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Grand Jury To Hear From IMF Chief's Accuser Today

May 18, 2011

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As Dominique Strauss-Kahn "sits in a solitary cell at Rikers Island, N.Y., isolated for his own protection and under a routine suicide watch," the woman who says the managing director of the International Monetary Fund sexually assaulted her in New York City over the weekend is set to appear before a grand jury today, her lawyer confirmed on NBC-TV's The Today Show.

Jeffrey Shapiro also said his 32-year-old client has been scared by the intense news media spotlight on the case and fears for both her own safety and that of her 15-year-old daughter. But, he said, "she is prepared to do whatever she is asked to do. ... She doesn't have an agenda, she's doing it because she believes it is her responsibility to do so."

And, he added in response to a question about reports that Strauss-Kahn's lawyers will argue that any sex was consensual, "there is nothing consensual about what took place in that hotel room."

The woman, a maid at the Sofitel Hotel in Manhattan where the alleged attack happened, told police that Strauss-Kahn attacked her in his hotel room. He was removed from an Air France jet that was about to depart JFK Airport on its way to Paris, and arrested.

Strauss-Kahn has been a leading contender to be France's next president.

Update at 9:55 a.m. ET. From Berlin, Reuters reports that German government spokesman Christoph Steegmans said today that his country feels it's too early to discuss replacing Strauss-Kahn at the IMF. As Reuters, adds:

"Steegmans was responding to a proposal by U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on Tuesday that the IMF should seek an interim head after Strauss-Kahn was arrested on charges of sexual assault in New York."

" 'We believe the IMF will find a way to assure its capabilities and we also believe that it is good the IMF conducts this debate internally first,' Steegmans said at a regular news conference."

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