International Law

IMF Chief, Accused of Sexually Assaulting Maid, Represented by Lawyer for Michael Jackson

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A lawyer hired to defend Michael Jackson on child molestation charges represents the chief of the International Monetary Fund on charges he tried to rape a hotel maid in Manhattan.

The New York criminal defense lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, was co-counsel for Jackson on child molestation charges for three months in 2004 until the pop star replaced him, the Am Law Daily has reported. Brafman’s new client, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, is scheduled to be arraigned today after agreeing to forensic tests, report the New York Times and CNN.

Brafman is known for his celebrity clients, Reuters reports. He negotiated a plea bargain for New York Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress, accused of carrying a gun into a nightclub that went off when it slipped down his pants. He also won an acquittal for rapper “P.Diddy” Sean Combs, accused of illegal weapons and bribery charges in connection with a nightclub brawl.

In the new case, Brafman says his client will plead not guilty. Police say Strauss-Kahn does not have diplomatic immunity. According to a Reuters analysis, IMF employees are given immunity only for actions related to activities performed in the course of their work. He could also seek to leverage his status as a “quasi-diplomat,” however, by claiming he is entitled to immunity under the Vienna Conventions on Diplomatic Relations, the story says.

The maid from the Sofitel New York has identified Strauss-Kahn in a lineup, police said. According to the Times, the maid said she thought no one was in the suite when she entered to clean it, but was met with a naked man who dragged her to the bathroom and forced her to perform oral sex.

Strauss-Kahn is also represented by William Taylor of Zuckerman Spaeder in Washington, D.C., who has represented former White House chief of staff Mack McLarty.

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