Strauss-Kahn is to face trial for aggravated pimping as part of a group in the “Carlton affair” relating to sex parties held at the hotel of that name in the northern French city of Lille and elsewhere.
But the more serious charge of pimping as part of an organised gang has been dropped.
Last month it looked as if the charges would be dismissed but the prosecutors’ office has gone back on its recommendation and decided to press charges against Strauss-Kahn and 13 associates, even if they are not as serious as first proposed.
A case against Strauss-Kahn for sexual assault in a New York hotel was settled out of court at the end of last year.
But the Carlton affair surfaced after the scandal hit world headlines and Strauss-Kahn now has to prove his claim that he did not know the women involved were prostitutes to avoid a sentence of up to 10 years in prison and a 1.5-million-euro fine.
The trial should take place in a year’s time, the Lille prosecutors’ office says.