NEW YORK - IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn was taken into custody on Saturday at JFK airport in New York and was being questioned in regard to a sexual assault, a New York police spokesman told Reuters.
Spokesman Paul Browne said the woman who filed the complaint against Strauss-Kahn, 62, was a 32-year-old chambermaid who fled the room after the incident.
Strauss-Kahn, a possible Socialist candidate in the French presidential election next April, left the hotel after the incident and boarded an Air France aircraft scheduled to depart for Paris, the police spokesman said.
"The NYPD realized he had fled, he had left his cell phone behind," Browne said. "We learned he was on an Air France plane. They held the plane and he was taken off and is now being held in police custody for questioning."
Browne said Strauss-Kahn had not been charged.
Police said the alleged incident took place at the upscale Sofitel hotel on West 44th Street near Times Square.
The chambermaid "was brought by EMS (emergency medical services) to the Roosevelt Hotel, where she was treated for minor injuries," Brown said.
Strauss-Kahn took over the International Monetary Fund in November 2007. Before that, he was a member of the French National Assembly and a professor of economics at the Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris.
The IMF declined to comment and board officials said they had not been informed officially of the incident.
In October 2008, Strauss-Kahn apologized for "an error of judgment" in an affair with a subordinate, but denied he had abused his position.
Strauss-Kahn apologized to employees, the woman he had the affair with, Piroska Nagy, and his wife, French television personality Anne Sinclair, for the trouble it had caused.