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Under French law, being placed under official investigation does not automatically lead to trial but it often takes months or years before a decision to take the matter to court or not.
In the United States, Strauss-Kahn’s legal troubles ended within 18 months of a sex assault complaint filed by New York Sofitel hotel maid Nafissatou Diallo.
U.S. prosecutors dropped criminal charges in August 2011, saying they had worries about Guinea-born Diallo’s credibility as a witness in court after discovering that she had lied in the past on tax and immigration documents.
She opened civil proceedings that ended last week with a settlement for an undisclosed sum, but Strauss-Kahn’s problems multiplied in France while U.S. proceedings ran their course.
Firstly, a woman writer accused him of a sex assault many years earlier in a case prosecutors declined to pursue because no complaint was filed at the time of the incident.
His name then started cropping up in the Carlton affair, where a group rape charge was dropped earlier this year after a woman withdrew her complaint.
Strauss-Kahn, who is now living separately from wife Anne Sinclair, a wealthy art heiress who has revived her career as a journalist since the couple returned to France in late 2011, recently set up a one-man business consultancy.