Lawyers for Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the head of the International Monetary Fund, said on Sunday that their client will plead not guilty to accusations of trying to rape a maid at a New York hotel.
The 62-year-old French Socialist was taken off a Paris-bound Air France plane at the city’s JFK Airport late on Saturday.
A spokesman for the New York Police Department said Strauss-Kahn faces charges of a criminal sexual act, attempted rape and unlawful imprisonment.
The IMF chief does not have diplomatic immunity and was set to appear in court later on Sunday.
According to New York state law, a criminal sexual act carries a sentence of fifteen to twenty years, as does attempted rape.
Anyone found guilty of unlawful imprisonment can be given three to five years in jail.
Strauss-Kahn had been expected to stand for the French presidential elections in 2012.
He has been leading current head of state Nicolas Sarkozy in the polls.
The former economics professor is married to one of France’s most famous television journalists, Anne Sinclair.
If found guilty, his race to the Elysee could be well over before it has even begun.