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Dominique Strauss-Kahn's alleged sexual escapades have him back in the headlines, this time on charges of "aggravated pimping"—accusations his lawyer shot down Tuesday as an "attack on personal liberty."
"All that he is really being accused of is a libertine existence, which is shocking," the former IMF chief's lawyer said at a Paris press conference, Bloomberg reports.
The "aggravated pimping" charge alleges that DSK took part in a high-profile prostitution ring in a scandal the French media have dubbed the "Carlton affair," in reference to one of the luxury hotels where the ring would have operated in the northern French city of Lille.
Strauss-Kahn has since been released on a 100,000-euro bail (about $133,000 USD), while several Lille-based businessmen and police officers have also been accused of participating in the ring. As the Wall Street Journal explains, prosecutors would have to prove that DSK had an organizational role in the ring in order to indict him. Francophone readers can read up more on the case over at Slate.fr.
As for DSK's "aggravated pimping" charge, CNN demystifies the French legal term: "The description of the alleged crime as 'aggravated' means it took place on a regular and involved basis, and 'pimping' means facilitating a prostitution operation, not just being a customer."
While paying for prostitutes is legal in France, procuring them for someone else is not.
Strauss-Kahn was the presidential front-runner for France’s election next month until a New York maid accused him of sexual assault and attempted rape last year. The prosecution ultimately decided not to follow through with that case due to uncertainty over the maid’s credibility, but the scandal, along with past alleged sexual misconduct, tarnished the up-til-then highly revered statesman so much across the Atlantic that he had to renounce his presidential ambitions. For more background on DSK’s career, CNN has put together a summarized timeline here.