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Strauss-Kahn back in France after sex assault charges dismissed

By the CNN Wire Staff
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Strauss-Kahn back in France
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: The former International Monetary Fund chief arrives at his apartment
  • His homecoming marks the end of four-month court struggle
  • A judge dismissed sexual assault charges against him
  • A New York hotel maid had accused him of assaulting her

Paris (CNN) -- Dominique Strauss-Kahn arrived in Paris on Sunday morning, less than two weeks after a judge dismissed sexual assault charges against him in an international scandal that altered France's political landscape.

The former International Monetary Fund chief was greeted with applause at a Paris airport before leaving in a private car and coming home to his apartment. He was accompanied by his wife, journalist Anne Sinclair.

On Saturday, Strauss-Kahn was mobbed by reporters in New York as he left the brownstone where he had been staying.

His homecoming marks the end of a four-month court battle involving a man who had been favored to be the next president of France.

Strauss-Kahn was pulled off a Paris-bound plane on May 14 in New York over accusations he sexually assaulted a Guinean maid in a luxury hotel suite in the city.

Days later, he resigned from the International Monetary Fund, spent a few days in jail and was put under house arrest.

His lawyers have maintained his innocence throughout the process.

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"There was an act in that room that was consensual, not forcible," Benjamin Brafman said.

Questions arose over the credibility of the accuser, Nafissatou Diallo, prompting prosecutors to back off.

In July, prosecutors said Strauss-Kahn is no longer under house arrest and dropped the charges on August 23, citing the accuser's credibility issues.

"If we do not believe her beyond a reasonable doubt, we cannot ask a jury to do so," prosecutors said at the time.

Strauss-Kahn largely remained in New York even after a judge removed his house arrest restrictions. The diplomat's return to Paris on Sunday marks his first since the scandal broke out.

Strauss-Kahn's arrest sent shock waves through France and redefined the landscape of the country's upcoming presidential race. His homecoming raises the possibility of his return to politics or a prominent position in the government.

Strauss-Kahn still faces a civil suit from Diallo and an accusation of attempted rape by a French writer.

The diplomat and his wife have been one of France's power couples since they married in 1989.

CNN's Jim Bittermann contributed to this report

 
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