Former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn was discharged from jail this evening and will temporarily reside in a downtown Manhattan apartment building owned by the security company responsible for monitoring him 24 hours a day.
Strauss-Kahn, who was indicted by a grand jury on Thursday on seven counts of sexual assault against a hotel chamber maid, was released from Rikers Island into the custody of private security firm Stroz Friedberg.
Under a bail agreement approved Wednesday, Strauss-Kahn will be allowed to stay in the Stroz Friedberg's corporate apartments and will be monitored around the clock by the company.
The apartment is located at 71 Broadway, with a view of Trinity Church's graveyard. Strauss-Kahn arrived shortly after his release from Rikers Island, and his journalist wife, Anne Sinclair, arrived later. Television reporters and crews are set up in one lane of the street. Security is heavy and reportedly armed.
Strauss-Kahn is expected to stay in the apartment for only three to four days while his family searches for a more permanent residence in the city. As part of his bail, Strauss-Kahn is required to stay in New York.
Judge Michael Obus approved Strauss-Kahn's release today after he paid $1 million bail and an additional $5 million insurance bond, surrendered his passport and other travel documents, and arranged for round-the-clock surveillance.
Obus said the former IMF chief will not be allowed to leave the Stroz Friedberg building except for medical emergencies. Once a permanent location is found he will be permitted to leave under certain circumstances, provided the prosecution is given six hours notice.
Strauss-Kahn had previously planned to move into a furnished luxury apartment found by Sinclair. By Friday afternoon, however, it was clear that Strauss-Kahn would not be permitted to move into the Bristol Palace on Manhattan's Upper East Side, raising the prospect that he might spend the weekend in jail.
Wherever he eventually settles, he will likely spare little expense on his new digs. The initial Bristol Palace apartment the couple looked at cost around $14,000 a month. Following the French economist's resignation from the IMF Wednesday he will begin collecting a $318,000 annual pension.
Dominique Strauss-Kahn Still Apartment Hunting in New York
"The conditions that have been proposed, I believe that they are sufficient to ensure that you will be here when we need you," Justice Michael J. Obus said.
A grand jury that heard testimony Wednesday from his accuser, a 32-year-old chamber maid at New York City's Sofitel Hotel, and gave the go-ahead for Strauss-Kahn to be tried for allegedly forcing the women to submit to oral sex; he is also accused of attempted rape.
"There was nothing consensual" about the assault that allegedly took place Saturday, said Jeffrey Shapiro, her personal attorney.
The grand jury sent down seven counts, which carry up to 25 years in prison.
This was welcome news to the prosecution, who were unable to convince the court that Strauss-Kahn is a flight risk. The former IMF chief was arrested on Saturday aboard an Air France plane headed to Paris, just hours after the alleged incident took place. The prosecution argued that Strauss-Kahn tried to flee once, and that he has the means and incentive to flee again.
"He has the stature and the resources to live a life of ease and comfort in parts of the world that are beyond this court," Assistant District Attorney John McConnell argued in court Thursday.
In his initial bail hearing he was deemed a flight risk and denied bail. Since, he has remained in protective isolation and on suicide watch in an 11 foot by 13 foot cell at New York's notorious Riker's Island jail.
"We can't think of conditions more restrictive," said William Taylor, one of Strauss-Kahn's lawyers.
Taylor said Strauss-Kahn's wife, French journalist Anne Sinclair -- who as the sole heiress of her grandfather, art dealer Paul Rosenberg's fortune reportedly has a net worth far greater than that of her husband -- would rent a New York City apartment where they would stay. Strauss-Kahn, 62, has already turned over his passport to the court.
Strauss-Kahn denied any wrong doing for the first time in his letter resigning as head of the IMF on Wednesday, writing: "I deny with the greatest possible firmness all of the allegations that have been made against me."