Ex-IMF Chief Brings Media Attention to New Neighbors

By Jonathan Dienst, Shimon Prokupecz and Katherine Creag
|  Sunday, May 22, 2011  |  Updated 3:55 PM EDT
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Dominique Strauss-Kahn's wife Anne Sinclair is seen Sunday morning leaving the Lower Manhattan apartment building where the former IMF chief is under house arrest.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn's wife Anne Sinclair is seen Sunday morning leaving the Lower Manhattan apartment building where the former IMF chief is under house arrest.

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Strauss-Kahn Heads to His Temporary Home Downtown

The former leader of the International Monetary Fund is under house arrest at a residence downtown near ground zero, for now.

WATCH: Dominique Strauss-Kahn in Custody

Dominique Strauss-Kahn walks in police custody as police investigate assault allegations.
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The wife of Dominique Strauss-Kahn left the Manhattan apartment where the ex-IMF chief is under house arrest on sexual assault charges.

Anne Sinclair left the luxury highrise near Wall Street on Sunday morning. She got into an SUV, destination unknown.

Sinclair has stood by her husband since his arrest last Sunday. The 62-year-old economist is accused of sexually assaulting a maid in his suite at Manhattan's Sofitel.

He was released from Rikers Island jail on Friday on $1 million bail plus $5 million bond.

Now Strauss-Kahn is under 24-hour guard at the Empire Building on 71 Broadway in Lower Manhattan, after initial plans fell through.

The original plan was for Strauss-Kahn to move into a luxury residential hotel under armed guard on Manhattan's well-to-do Upper East Side. Even though the address was never officially released, police and media had converged on the building, the Bristol Plaza.

But the building ultimately rejected him, fearing media frenzy.

Residents of the luxury building at 71 Broadway say they wouldn't know former IMF president Dominique Strauss-Kahn is under house arrest there if it weren't for the media frenzy outside.

Neighbors said security guards are posted at a ninth-floor door leading to the stairwell.

Resident Ryan Hansen told NBC New York "it's a lot of attention on the building. It's been an incredible turn of events."

Right now, he's not allowed out of 71 Broadway at all, but after he moves to a more permanent location, Strauss-Kahn will be allowed to leave the residence for one weekly religious observance, medical appointments, meetings with lawyers and court appearances, according to the release order approved by a judge Friday.

Prosecutors must be notified at least six hours before he goes anywhere. He can't be out between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.

But he won't be lonely: Strauss-Kahn can have visitors -- up to four at a time, in addition to family.

The agreement, finalized Friday, stipulates that he will wear an electronic monitoring device and live under video surveillance.

Even with the severe restrictions, Strauss-Kahn's family wealth has afforded him one of the cushiest bail agreements possible. But it won't come cheap. The cost to secure the former International Monetary Fund chief was estimated at $200,000 a month -- and he must foot the bill. In comparison, it costs the city about $6,500 a month to house an inmate at a facility like Rikers Island, where he had been held nearly a week.

A judge granted a request made by lawyers for the former International Monetary Chief on Thursday to let him out on $1 million bail.

In court on Thursday, Judge Michael Obus told Strauss-Kahn: "I expect you will be here when we need you. If there is the slightest problem, we can withdraw conditions."

Prosecutors on Thursday announced a grand jury indictment; the seven counts include attempted rape, criminal sex act, sex abuse, forcible touching and unlawful imprisonment.

The 32-year-old maid has told police that Strauss-Kahn groped her, locked her in a bedroom and forced her to perform oral sex.

Defense lawyers have denied the charges and say there is no evidence of a forced encounter.

Prosecutors had argued that Strauss-Kahn was a flight risk and that the evidence against him is "substantial."

Defense lawyers sought the second bail hearing three days after another judge denied bail and sent Strauss-Kahn to Rikers Island, where he had been on suicide watch.

Strauss-Kahn is a member of France's Socialist party and was widely considered the strongest potential challenger to President Nicolas Sarkozy next year.

Follow Jonathan Dienst on Twitter @Jonathan4NY and us @NBCNewYork, and on Facebook/NBCNewYork, and sign up for breaking news SMS alerts on your phone by texting "NYBREAKING" to 639710.

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