Sunday, July 3, 2011


The New York Times reported, on July 1, that "the sexual assault case against Dominique Strauss-Kahn is on the verge of collapse as investigators have uncovered major holes in the credibility of the housekeeper who charged that he attacked her in his Manhattan hotel suite in May........."
She made her initial allegation on May 14, causing Strauss-Kahn to resign from his post as managing director of the International Monetary Fund. He was required to post one million dollars and a five million dollar bond. He had been a top candidate for the French Presidency before the accusations.

Not exactly Joe Sixpack, a user of public transportation and a resident of the projects.

And note, it was the prosecutor's investigators who found the information which so devastatingly undermine the alleged victim's credibility. And just what are these exonerating, "newly discovered" circumstances?

The woman had a phone conversation with an incarcerated man within a day of her encounter with Strauss-Kahn in which she discussed the possible benefits of pursuing the charges against him.

That man had been arrested on charges of possessing 400 pounds of marijuana. He was among a number of individuals who made multiple cash deposits, totaling approximately $100,000, into the woman's bank account over the last two years.

It was also learned that she was paying hundreds of dollars every month in phone charges to five different companies. The woman insisted that she only had a single phone and said she knew nothing about the deposits except that they were made by a man she described as her fiance and his friends.

The alleged victim has admitted that she has lied about what happened after the encounter. She initially said that after being attacked she waited in a hallway until Strauss-Kahn left the room. She now admits that after the episode, she cleaned a nearby room, then returned to Strauss-Kahn's suite to clean there. Only after that did she report to her supervisor that she had been attacked.

In her application for asylum from Guinea, she claimed to have been a victim of gang rape. She now admits that this was a lie.
This information was obtained from published reports of Jim Dwyer, William K. Rashbaum and John Eligon, in the New York Times, the Boston Globe, and others.

Please note: forensic tests found unambiguous evidence of a sexual encounter between Strauss-Kahn and the woman, whose account of the alleged sexual attack, itself, has never wavered. The District  Attorney was initially emphatic about the strength of the case. But then, the magnitude of the defendant's persona was, obviously called to the Prosecutor's attention. And the popcorn began to pop. At the District Attorney's request, the defendant's bail was changed to personal recognizance and he was released from house arrest.

As a criminal defense attorney, I would be extolling the Prosecutor's work as the essence of justice. He, no doubt, got the word from very high upstairs: This guy was head of the I.M.F.  He was in line ( and still may be ) for the Presidency of France. France is our NATO partner, currently engaging, with us, in military operations in Libya. Don't proceed with this case unless it's an open and shut no-brainer.

As  former judge, I say "try the case." All  this newly discovered evidence certainly tends to undermine the credibility of the alleged victim, but in a tangential way. Only two people have personal knowledge as to whether a sexual assault occurred. Let them face-off in a courtroom. Utilize the criminal justice system. Let the finder of fact (this could be a jury waived trial) weigh everything in context. That way, the verdict will be clean. A dismissal of charges, once so adamantly made, may be deemed by some to be expeditious, but it will be tainted by the suggestion of political pressure from the highest quarter.

I once presided over a similar case, where the defendant was a Doctor, accused of sexually assaulting a patient. Three experts testified that his procedures were in strict conformity with high standards of medical practice. The prosecution presented no experts to support its theory. The defense attorney was drooling with expectation of a "win." But, when the accuser took the stand, her testimony smacked of truth and reason, the absence of supportive expert testimony, notwithstanding. Her words constituted a bullseye to the heart. The defendant was convicted.

The District Attorney has declared his intention to handle this case "as he would any other."
Let it be so.
Even a woman with transgressions of her own, can be the victim of a sexual assault. Don't dismiss the more serious charges and allow Strauss-Kahn to plead to a misdemeanor. Let it all hang out in a trial.

That's the way it would be done with Joe Sixpack.

And, surely, the alleged victim must have been put through and passed a vigorous vetting process.

Mister District Attorney, call your first witness!

1 comment:

  1. I say, what a cool case for one to be summoned and then picked as a jurer ... ;-)