Strauss-Kahn's Fame in New York City Came After His Arrest

The detectives on the case didn't recognize him as a leading French politician

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Dominique Strauss-Kahn started his day in a jail cell in Riker's Island for the second time this morning, as speculation continued to swirl about the evidence against him, his arrest and grand jury hearing, and the testimony of his accuser, who has hired her own attorney. Then there's the New York Post, which kept things classy with an "exclusive" report that Strauss-Kahn's alleged victim lives in an apartment building for HIV/AIDS patients.

Jeffrey Shapiro, the attorney for the Sofitel Hotel maid who Strauss-Kahn allegedly tried to rape, has said she would take the witness stand if the case went to trial. She is expected to testify before a grand jury in New York today, CNN reported today on the broadcast of American Morning. Strauss-Kahn's grand jury hearing, where he may be indicted, is set for Friday. The alleged victim hasn't been to work or her home since Strauss-Kahn was arrested on Saturday, and while Shapiro has said he and the victim had not discussed a lawsuit, the fact that she's hired a lawyer outside the New York prosecutors suggests she may be preparing for one.

Shapiro said on Tuesday that his client did not know who Strauss-Kahn was when she made the complaint against him, and today NPR's Nina Totenberg reported that police didn't either.

Police sources say there is no indication to date that the line detectives who made all these decisions had any idea of just how important Strauss-Kahn was. Rather, he was just viewed as a very rich fleeing suspect. They didn't learn till later, said one police source, that French officials get to stay in this $3,000 a night suite for a discounted rate of $800.

Strauss-Kahn's magnetic room key may turn out to be a crucial piece of evidence in determining first whether there is enough evidence to try him, and then his possible guilt, the New York Times reported. The key card "would leave an electronic trail, stamped with the times that a door opened, closed or was left ajar." Strauss-Kahn's lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, has made a few suggestions regarding his client's innocence, including that there may have been consensual contact, and that Strauss-Kahn had been on his way out of the hotel at the time he allegedly attacked the maid.

Strauss-Kahn reportedly remains on suicide watch at Rikers Island, where he is in a cell by himself. The French media have slammed the NYPD's "perp walk" of Strauss-Kahn from the police station to the courthouse, but Mayor Michael Bloomberg shot back today in the Post: "I think it is humiliating, but if you don't want to do the perp walk, don't do the crime."

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