IMF Case: Strauss-Kahn to Ask for Bail; Alleged Victim Testifies to Grand Jury

DNA evidence might support maid's claim Dominique Strauss-Kahn assaulted her.

ByABC News
May 18, 2011, 12:26 PM

May 18, 2011— -- Moments after the hotel chamber maid who has accused IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn of sexual assault finished testifying before a grand jury today in New York, lawyers for the French politician said they would seek to have him freed on bail Thursday.

Strauss-Kahn's attorneys are busy constructing a new bail package to present to a judge as early as Thursday morning in the hopes of springing their client from pretrial detention.

Strauss-Kahn is currently in protective isolation and on suicide watch in a 11 foot-by-13 foot cell at New York's notorious Riker's Island jail, where has been since Monday when a court determined he was a flight risk and denied him bail.

His lawyers initially proposed a $1 million bail package that was rejected by the court.

Today a new offer that was said to add a private monitoring firm, an electronic bracelet and a guard to the package was put together. The cash component of the bail package remained at $1 million dollars, but the deal now included a guarantee that Strauss-Kahn would remain confined in New York City and not leave his residence except for visits to his doctor or lawyers. His passports and travel documents have already been taken from him.

It has not been announced whether Strauss-Kahn will be in court for Friday's hearing. According to reports in the French media, he is expecting his family to visit him in jail Thursday.

His accuser, a 32-year-old maid at New York City's Sofitel Hotel, testified in court today that "there was nothing consensual" about the assault that allegedly took place Saturday, her lawyer Jeffrey Shapiro said.

Meanwhile, investigators say they are conducting DNA tests on bodily fluids and other materials found in the $3,000-a-night suite.

Prosecutors presented her testimony and other evidence today to the grand jury in an effort to swat down what will likely be Strauss-Kahn's defense -- that he and the maid, a native of the West African country of Guinea, had consensual sex in his hotel room.

Defense attorney Benjamin Brafman told the judge at a bail hearing Monday that "the evidence, we believe, will not be consistent with a forcible encounter," shedding light on the narrative Strauss-Kahn's lawyer might use to explain the encounter.

Strauss-Kahn, 62, is accused of forcing the housekeeper to perform oral sex and submit to anal sex. He is also accused of sexual assault and attempted rape.

ABC News has confirmed that police cut a swath of carpet to test for DNA and swabbed one of the suite's sinks under a black light that indicated there was potential DNA evidence there.

Prosecutors plan to introduce evidence that, they say, corroborates the housekeeper's story.

New York Police Department investigators say they brought the maid back to the room where, she says, Strauss-Kahn emerged naked from the bathroom and assaulted her. They say she pointed them to the place where she says she allegedly spat after the French politician forced her to perform oral sex.

Investigators also say information downloaded from the suite door's electronic card reader indicates the maid entered the room and never closed the door. The hotel policy requires maids to leave the door open when cleaning. The open door, they say, is proof that the women entered the room to work, not to engage in consensual sex.