Dominque Strauss-Kahn Faces 'Aggravated Pimping' Charges

The former head of the International Monetary Fund is back in court.

Along with 13 others, including “Dodo la Saumure” -- la Saumure being slang for pimp -- Strauss-Kahn, 65, will stand trial for “aggravated pimping as part of a group,” for his alleged involvement in the so-called "Carlton Affair” prostitution ring. The case has all the trappings of a salacious political thriller, and the name refers to a hotel in the French city of Lille, where, allegedly, some of the orgies took place.

What’s at Stake

Christopher Mesnooh, a lawyer for Field Fisher Waterhouse law firm, described the charges to the Associated Press: "On the basic charge, which is being brought against the majority of defendants, which is aggravated pimping, French law provides for maximum punishment of 10 years in prison and a fine of 1.5 million euros. For the lesser charges, which can be characterized generically as corruption charges, the fines go to upwards of 400,000 euros and potential prison terms of three to five years.”

Distinguishing Naked Women and Naked Prostitutes

According to the BBC, Strauss-Kahn's lawyers say DSK doesn’t deny attending the “libertine” parties but he maintains he did not know the women were prostitutes.

The allegations first emerged in 2011, and Henri Leclerc, one of DSK’s lawyers reportedly told French radio Europe 1 that, “[DSK] could easily not have known, because as you can imagine, at these kinds of parties you're not always dressed, and I challenge you to distinguish a naked prostitute from any other naked woman.”

Henri Leclerc, one of Strauss-Kahn’s lawyers, told the Financial Times that the charges are “dangerous and malicious insinuations and extrapolations” and are “based on an ideological and moral analysis, but certainly not on any legal grounds."

The Original Fall From Grace