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Maid denies consensual sex with IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn

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Dominique Strauss-Kahn leaves court after being granted bail in his case in New York state Supreme Court

Dominique Strauss-Kahn leaves court after being granted bail in his case in New York state Supreme Court

Dominique Strauss-Kahn is currently confined to the Riker's Island Penal Complex in New York's East River (AP)

Dominique Strauss-Kahn is currently confined to the Riker's Island Penal Complex in New York's East River (AP)

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Dominique Strauss-Kahn leaves court after being granted bail in his case in New York state Supreme Court

The hotel maid who has accused Dominique Strauss-Kahn of attempted rape was due to testify before a grand jury behind closed doors last night as her lawyers dismissed any notion that she consented to sexual contact with the head of the International Monetary Fund in the penthouse suite of New York's Sofitel Hotel.

Prosecutors and defence lawyers were scrambling to prepare for a second court hearing that may set bail for the former French finance minister.

But for now, Mr Strauss-Kahn remains under suicide watch in his solitary cell at New York City's spartan Rikers Island jail complex.

The victim of the alleged assault is reportedly from West Africa and was given asylum in the US seven years ago. Her lawyers dismissed suggestions she played a role in a plot to entrap Mr Strauss-Kahn, who was seen as a leading contender in next year's French presidential election.

Prosecutors were expected to press yesterday's grand jury to offer up formal charges or an indictment to be read to the 62-year-old defendant when he appears at Manhattan Criminal Court. Without an indictment, holding Mr Strauss-Kahn in custody any longer would be hard to justify.

The seven charges would include forceful imprisonment and attempted rape. If he is found guilty of the most serious count, he could face 25 years behind bars.

Meanwhile, the second wife of Dominique Strauss-Kahn — Brigitte Guillemette, whom he married in 1984 — has defended her ex-husband.

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She said it was “unthinkable and impossible” he would have raped a maid.

“The facts related by the American police are not compatible with the man I know and with whom I lived for more than 10 years,” she said.

Ms Guillemette also questioned the motives of the French writer pressing charges against Mr Strauss-Kahn for sexual assault and attempted rape in 2002.

Tristane Banon is Miss Guillemette's goddaughter and was her daughter's best friend.

“I ask the question: why is a young woman deciding to file a complaint several years after the event?” she said.

Yesterday, there was an unsympathetic response from the Mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg, to complaints from France that Mr Strauss-Kahn was unfairly paraded before the media when he was shown walking out of a police station in handcuffs — the so-called ‘perp walk’.

“I think it is humiliating, but if you don't want to do the perp walk, don't do the crime,” Mr Bloomberg said.

It is likely to be at least six months before the case comes to trial, which made securing bail a priority for the defence team.


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