French pimping trial starts for ex-IMF chief - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

French pimping trial starts for ex-IMF chief

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 The trial of former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn is under way in France -- where he's accused of taking part in an international prostitution ring. Prosecutors say it was set up to provide him with prostitutes for orgies at luxury hotels in France and the United States.

   Strauss-Kahn was once considered nearly a shoo-in to become France's president. But then he was arrested and jailed in New York for four days, after a maid accused him of sexually assaulting her at a hotel. Prosecutors ended up dropping the case, saying the accuser had weakened her credibility. Strauss-Kahn said the sexual encounter was consensual, but he called it a "moral failing."

   The French economist faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of $1.7 million if he's convicted in the prostitution case. Investigators have compiled hundreds of pages of testimony from prostitutes describing orgies he and his co-defendants allegedly organized.

   Strauss-Kahn admits that he took part in what he calls "libertine" activities, but he insists he never knew the women were prostitutes.

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