Aggravated Pimpin’ Ain’t Easy

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It's probably easier, though, if you are the head of the International Monetary Fund.

FranceIn what seems like a very French sort of case, Dominique Strauss-Kahn and 13 other people are on trial for allegedly organizing—well, not surprisingly, what they're called depends on who's talking. If you're DSK, they were "licentious evenings." If you're a prosecutor, they were "sex parties," and DSK was the "party king." None of that is illegal, of course, especially in France, nor is prostitution. But it is illegal to "supply" prostitutes, which prosecutors say DSK did and why he is charged with "aggravated pimping."

According to CNN, what makes pimping "aggravated" is doing it on a "regular and involved basis." DSK says he didn't do any pimping at all, but if he did it certainly wouldn't have been "aggravated." Or at least I assume that's why he's talking about how many sex p— I mean, licentious evenings he attended over the years.

"The prosecution gives the impression of unbridled activity," he testified Tuesday. But in fact, "[t]here were only 12 parties in total. That is four per year over three years," he added helpfully, although that makes it sound a lot more "regular" than he probably intended. Mon Dieu, can the head of an international monetary fund not enjoy one group licentious evening per quarter? he seems to be asking. Yes, he just can't be the organizer, say prosecutors.

Obviously, DSK admits attending these events, but denied organizing anything. "I did not have the time to organize any party," he testified, let alone one as complicated as these must have been. Nor did he know, he claims, that the women involved were prostitutes. Prosecutors will be testing these claims over the next couple of days.

On Monday, another man testified that he took part for "professional" reasons, although he meant what we might call "business development." The activity "was important for his construction business and it enabled him to have contact with Mr Strauss-Kahn," in the BBC's not-very-carefully-chosen words. ("Phrasing!" as Archer would say.)

Amusingly, as DSK arrived at court three topless women jumped on his car, but while that probably cheered him up briefly it turned out they were Femen protesters. "Pimps," "Clients," and "Guilty" were painted on their chests, from which I infer they aren't protesting against his prosecution. Still, they might be rushing to justice at least on the aggravated-pimping charge. I'm going to go out on a limb here and predict that the actual pimp was one of the co-defendants. This is mainly because his nickname happens to be "Dodo the Pimp."

These are the kinds of educated guesses that only one of my legal experience and training can make—don't try this at home.