NYPD shrugs off semen source claim

2011-05-24 12:43

New York – New York police today denied being the source of news reports that traces of semen from ex-International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn on a chambermaid’s clothes, saying investigators had so far given “no result and no information” about the DNA test results.

Various media reports yesterday, citing sources close to the investigation, had said that DNA from Strauss-Kahn was found on the shirt of the 32-year-old woman, who has alleged that the former IMF chief tried to rape her in his hotel suite on May 14.

But a spokesperson from the New York Police Department (NYPD) strongly denied that the results from the genetic testing had been released, and yesterday a spokesperson from the prosecutor’s office said authorities would release “nothing until the trial” related to the DNA results.

Experts have said that the evidence could prove that there was a sexual encounter but not that there was violence of any kind.

Strauss-Kahn has denied charges made against him and his attorneys have suggested in court proceedings that their might have been consensual sexual contact between him and the woman.

His lawyer Benjamin Brafman, who visited Strauss-Kahn yesterday, said his client will plead not guilty and that he is confident his client will be exonerated.

Prosecutors told Strauss-Kahn’s bail hearing last week that they are building a “strong” case in support of the accusations.

The French politician, who is racing to find a new home, told his former staff he is confronting a “personal nightmare”.

Under house arrest pending trial, he has been rejected by one luxury residence because of his newfound notoriety and must soon leave his temporary apartment.

Charges that he attempted to rape and sexually assault the chambermaid on May 14 forced him to resign as head of the IMF last week and torpedoed his chances of standing in the French presidential election next year.

But Strauss-Kahn again denied the accusations in an email sent to IMF staff on Sunday in which he expressed “profound sadness” at the way he left his $450 000-a-year tax-free post.

“I deny in the strongest possible terms the allegations which I now face; I am confident that the truth will come out and I will be exonerated,” he wrote.

“In the meantime, I cannot accept that the Fund – and you dear colleagues – should in any way have to share my own personal nightmare. So, I had to go.”

For the time being, Strauss-Kahn is holed up in the Empire Building at 71 Broadway, where management has apologised to residents and said the new arrival will be gone by “early” this week.

While Strauss-Kahn gets used to bail life, wearing an ankle bracelet, and being forced to stay in an apartment under the watch of video surveillance and and armed guard around the clock, the legal battle is heightening even before his next court appearance on June 6 to make a formal plea.

Strauss-Kahn was arrested on an Air France flight just as it was about to leave New York’s John F Kennedy Airport, a few hours after the alleged attack.

He spent the first days in detention at the notorious Rikers Island jail.

He now faces seven counts, including the attempted rape charge.

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