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IMF head on suicide watch at Rikers

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amny Photo Credit: Getty Images

The head of the International Monetary Fund has been placed on suicide watch at Rikers Island as the Manhattan hotel housekeeper he is accused of sexually assaulting struggles to cope, officials said.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, 62, is being held without bail on sex charges for allegedly attacking the 32-year-old widow when she came to clean his $3,000-a-night suite at the Sofitel hotel Saturday afternoon. The man, once touted as a 2012 frontrunner for the French presidency, faces 25 years in prison if convicted.

His attorney Ben Brafman contends that "forensic evidence" is "not consistent with a forcible encounter."

Jeffrey J. Shapiro, who represents the woman who immigrated from Guinea and lives in the Bronx with her 15-year-old daughter, yesterday told the New York Times: "There is no question this was not consensual - she was assaulted and she had to escape from him, which is why when she finally got out of the room, she reported it to security immediately."
Her brother said she called him from the hospital Saturday and told him that "someone tried to do something very bad to me," the Times reported. "She's very upset because she loves her job. She's a wonderful, hardworking woman."

Prosecutor John McConnell said the maid, who is a devout Muslim, "provided a very powerful and detailed account of the violent sexual assault," adding that a hospital exam supported her story.

A court hearing is set for Friday, when a grand jury decision is expected.

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