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IMF chief arrested for alleged sexual attack on maid

Dominique Strauss-Kahn

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), was taken off an Air France flight at JFK airport, having been accused of a sex attack on a hotel maid. Photograph: Larry Downing/Reuters

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), was arrested in New York City on Saturday afternoon accused of a sex attack on a Times Square hotel maid earlier in the day.

He was taken off an Air France flight by three officers from the Port Authority of New York and turned over to Manhattan detectives, according to the report of The New York Times

Port Authority officers were acting on information from the New York Police Department, whose detectives had been investigating a brutal alleged attack on a woman employee at the Sofitel New York on West 44th Street in the heart of the city's theatre district.

The 32-year-old woman told police that she entered Strauss-Kahn's room at about 1pm on Saturday and he emerged from the bedroom naked, threw her down and tried to sexually assault her, NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said. She broke free and escaped the room and told hotel staff what had happened who called the police.

When New York City police detectives arrived moments later, Strauss-Kahn had already left the hotel, leaving behind his mobile phone and other personal items. "It looked like he got out of there in a hurry," Browne added.

Strauss-Khan was being questioned on Saturday night by the NYPD special victims office. No charges have yet been filed.

Strauss-Kahn, 62, is the leader of France's Socialist Party. He is also the main rival to President Nicholas Sarkozy in the 2012 elections.

He is married to New York-born journalist Anne Sinclair. He took over the IMF in November 2007.