NEW YORK — A pair of judges put an end Tuesday to the sensational sexual assault case against Dominique Strauss-Kahn, setting him free after prosecutors argued the hotel housekeeper accusing the French diplomat of sexual assault couldn’t be trusted.

The decision to drop the charges in a case that has attracted global attention had been widely expected. Prosecutors filed court papers Monday saying that they could not trust the word of the hotel housekeeper accusing the French diplomat of attempted rape.

“Our inability to believe the complainant beyond a reasonable doubt means, in good faith, that we could not ask a jury to do that,” Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzzi-Orbon said in formally recommending the case be dismissed.

Strauss-Kahn and his wife, journalist Anne Sinclair, left court without speaking to reporters but issued a statement in English afterward.

“I want to thank all the friends in France and in the United States who have believed in my innocence, and to the thousands of people who sent us their support personally and in writing,” he said.