Dominique Strauss-Kahn has been charged with "aggravated pimping" in connection with an alleged prostitution ring in the so-called Carlton Affair in France. Oh, the news was pretty humdrum (this is DSK we're talking about) when it first broke: Strauss-Kahn had been preliminarily charged in the case which means, according to the Associated Press, that French prosecutors "have reason to believe a crime was committed but allows more time for investigation." But then the name of that crime came out in CNN's report and it was cause for a double-take. Aggravated Pimping. So dramatic!
What it actually means is that authorities think Strauss-Kahn profited from someone else's prostitution work, a crime in France where prostitution itself is illegal. Strauss-Kahn has maintained all along that he did nothing wrong. He's being inappropriately prosecuted for "simple libertine activity," his lawyer Richard Malka said on Monday, alluding to the "libertine soirees," Strauss-Kahn described in his autobiography. Strauss-Kahn says he had no idea the women involved were even prostitutes. His other lawyer, Henri Leclerc, put it more colorfully when Strauss-Kahn was brought in for questioning last month: "I challenge you to distinguish a naked prostitute from any other naked woman."