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IMF chief under suicide watch at NYC jail

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NEW YORK (AP) — A law enforcement official and a union official say International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn is under a suicide watch in jail.

Norman Seabrook heads New York City's corrections officer union. He told The Associated Press on Tuesday that Strauss-Kahn was under the watch at Rikers Island.

A law enforcement official confirmed that Strauss-Kahn was placed under watch after undergoing a mental health evaluation. The official spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of prisoners' medical information.

The official says the 62-year-old Strauss-Kahn did not try to harm himself. He was arrested Saturday in the alleged sex attack of a hotel maid and was held without bail on Monday.

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NEW YORK (AP) — The hotel maid accusing IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn of trying to rape her as she went to clean his suite is telling the truth, has "no agenda" and did not know even know who he was until after the fact, her lawyer said Tuesday.

The woman is an immigrant from the West African nation of Guinea with a 15-year-old daughter, lawyer Jeffrey Shapiro said.

Her story of being attacked by Strauss-Kahn in the Sofitel hotel suite near Times Square is "consistent" because she is telling the truth, he said.

"There is no way in which there is any aspect of this event which could be construed consensual in any manner," Shapiro said. "This is nothing other than a physical, sexual assault by this man on this young woman."

He continued: "It's not just my opinion that this woman is honest. The New York City Police Department reached the same conclusion." He added, "This is a woman with no agenda."

The 62-year-old Strauss-Kahn is jailed in New York on charges including attempted rape after being denied bail on Monday.

Defense attorney Benjamin Brafman has said defense lawyers believe the forensic evidence "will not be consistent with a forcible encounter."

He wouldn't elaborate but said "there are significant issues that were already found" that make it "quite likely that he will be ultimately be exonerated."

The maid has not been identified, and The Associated Press generally does not name people alleging sexual assault.

She arrived seven years ago in the United States from Guinea under "very difficult circumstances," Shapiro said, and lives in the city with her 15-year-old daughter.

Shapiro said the woman didn't know that Strauss-Kahn was managing director of the International Monetary Fund and did not know of him in the hotel.

"She did not know who this man was until a day or two after this took place," Shapiro said. "She had no idea who the man was."

The 32-year-old maid told authorities that she thought the suite was empty but that Strauss-Kahn emerged from the bathroom naked, chased her down a hallway, pulled her into a bedroom and dragged her into a bathroom, police said.

He grabbed her breasts, tried to pull down her pantyhose, grabbed at her crotch and forced her to perform oral sex, according to a court complaint. She broke free, escaped the room and told hotel staffers what had happened, authorities said. She was treated at a hospital for minor injuries.

Other allegations of sexual misbehavior by Strauss-Kahn have begun to circulate since his arrest.

A person close to an IMF employee who had a brief affair with Strauss-Kahn said Tuesday that the woman warned the organization about his behavior toward women in a letter sent three years ago.

The woman, Hungarian-born economist Piroska Nagy, voiced "doubts about Dominique Strauss-Kahn's suitability for running an international institution," according to the person, who was familiar with the letter's content but declined to be identified, citing the sensitivity of the matter.

Nagy, who had worked at the IMF for decades, left the organization after the affair with Strauss-Kahn in 2008. Although the relationship has long been public knowledge, and an IMF-commissioned investigation into the case cleared Strauss-Kahn of wrongdoing, it is back in the news after the 62-year-old Frenchman's incarceration on sex crimes charges in New York.

The New York Times published an excerpt of the letter, along with an account that alleged Nagy had been aggressively pursued by her boss, who sent her sexually explicit messages and at one point even had her summoned from the bathroom to speak to him.

In France, a lawyer for a 31-year-old novelist said she is likely to file a criminal complaint accusing him of sexually assaulting her nine years ago.

A French lawmaker accused him of attacking other maids in previous stays at the same luxury hotel. And in New York, prosecutors said they are working to verify reports of at least one other case, which they suggested was overseas.


Associated Press writer Raphael G. Satter in London and Jennifer Peltz in New York contributed to this report.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.

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