A pimping case against former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn nearly unraveled Monday, as five of six plaintiffs in a French prostitution trial dropped their accusations against him, saying there's no proof that he violated the law.
Strauss-Kahn has testified to having orgies while he was managing the world financial crisis, to being “rough” with his sexual “conquests,” and to needing sex with exceptional frequency. But none of that is illegal.
Strauss-Kahn is accused of aggravated pimping over a series of sex parties in France, Washington and Brussels while he was leading the IMF and was married. He's one of 14 people accused of involvement in a prostitution ring run out of the Hotel Carlton in Lille.
Strauss-Kahn insists he didn't know the women involved were prostitutes. Two of his codefendants say they recruited and paid the women themselves and built a wall of silence to ensure that Strauss-Kahn wasn't aware.
Lawyers for four prostitutes and an association that had filed suit announced Monday that they are abandoning their pursuit of Strauss-Kahn, court officials said. The five plaintiffs maintained accusations against other defendants in the trial, but the prostitutes are seeking only one euro in symbolic damages from the others, the officials said.
Only one association, a group pushing to abolish prostitution called Nid or “nest,” maintained its accusations against Strauss-Kahn and his 13 codefendants.
That could still be enough to persuade the three-judge panel to hand down convictions.
Strauss-Kahn faces up to 10 years in prison and $1.7 million in fines if convicted.