A French court has found Dominique Strauss-Kahn not guilty on a charge of "aggravated pimping."
The court said the former head of the International Monetary Fund and one time French presidential candidate did not promote or profit from the prostitution of seven women.
"The judges said there was no proof he knew that some of the women he had sex with at orgies were prostitutes. Throughout his trial, he maintained that he had not known that some of the partners brought to him by business friends at group-sex sessions had been paid, saying he thought they were merely 'swingers' like himself. The businessmen told the women who had sex with Strauss-Kahn not to say they had been paid.
"The wide-reaching trial in the northern French city of Lille revealed a saga of money, fame and women travelling to luxury locations for sex with powerful men against a backdrop of economic deprivation and social misery.
"Known as the Carlton affair, the case began in 2011 as an investigation into an alleged prostitution network at Lille's smart Hotel Carlton, where women — described by the men that ran them as 'livestock' or 'dossiers' — had been offered up as the "dessert course" at business lunches. Strauss-Kahn was never involved in any alleged activity at the hotel, but when his name was mentioned by sex-workers in interviews with investigators, the inquiry was widened."
Strauss-Kahn became a household name in 2011 after he was arrested in New York City over allegations that he sexually assaulted a hotel maid. U.S. authorities eventually dropped those charges later that year.