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IMF chief assaulted another woman nearly a decade ago, lawyer claims

By Reuters
Monday, May 16, 2011 10:46 EDT
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PARIS (Reuters) – A French lawyer said on Monday his client was considering filing a legal complaint against IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn over an alleged sexual incident almost a decade ago.

Lawyer David Koubbi said his client Tristane Banon, a writer, could file a complaint over an alleged incident that took place when she went to interview Strauss-Kahn, a former French finance minister, in an apartment.

“We are considering filing a complaint,” Koubbi said in a text message to Reuters.

Strauss-Kahn was charged in New York at the weekend with sexually assaulting a hotel chambermaid. His lawyer said he would plead not guilty.

The alleged attack on Banon happened in 2002. Under French law, sexual assault charges must be filed within three years but attempted rape charges can be brought up to 10 years after the alleged attack.

Banon did not file charges at the time of the alleged assault after her mother, a local Socialist Party councilor, persuaded her against bringing proceedings against a politician who was a family friend.

She told French television at the weekend that she now regrets that decision.

(Reporting by Thierry Leveque; Writing by Catherine Bremer and Jon Boyle; Editing byMark Trevelyan)

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