Strauss-Kahn, 62, was reportedly arrested minutes before he was to fly to Paris from John F Kennedy International Airport. He was pulled off from the plane's first-class cabin. Head of France's Socialist Party Strauss-Kahn is also a candidate for the 2012 presidential race in the nation.
The IMF chief was in the shower when the maid entered his room last afternoon. He allegedly emerged naked from the shower, grabbed the maid and forced her to perform oral sex, the New York Post reported citing authorities.
Strauss-Kahn has been handed over to NYPD officers. The matter is being dealt by the Special Victims Unit.
In 2008, he was embroiled in a controversy after accusations arose that he had had a sexual relationship with one of his subordinates in the IMF's Africa Department.
Strauss-Kahn has served as France's Minister of Economy and Finance from 1997 to 1999.