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The terrifying ordeal in Suite 2086

17 may 2011, 11:34
It was noon in New York on a lazy spring Saturday. But behind the closed doors of luxury hotel suite, a chambermaid was allegedly being brutally attacked in a horrific ordeal that was to shock the world, AFP reports.

Over the next terrifying minutes, the 32-year-old said she was grappled and groped, had her breasts and intimate parts fondled, her panties ripped, and was forced to endure as her attacker tried to push his penis into her mouth.

Shocked and in terror, she finally escaped and ran panicked from suite 2086, telling staff and friends that she had been indecently mauled by the man inside in a degrading and frightening assault.

Little is known about the young woman, who has worked at the Sofitel for three years, as her identity has remained a closely guarded secret since her nightmare began around midday on Saturday.

She is said to be an immigrant from Africa, raising a 16-year-old daughter in their home in a poor neighborhood of the Bronx, according to the New York Post. The Sofitel says she has always been a good worker.

But her ordeal may well spell the end of the stellar career of veteran French politician and the head of the International Monetary Fund, Dominique Strauss-Kahn.

The maid may well not have recognized her alleged silver-haired attacker, but within hours of raising the alarm, news of the brutal assault had unleashed a media storm which rippled around the globe.

Strauss-Kahn is a man who had it all, who has risen to the top of his game, and had his sights set on the next prize -- the French presidency.

One of the most powerful men in the world, he is used to jet-setting first-class around the globe and staying in the most luxurious hotels while trying to resolve some of the biggest economic problems nations can face.

But according to New York prosecutors, who on Monday unveiled the sordid, graphic details of the attack for the first time, he showed a very different side to his personality in suite 2086 with its views over the Big Apple.

About midday on Saturday, after stepping out of the shower, prosecutors alleged the 62-year-old finance chief pounced on the chambermaid, half his age, who had just entered the suite to clean after first knocking on the door.

Fox News reported that as is hotel protocol, she had knocked three times on the door of the 28th floor suite and identified herself as "housekeeping" before entering to take away trays and left-over condiments.

"Strauss-Kahn shut the door of his hotel room, thereby preventing the victim, a member of the hotel's cleaning staff from leaving," the New York district attorney said in the criminal complaint against the IMF chief.

"He grabbed the victim's chest without consent, attempted to remove her pantyhose, and forcibly grabbed the victim's vaginal area.

"His penis made contact with the victim's mouth twice through the use of force," it added, the clinical language failing to mask the horror of the attack.

The maid was said to be still recovering from her ordeal on Monday, after being thoroughly examined by doctors at a hospital who prosecutors said had found forensic evidence from the attack.

"She's a good person, very nice, very friendly. She's in shock," one of her co-workers told the New York Post Monday.

"Every time I see her I'm happy because we're both from Africa. She's never given a problem for nobody. Never noisy. Everything nice," another told the New York Times.

Prosecutors had got a "very powerful and detailed account of the" assault, Assistant District Attorney John McConnell told a court hearing Monday, at which the judge denied Strauss-Kahn bail.

"She made outcries to multiple witnesses immediately after the incident," he added, in a sign that whatever had happened in suite 2086 had shaken the young woman to the core.

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