Strauss-Kahn faces charges for alleged role in pimping circle

Dominique Strauss-Kahn has been charged with aggravated pimping. Photo: World Trade Organization for flickr.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn has been charged with aggravated pimping. Photo: World Trade Organization for flickr.

Former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn faces trial in Paris on charges of “aggravated pimping as part of a group.”

A Lille court had previously decided in November 2012 to push back the hearing, but now the trial will occur in spite of recommendations from prosecutors to drop allegations.

Aggravated pimping, as listed under France’s penal code, includes prostitution of minors, use of weaponry, and utilization of multiple prostitutes while operating in a group setting. The crime carries a ten-year prison sentence and a fine of 1.5 million euros.

Strauss-Kahn is accused of attending gatherings and events staffed with prostitutes who were paid hefty sums. The case rests on whether he was aware that these women were paid. His lawyers stress that Strauss-Kahn had indeed visited “libertine” parties in the past, but was not informed that the women were prostitutes until faced with the charges last fall. The ex-head of the IMF was originally charged with “aggravated pimping as part of an organized gang,” an offense punishable by up to 20 years in prison. However, the accusations publicized this Friday are less serious.

Laws addressing aggravated pimping also exist throughout the United States. In the state of Maine, the crime is known as forcing a person into prostitution and bears a sentence of up to 10 years. In Texas, the “aggravated promotion of prostitution” is defined as pimping with more than one prostitute. As a third-degree felony, it carries the same sentence. Prostitution as a form of employment is legal in France, unlike in the United States.

“The defense’s line is simple: there is no fact that deserves legal prosecution,” reasoned Richard Malka, one of Strauss-Kahn’s lawyers in an interview with French newspaper L’Express. Frederique Baulieu — another member of the defense team— has stated that the ex-chief did not knowingly commit any crime.

“He did not commit the offense of prostitution. He neither aided nor assisted prostitution,” Baulieu said. She further accused the Lille judges of basing their verdict on ethics and morals rather than the letter of the law, adding that she and Strauss-Kahn are awaiting “a public debate that will show the absurdity of this decision.”

However, the Lille prosecutor’s office released a statement detailing that it has carried out a “deep and meticulous analysis” of the 33 files of the case.

Strauss-Kahn first made global headlines in May 2011 for his New York arrest following a sexual assault allegation from a Manhattan hotel maid. Strauss-Kahn stepped down from his position as chief of the IMF. Once viewed as a frontrunner for the 2012 French presidential elections, he was pressured into abandoning his political aspirations.

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  1. […] IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn faces trial in Paris on charges of “aggravated pimping as part of a group.” Aggravated pimping, as listed under France’s penal code, includes prostitution of minors, use of […]

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