IMF boss Dominique Strauss-Kahn was remanded in custody today accused of a sex attack on a US hotel maid.
Dominique Strauss-Kahn was refused bail by a New York judge who decided he might attempt to flee the country.
The 62-year-old, who before his arrest at the weekend was seen as a favourite to become France’s next president, must stay in jail until his next hearing on May 20, despite offering to post a $1m (€700,000) bail bond.
Strauss-Kahn is accused of attacking the maid who went in to clean his $3,000 (€2,100) a night penthouse suite at a luxury hotel near Times Square.
Defence Lawyer Benjamin Brafman said his client denied any wrongdoing.
Strauss-Kahn faces charges including attempted rape, sex abuse, criminal sex act, unlawful imprisonment and forcible touching.
The top count is punishable by five to 25 years in prison.
Strauss-Kahn looked tired and grim as he stood next to his lawyer during the hearing in Manhattan.
Prosecutors asked the judge to hold Strauss-Kahn without bail, saying his position as IMF head had taken him out of the country previously and that the IMF leader was wealthy and did not live in New York.
“He has almost no incentive to stay in this country and every incentive to leave,” Assistant District Attorney John A. McConnell said. “If he went to France, we would have no legal mechanism to guarantee his return to this country.”
He added that authorities were investigating at least one other case in New York of “conduct similar to the conduct alleged” at the Sofitel hotel.
The 32-year-old maid told police that when she entered his suite on Saturday afternoon, she thought it was unoccupied. Instead, Strauss-Kahn emerged from the bathroom naked, chased her down a hallway and pulled her into a bedroom, where he sexually assaulted her.
The woman told police she fought him off, but then he dragged her into the bathroom, where he forced her to perform oral sex on him and tried to remove her underwear. The woman was able to break free again, escaped the room and told hotel staff what had happened, authorities said.
Strauss-Kahn was gone by the time detectives arrived moments later. He left his mobile phone behind.
Police discovered he was at John F. Kennedy International Airport and contacted officials at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which runs the airport. Port Authority police officers arrested him.
The maid was taken by police to a hospital and was treated for minor injuries.