NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Dominique Strauss-Kahn, former managing director of the International Monetary Fund, has been acquitted of the allegations of aggravated pimping that have dogged him for the last four years.
The economist and politician, who was once viewed as a frontrunner in the 2012 race to be the French president, was cleared of charges that he procured prostitutes for sex parties at luxury hotels in Lille, Washington and Paris. The judge concluded that Strauss-Kahn had merely been a client of the sex workers he came into contact with at these parties, but had not paid them. Strauss-Kahn argued that he was not aware any of the women involved were prostitutes, and said he was seeking "recreational sessions" to alleviate the stresses of his high-powered political career.
"Everybody was able to see there was strictly no judicial basis to this case," said Strauss-Kahn's lawyer, Henri Leclerc, who had previously called for the charges to be dropped due to lack of evidence. Ten other people were also acquitted along with Strauss Kahn of co-coordinating a prostitution ring in Lille's Carlton Hotel.
The trial offered embarrassingly detailed insights into Strauss Kahn's wayward sexual behavior as several prostitutes testified on the stand. The investigation into the former policymaker began back in 2011 after he was accused of sexually assaulting New York hotel maid Nafissatou Diallo, a case that was later settled out of court. Prostitution is legal in France if the sex worker is over 18 years of age, but pimping or procuring prostitutes are crimes that can carry a sentence of up to 10 years in prison. A bill has recently been introduced in France to criminalize prostitutes' clients.
Since abandoning his political aspirations, Strauss-Kahn has worked as an international consultant and conference speaker, following a troubled attempt to set up an investment venture.