Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former head of the International Monetary Fund who was forced to resign amid allegations of sexual misconduct in the U.S., faces charges of "aggravated pimping" before a court in his native France.
A trial date has not been set.
Strauss-Kahn, 64, stepped down as head of the IMF in 2011 after he was accused of sexually assaulting a New York hotel maid. Although those charges were later dropped, they derailed the politician's plans to run for the French presidency.
In 2012, prosecutors accused Strauss-Kahn of involvement in a prostitution ring in the northern city of Lille. On Friday, authorities said they would go ahead with formal charges in the case.
The Associated Press, quoting judicial officials, says that prostitutes questioned in the case said they had sex with Strauss-Kahn in 2010 and 2011 in France and also in Washington, D.C., where he lived while working at the IMF.
In France, it is not against the law to pay for sex and, as Reuters reports, "pimping is a broad crime that encompasses aiding or encouraging prostitution."
However, the news agency says, "Because the parties allegedly involved several prostitutes, Strauss-Kahn will stand trial in Lille on the more serious charge of aggravated pimping, which carries a maximum term of 10 years in prison and a $2 million fine."
Strauss-Kahn, who has maintained that he has been unfairly targeted because of his lavish lifestyle, has acknowledged attending sex parties but says he was not aware the women were being paid for their services.