DNA links ex-IMF leader to maid

2011-05-24 09:20
New York - Test results returned on Monday found that DNA from former International Monetary Fund leader Dominique Strauss-Kahn matched material on the work clothes of a Manhattan hotel maid who says he attacked her, two people familiar with the investigation told The Associated Press.

The two people would not describe the material found on the shirt, but said DNA matched a sample from Strauss-Kahn, who submitted to testing after his arrest more than a week ago. He denies the charges.

The two people said additional testing was being performed on other items. They were not authorised to speak publicly about the matter and spoke on condition of anonymity.

During their investigation, authorities cut out a piece of carpet and swabbed sinks and other surfaces in his hotel room. Investigators told the AP they believed the carpet in the hotel room may contain Strauss-Kahn's semen, spat out after an episode of forced oral sex by the maid.

The forensic evidence is the first to link Strauss-Kahn to the woman.

Consensual

Strauss-Kahn's attorney Benjamin Brafman declined to comment on Monday. At a court hearing last week, he told a judge that forensic evidence developed in the investigation "will not be consistent with a forcible encounter" - leading to speculation that Strauss-Kahn's defence would argue that it was consensual.

NYPD spokesperson Paul J Browne and the Manhattan District Attorney's office would not comment.

The one-time French presidential contender has been charged with a criminal sex act, attempted rape and sexual abuse and is free on $1m bail, under house arrest at a lower Manhattan apartment.

He has been accused of attacking the 32-year-old West African immigrant on May 14 in his luxury suite at the Sofitel hotel near Manhattan's Times Square. His lawyers say he is innocent.

Staff at the Sofitel told authorities that the 62-year-old had made passes at them the day before the alleged attack, including flirting with a clerk and calling another employee to ask her up to his room, according to a third person with direct knowledge of investigators' interviews with staff.

Strauss-Kahn had flirted with one female staff member who accompanied him to his suite to make sure his accommodations were satisfactory after he checked in on May 13, the person said.

Later, he phoned the desk clerk who had checked him in, asking her if she would like to get together with him when she got off duty, the person said. The desk clerk refused, saying she was not allowed to socialise with the VIP guest, the person said.

Temporary location

That person also wasn't authorised to speak publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

On Monday, lawyers for Strauss-Kahn continued to search for new accommodations for their client as he awaits trial. His bail agreement hit a snag late last week after tenants at the Upper East Side apartment building chosen for his house arrest refused to allow him, citing unwanted media attention.

Strauss-Kahn is currently housed at a temporary location under watch by armed guards with Stroz Friedberg, the same company that guarded disgraced financier Bernard Madoff.

It was not clear when he would be moved. French and US media have been staking out the building where Strauss-Kahn spent the weekend after he was released from his Rikers Island jail cell.

He resigned last Wednesday from the IMF.

His attorneys have described Strauss-Kahn as a loving father and family man. They say his actions after the alleged attack are not those of a guilty man eager for a quick escape.

He left the hotel, had lunch and then phoned later to ask if he'd left anything behind. When he was told by hotel staff they had his cellphone, he told them exactly where he was: At John F Kennedy International Airport on a flight bound for Paris. Authorities pulled him from the jetliner.
- AP
Read more on:    imf  |  dominique strauss-kahn  |  genetics
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