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French prosecutors dismiss rape claim against Strauss-Kahn

PARIS — Prosecutors on Tuesday dismissed gang rape allegations against former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, that arose during an investigation into his links to a prostitution ring.

The prosecutors in the northern French city of Lille said that a preliminary investigation into allegations made by a Belgian prostitute found no evidence of rape.

The prostitute told police last year that Strauss-Kahn forced her into anal sex at a party in a Washington hotel in December 2010 but that she did not wish to file a formal complaint.

The prostitute said a businessman friend of Strauss-Kahn’s had restrained her during the act, leading prosecutors to order a preliminary probe for gang rape.

The prosecutor’s office said that the woman had retracted the claim in a letter dated Aug. 17, saying she had consented to the sexual act and repeating that she did not want to press charges.

Strauss-Kahn’s lawyer, Henri Leclerc, told AFP news agency he had been “convinced” from the start the rape allegation would not stand up to scrutiny.

The former finance minister still stands charged with pimping over his links to the prostitution ring, which supplied women for sex parties organized on his behalf in France and the United States.

Strauss-Kahn, who was head of the IMF at the time, has admitted to taking part in the parties but insists he did not know the women were prostitutes.

The man who was once viewed as a possible candidate for the French presidency also faces a civil trial over the alleged sexual assault of New York hotel maid Nafissatou Diallo in May 2011.

Strauss-Kahn’s encounter with Diallo led to his arrest on charges of attempted rape and his resignation from the IMF.

Prosecutors later dropped the criminal charges, but Diallo has filed a civil lawsuit, accusing him of a “violent and sadistic” attack.

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