French prosecutors to probe Strauss-Kahn rape accusations -AFP

LILLE, France – French prosecutors on Monday opened a preliminary investigation into accusations that disgraced ex-IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn took part in a gang rape in the United States.

Prosecutors in Lille, where Strauss-Kahn and three others have been charged in a pimping case, said the probe centred on an incident “that could be described as gang rape” that took place in Washington, DC in December 2010.

Strauss-Kahn, two businessmen and a police chief have been charged with “aggravated pimping in an organised gang” in Lille for allegedly organising a prostitution ring for orgies in France, the United States and elsewhere.

Earlier this month Lille prosecutors said investigating magistrates in the case had submitted new evidence, based on testimony from two Belgian sex workers, that could also implicate the men in a gang rape.

Testimony from one of the prostitutes indicated that she had been forced into a non-consensual sex act while in Washington with Strauss-Kahn and the other accused. She has not filed a complaint.

In a statement from his laywers this month Strauss-Kahn denied the accusations, saying he “absolutely contests having committed the slightest act of violence of any nature whatsoever.”

The former head of the International Monetary Fund and frontrunner for the French presidency, Strauss-Kahn suffered a stunning fall from grace following his arrest last year on accusations he sexually assaulted a New York hotel maid.

The charges were eventually dropped but Strauss-Kahn has since faced a series of criminal and civil actions in connection with alleged sex crimes.

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