the accuser, Guinean immigrant Nafissatou Diallo. Strauss-Kahn still faces a civil lawsuit by the maid.

Earlier this month, Strauss-Kahn told a French television station that he regrets having sex with Diallo, calling the incident a “moral failing.” But he said that his encounter with the maid was also consensual, insisting there was no aggression or violence involved.

Strauss-Kahn says he has ruled out a run for the French presidency next year, calling his political future “uncertain.”