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Judge Rules Housekeeper's Lawsuit Against DSK Can Proceed

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- A Midtown hotel housekeeper's lawsuit against former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn can proceed, a judge ruled Tuesday.

Bronx state Supreme Court Justice Douglas McKeon's ruling kept alive the civil case that emerged from a May 2011 hotel-room encounter that also spurred now-dismissed criminal charges against Strauss-Kahn.

WCBS 880's Irene Cornell reports


The housekeeper, Nafissatou Diallo, 33, said Strauss-Kahn, 63, tried to rape her when she arrived to clean his room at the Sofitel Hotel. Strauss-Kahn has denied doing anything violent during the encounter.

The lawsuit claims Diallo "did not know that defendant Strauss-Kahn was the head of the IMF…" at the time of the incident.

Manhattan prosecutors dropped criminal charges against Strauss-Kahn last summer.

After the charges were dropped, Strauss-Kahn returned to France and called his encounter with Diallo a "moral failing." He claims diplomatic immunity should protect him from the lawsuit.

1010 WINS' Juliet Papa reports


But Judge McKeon rejected Strauss-Kahn's claim, saying he gave up his immunity when he resigned voluntarily from the IMF days after his arrest and called his effort to avoid a civil trial a legal "version of a Hail Mary pass."

"Strauss-Kahn cannot eschew immunity in an effort to clear his name only to embrace it now to deny Ms. Diallo the opportunity to clear hers,'' the judge wrote.

Diallo's lawyers issued a statement calling the ruling "well-reasoned and articulate.''

"We have said all along that Strauss Kahn's desperate plea for immunity was a tactic designed to delay these proceedings and we now look forward to holding him accountable for the brutal sexual assault that he committed,'' attorneys Kenneth Thompson and Douglas Wigdor said in a statement.

Although Strauss-Kahn no longer had the IMF job when he was sued, his lawyers argued he still had immunity because an international agreement gives departing diplomats a "reasonable'' amount of time to leave host countries before their immunity expires.

At the time, Strauss-Kahn was under a criminal court order to stay in the U.S., his attorneys noted.

Strauss-Kahn's attorneys said they are mulling their next move.

"He is determined to fight the claims brought against him, and we are confident that he will prevail,'' lawyers William Taylor III and Amit Mehta said in a statement.

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(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 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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