New York has a new hot spot for tourists to visit — the apartment building housing the former chief of the International Monetary Fund accused of trying to rape a hotel maid.
Armed guards and security cameras are watching every move of Dominique Strauss-Kahn inside the apartment building and he has not been seen in public since a judge freed him from jail on a $1 million cash bail and $5 million bond on Friday. But tour buses drove by the luxury high-rise in the Manhattan sector of the city on Saturday and Sunday and tourists snapped photos of the building.
One tour guide informed his passengers that “on your right is the building where the French guy accused of attempted rape is staying.”
Strauss-Kahn had originally sought to stay in a tony building elsewhere in the city. But residents there vetoed the idea, for fear that a throng of police, news reporters and gawkers would soon envelope their building, which is exactly what has happened where Strauss-Kahn is staying.
The management of the apartment building sent a note to other tenants apologizing for the “inconvenience” of having Strauss-Kahn staying in the building, saying it had been assured he would be moving to another building in the next few days.
Strauss-Kahn secured his release from the city’s Rikers Island jail after agreeing to pay for security arrangements — including the guards, cameras and an ankle bracelet monitoring device — that could cost him $200,000 a month.
He cannot leave the building he is currently staying in. But after he is moved to another location, he will be able to leave for court appearances, doctor visits and weekly religious services — if he gives prosecutors six hours’ notice.
He is scheduled for another court appearance on June 6, when a judge is likely to read the formal charges against him. He is accused of assaulting the maid in the $3,000-a-night hotel suite he was staying in earlier this month. Authorities pulled Strauss-Kahn off an Air France jet moments before it was scheduled to take off for Paris.
Within days, the possible French presidential contender was facing charges that, if convicted, could land him prison for up to 25 years. He has denied the accusations.