Top French Politician Grabbed on Plane Over New York Sexual Assault

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the head of the International Monetary Fund and an likely candidate for France's upcoming presidential elections, was arrested on Saturday and charged with attempted rape for allegedly sexually assaulting a cleaning woman at his hotel room.

Strauss-Kahn was attempting to leave the country on an Air France plane (first class, of course) when he was seized by police. The New York Daily News, unsurprisingly, has the most detailed account of the alleged assault:

Strauss-Kahn emerged from the bathroom naked, chased her down the hallway in his suite and yanked her into a bedroom, where he sexually assaulted her, the maid told police.

She fought him off, but he dragged her into the bathroom, forced her to perform oral sex and tried to peel off her panties.

At one point, he tried to lock the suite's door.

The woman escaped, scampered out of the room and alerted a hotel staffer, who called 911, according to cops.

Given that Strauss-Kahn left his cell phone and other personal effects in his hotel room, police believe he was trying to flee; he does not have diplomatic immunity, and will plead not guilty to the charges.

Not only does his arrest throw the French presidential election into turmoil — Strauss-Kahn was polling ahead of current president Nicolas Sarkozy, but other Socialist candidates have weaker numbers — it changes the dynamic of this week's IMF meeting, set to start Monday, that will decide whether or not to increase the size of Greece's bailout package.

NBC has so far not released a statement, but it's thought that they really, really regret canceling Law and Order, between this and the two Long Island serial killers.

[NYDN; image via AP]