IMF Chief Was Nabbed In Time Because Of His Cellphone

New York, May  16: The hotel maid who identified International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn at the police lineup has described in details to the police  how he sexually assaulted her, reports The New York
imf chief was nabbed in time because of his...
PTI 16 May 2011, 10:35 PM IST

New York, May  16: The hotel maid who identified International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn at the police lineup has described in details to the police  how he sexually assaulted her, reports The New York Times.

The police were called to the hotel about 1:30 on Saturday, but when they arrived,  Strauss-Kahn had already checked out. At some point,  Strauss-Kahn called the hotel and said that his cellphone was missing.

Police detectives then coached hotel employees to tell him, falsely, that they had the telephone, according to the law enforcement official.  Strauss-Kahn said he was at Kennedy Airport and about to get on a plane.

The police have provided few details about the woman at the center of the case beyond saying she was 32 and an African immigrant.

According to the law enforcement official, the woman entered Mr. Strauss-Kahn's suite early Saturday afternoon by saying “housekeeping.” She heard no answer and believed that the suite was unoccupied. She left the door open behind her, as is hotel policy.

She went to the bedroom and a naked man rushed from the bathroom to the bedroom. She apologized, the law enforcement official said, and tried to leave.

But according to the official, the man chased her, grabbed her and shut the door, locking it. He then pulled her toward the bedroom, the official said, and tried to attack her there.

He dragged her to the bathroom, the official added, and forced her to perform oral sex. The police said the woman eventually escaped from the suite and reported the attack to other hotel personnel, who called 911.

The woman lives in the Bronx with a daughter who is in her teens. The building's superintendent said she moved in a few months ago.

“They're good people,” said one neighbor, another African immigrant. “Every time I see her I'm happy because we're both from Africa. She's never given a problem for nobody. Never noisy. Everything nice.”

At the Sofitel New York, a maid, who refused to give her name, described the woman as friendly. “In the world, she is a good person,” she said.

The maid added that her superiors had asked other hotel employees not to question the woman about what happened.

“The office said, ‘Don't ask too much because she is sad,' ” the maid said. “Just give her a hug when she comes back.” 

A guest at the hotel, Mortem Meier, 36, a sales director visiting from Norway, said the livery driver who drove Mr. Strauss-Kahn to Kennedy Airport was also his driver on Saturday night.

“He said Strauss-Kahn was in a huge hurry,” Mr. Meier recalled. “He wanted to leave as soon as possible. He looked upset and stressed, the driver said.”

At Criminal Court downtown on Sunday, crowds of reporters kept watch throughout the day for Mr. Strauss-Kahn's arraignment, sitting through dozens of more prosaic cases involving offenses like subway fare jumping, marijuana possession and, in one instance, charges of possession of a stun gun.

 
   
 

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