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As New York Case Continues, Paris Prosecutors Probe Strauss-Kahn Accusation

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- As New York prosecutors are weighing whether or not to go ahead with the sexual assault case against Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Paris prosecutors officially began their investigation into claims he tried to rape a French writer in 2003.

A french judicial official revealed the probe today into the claim by Tristane Banon.

She filed a criminal complaint this week, accusing Strauss-Kahn of attacking her in her empty apartment eight years ago.

She said in an interview with the magazine L'Express that Strauss-Kahn grabbed her hand and arm before the two fell to the floor of his apartment and fought for several minutes, with the politician trying to open her jeans and bra and putting his fingers in her mouth and underwear.

Strauss-Kahn's lawyers have called the incident "imaginary'' and threatened to file a criminal complaint accusing Banon of slander.

After the preliminary probe into her claim, which could take weeks or months, the Paris prosecutor's office could decide to drop the case or pursue the investigation, which could eventually lead to a trial.

Strauss-Kahn is still facing sex crime charges in New York after a hotel housekeeper accused him of sexual assault in May.

But that case may be falling apart after questions about the alleged victim's credibility.

Strauss-Kahn's legal team met with prosecutors on Wednesday to try to hammer out a deal, but talks still appear to be at a stalemate.

The maid's lawyer is calling on the Manhattan District Attorney to step aside and appoint a special prosecutor.

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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