NEW YORK — A last-ditch effort to keep alive the sexual assault charges against Dominique Strauss-Kahn was rejected Tuesday, ending the sensational case against the former International Monetary Fund leader.
An appeals court rejected the request for a special prosecutor made by the hotel maid who accused Strauss-Kahn of sex assault. That allowed a judge to officially issue his order that dismissed the charges of attempted rape and criminal sexual act against the French diplomat.
The decision to drop the charges in a case that has attracted global attention as a cauldron of sex, violence, power and politics had been widely expected. Prosecutors filed court papers Monday saying that they could not trust the word of the hotel housekeeper accusing the French diplomat of attempted rape.
"Our inability to believe the complainant beyond a reasonable doubt means, in good faith, that we could not ask a jury to do that," assistant district attorney Joan Illuzzi-Orbon said in formally recommending the case be dismissed.
Strauss-Kahn arrived at the courthouse in a six-car motorcade and was greeted by protesters wielding signs carrying such messages as "DSK treats women like property" and "Put the rapist on trial — not the victim." The shouting could be heard inside the courtroom.
He appeared resolute in the courtroom, wearing a dark gray suit, blue shirt and striped tie. He smiled and shook hands with his biographer as his wife, journalist Anne Sinclair, sat nearby. The couple left court without speaking to reporters but issued a statement in English afterward.
"These past two and a half months have been a nightmare for me and my family," he said. "I want to thank all the friends in France and in the United States who have believed in my innocence, and to the thousands of people who sent us their support personally and in writing. I am most deeply grateful to my wife and family who have gone through this ordeal with me. ...
"We will have nothing further to say about this matter and we look forward to returning to our home and resuming something of a more normal life," he said.
Later, he appeared outside the posh Tribeca town house where he was held under house arrest until July — when prosecutors first publicly admitted they had doubts about the woman's credibility. He summed up the statement in French and was mobbed by reporters.
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