A New York grand jury Thursday formally indicted
Dominique Strauss-Kahn on charges related to the alleged sexual assault of a hotel housekeeper, prosecutors said Thursday.
The indictment was announced as the 62-year-old former head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was making his second request for bail, DPA reported.
The indictment raises to a formal level the charges against Strauss-Kahn, who was arrested Saturday after being dragged from a plane as he was headed to Europe.
The prosecutors did not detail the exact charges, but the criminal complaint filed by police on Monday included seven counts of sexual assault, attempted rape, criminal sexual act and forced confinement. Strauss-Kahn could face up to 25 years in prison if found guilty.
Strauss-Kahn, who resigned from the IMF earlier Thursday saying he wanted to protect the organization and focus on proving his innocence, was brought from custody in jail on Rikers Island for the bail hearing.
His lawyers insist that the internationally-known economist poses no flight risk and no danger to the public. They offered 1 million dollars bail plus guarantee that he would reside in New York with his wife while the legal process unfolds, monitored by video cameras.
Prosecutors have argued that the French citizen has such a powerful world-wide network of connections that he could easily flee. If he returns to France, there is no extradition treaty - as US prosecutors found out in the case of sexual charges brought against film director Roman Polanski.
The New York State Supreme Court is to rule later Thursday on Strauss-Kahn's second application for bail. His first application on Monday was rejected by a judge, who said he posed a flight risk.
The grand jury heard testimony from his 32-year-old accuser. According to a prosecutor's statement Monday, she had on Saturday entered Strauss-Kahn's suite, leaving the door open as is required by her employer, when the economist emerged naked from the athroom and locked the door behind her.
"He grabbed the victim's chest without consent, attempted to remove her pantyhose and forcibly grabbed the victim's vaginal area," the official charging document said.
He forced her to perform oral sex on him, Assistant District Attorney John McConnell said.