(Bloomberg News) International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, accused of attempting to rape a hotel housekeeper, was ordered held without bail by a New York judge after prosecutors said he presented a flight risk.

Strauss-Kahn appeared in Manhattan criminal court today, two days after he was taken into custody aboard an Air France flight as it prepared to depart from John F. Kennedy International Airport. Prosecutors asked Judge Melissa Jackson that he be kept in custody until trial. Strauss-Kahn faces as long as 25 years in prison if convicted of the most serious charges, prosecutors said.

A potential candidate for the French presidency, Strauss- Kahn, 62, has denied the charges and will plead not guilty, his lawyer Benjamin Brafman has said. He didn't enter a plea today. His next court appearance was set for May 20.

"He has almost no incentive to stay in this country," Assistant District Attorney Artie McConnell told Jackson at the hearing in a packed courtroom in lower Manhattan. "He has an extensive network of contacts throughout the world." France "does not extradite its nationals," he said.

The judge agreed to hold Strauss-Kahn without bail, agreeing he is a flight risk.

Criminal Sexual Act

The IMF chief is charged with criminal sexual act, attempted rape, sexual abuse, unlawful imprisonment, sexual abuse and forcible touching, according to court papers.

Stephen Morello, a spokesman for the New York City Department of Correction, said Strauss-Kahn may be taken today to the city's main jail complex on Rikers Island, off the shore of northern Queens opposite LaGuardia Airport.

The jail has one-person cells and Strauss-Kahn, because of his prominence, may require an escort when out of his cell, Morello said. He will stay at the courthouse lockup "until we decide to move him somewhere else," Morello said.

Brafman asked the judge to let his client stay with his daughter, who lives in New York, while awaiting trial. Brafman said Strauss-Kahn's wife, television journalist Anne Sinclair, was flying to New York today.