Dominique Strauss-Kahn Sex Case: Alleged Victim's Lawyer Says She's 'Extremely Vulnerable'

The IMF chief is on suicide watch in a New York City jail cell.

ByABC News
May 18, 2011, 4:04 AM

May 18, 2011— -- The 32-year-old Sofitel Hotel maid who has accused the head of the International Monetary Fund of sexual assault and attempted rape is a devout Muslim who came to the U.S. from Guinea seven years ago and is the single mother of a 15-year-old daughter, her attorney said.

"She does not have relatives here, she doesn't have family. She's extremely vulnerable here," said Jeffrey Shapiro, the alleged victim's attorney.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, 62, has been placed on suicide watch in his New York City jail cell and has been made to wear a special jumpsuit, after he was arrested and charged with sodomizing a chamber maid in his Manhattan hotel suite.

He is accused of forcing the maid to perform oral sex and submit to anal sex after he came out of his suite's bathroom naked. He was arrested Saturday after being hauled out of the first-class cabin on an Air France jet moments before taking off from John F. Kennedy Airport.

"There was nothing that took place in that hotel room which in any way could be construed as consensual. This woman was absolutely the victim of a physical and sexual assault," said Shapiro.

Strauss-Kahn's attorney, Benjamin Brafman, disputed the maid's account, suggesting that any sexual encounter was consensual.

"The forensic evidence, we believe, will not be consistent with a forcible encounter," Brafman said.

According to a close friend, the alleged victim said she was taken completely by surprise.

"She was completely devastated. I was the first person she called," a friend of the maid told ABC News Tuesday.

The alleged victim called the friend from the emergency room at St. Luke's hospital, where she was examined by doctors and questioned by New York Police Department detectives Saturday night after the alleged attack.

"She didn't understand why he did such a thing," the friend said.

ABC News does not identify the alleged victims of sexual assault.

"This is one of the most important persons in the world. How can he do this?" the friend asked of Strauss-Kahn, an influential international power broker.

Some of Strauss-Kahn's allies in France have suggested that the allegations are part of a conspiracy to smear him and prevent him from running for president there.

While Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told the Associated Press Tuesday, "He (Strauss-Kahn) is obviously not in a position to run the IMF," as the pressure escalates for the IMF chief to leave his post.

"If this happened in France it would have been very different," said the friend of the alleged victim, adding that he believed in the U.S. judicial system and that she would testify against Strauss-Kahn.

"We trust this American justice is different than European justice," he said. "She trusts American justice."

She is being held at a safe but undisclosed location, he said.

"Her world was taken from her. She can't go home, she can't go back to work, she's doesn't know what's going to happen to her next. She doesn't know how she's going to make her way in the world," Shapiro said.