So this has been discussed a bit in the open thread but I think the WSJ has editorialised this issue quite nicely.
The arrest of Dominique Strauss-Kahn on charges of sexually assaulting a hotel cleaning woman in New York City is a personal humiliation for the French politician, but it is also a black mark on the International Monetary Fund that chose to overlook his previous sexual behavior. It will be fascinating to see how the grandees of French and international financial politics handle this one.
Mr. Strauss-Kahn is entitled to the presumption of innocence, and his attorney says he will plead not guilty. Some in the French press and even a French government minister are suggesting that the 62-year-old Socialist Party panjandrum may have been set up by his rivals. The charges are stunning enough—and French politics is strange enough—that we suppose anything is possible, but such a conspiracy would have to include a large number of players.
The facts of the case as reported by New York police so far do not look promising for the IMF managing director. The woman who entered to clean the Frenchman’s $3,000-a-night Sofitel suite at midday on Saturday reported the incident immediately. She told police that Mr. Strauss-Kahn emerged naked from the bathroom, pursued her down a hallway and pulled her into the bedroom. She escaped and he then chased her again and dragged her into a bathroom.
In other words, this is not a case in which misunderstandings about mutual consent are at issue. The charge is the unlawful imprisonment and attempted rape of a vulnerable hotel employee trying to do her job. Police also say that Mr. Strauss-Kahn fled the hotel in a rush, leaving behind his cellphone and other personal items. Police were impressed enough with the facts to take Mr. Strauss-Kahn from the first-class section of an Air France aircraft lest he leave U.S. jurisdiction.
These allegations are simply astonishing – Strauss-Kahn is entitled to the presumption of innocence and a fair trial but there very few explanations that could satisfy the allegations raised against him.