TIME

The former head of the International Monetary Fund Dominique Strauss-Kahn — who once seemed headed for the French presidency — was acquitted on Friday of so-called “aggravated pimping” charges for his regular sex orgies in the French city of Lille, ending a series of sex-related trials against him, and leaving the French to wonder where the fine line is drawn between France’s sexual tolerance and impunity under the law.

That debate, over whether powerful French men inevitably escape punishment for their sexual transgressions, is far from over. But for now, Strauss-Kahn’s four-year legal ordeals are indeed behind him. He may have been acquitted but no one thinks he is innocent.

On Friday the prosecutor in the Lille trial concluded that the actions of DSK, as Strauss-Kahn is known, fell on the side of sexual liberty. Strauss-Kahn was charged with aiding and abetting prostitution with seven women, by attending numerous orgies…

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