Let’s face it, Strauss-Kahn is a sleaze. He lies, forces himself on women, and acts “like a rutting chimpanzee”. Yet he gets away with it time and again. He even gets nominated as France’s next President when all around him know of his salacious proclivities.
American prosecutors have dropped all charges against Strauss-Kahn because, they say, his victim lied to the Grand Jury. She also lied about being raped as a refugee, desperate to flee her war-torn country. Well, so did Strauss-Kahn lie, desperate to save face and to save his status in French politics.
As the old saying goes, “There is the Law, and then there’s Justice”. There will be no justice in this case; Money and Power win again. Strauss-Kahn may not now get to be president of France, but rest assured, his political buddies will rally round and find him some other top position on the world stage.
Meanwhile, the hotel maid, Nafissatou Diallo, has lost her ‘cushy’ job in a plush Manhattan hotel, and will find it difficult to gain similar employment in another top hotel.
US prosecutors have asked a judge to dismiss all criminal charges against Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former International Monetary Fund chief accused of sexual assaulting Ms Diallo.
“The nature and number of the complainant’s falsehoods leave us unable to credit her version of events beyond a reasonable doubt, whatever the truth may be about the encounter between the complainant and the defendant,’’ the office of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. said in a filing today. ‘‘If we do not believe her beyond a reasonable doubt, we cannot ask a jury to do so.’’
What he really means is: the team of powerful lawyers Mr Strauss-Kahn’s wealthy wife has procured for him, will tear our case to pieces! Let alone the victim!
After today’s meeting with prosecutors, Ms Diallo’s lawyer, Kenneth Thompson, said that ‘‘Cyrus Vance has denied the right of a woman to get justice in a rape case. He has not only turned his back on this innocent victim, but he has also turned his back on the forensic, medical and other physical evidence in this case’’.
But, prosecutors argue: ‘Although the physical scientific and other evidence establishes that the defendant engaged in a hurried sexual encounter with the complainant, it does not independently establish her claim of a forcible, non-consenual encounter.’
DNA testing “established that several stains located on the upper portion of the complainant’s hotel uniform dress contained semen that yielded the defendant’s DNA”, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office said in the motion. Evidence was “consistent with a non-consensual encounter”.
However, the DA’s office stated that the physical evidence, while showing a sexual encounter, did not conclusively prove the maid’s assertion that she was assaulted and forced to perform oral sex.
Ms Diallo showed no injuries strongly indicating attempted rape, and slight damage to her undergarments could have occurred from normal wear and tear, the DA’s motion read.
However, other factors, such as the hurried nature of the sex act that resulted in Strauss-Kahn’s semen landing on the maid’s clothing, pointed to a forced encounter. “The encounter between the complainant and the defendant was brief, suggesting that the sexual act was not likely a product of a consensual encounter”.
Another important piece of evidence was the discovery of Strauss-Kahn’s DNA “on both the interior and exterior waistband” of the tights worn by the maid, “as well as on the waistband of the panties”.
The motion said: “These findings suggest that the defendant touched the complainant’s undergarments, but they do not controvert or confirm the complainant’s account that the defendant placed his hand inside her underwear and groped her genitals directly.” A speck of blood found on the bed was from Strauss-Kahn who was suffering a skin condition on his hands and was not thought to be evidence of a struggle, the motion said.
Although prosecutors and police found Ms Diallo’s story entirely credible, she quickly undermined her case by lying to investigators and to the grand jury that indicted Strauss-Kahn, the motion said.
But Mr Strauss-Kahn lied to police and initially stated he was not even in the hotel room at the time of the incident. It was only when DNA evidence showed the semen was from him, did Strauss-Kahn say that the sex was consensual.
Another issue was the prosecuters claim that the victim constantly changed her story about what she did immediately after the alleged attack, ranging from hiding fearfully in a corridor to returning to the room to clean after Strauss-Kahn left. Most seriously, Miss Diallo admitted that she had entirely made up a story during her asylum application to the United States about being gang raped in Guinea.
During one session with prosecutors, Ms Diallo repeated the story with so much emotion that “she cried, spoke hesitatingly, and… even laid her head face down on a table in front of her”. Later, she said “she had entirely fabricated the Guinea attack”.
This lie, prosecutors said, made her fatally vulnerable to cross-examination in court, because Strauss-Kahn’s attorneys would be able to argue to the jury that she had a history of successfully making up sex attacks. “Most significant is her ability to recount that fiction as a fact with complete conviction,” the motion said.
“That she has previously persuaded seasoned prosecutors and investigators that she was the victim of another serious and violent – but false – sexual assault, with the same demeanour that she would likely exhibit at trial, is fatal.”
But, I have to ask, what of Strauss-Kahn’s repeated lying to the Grand Jury, that sex with the maid was consensual, even though evidence proves otherwise?
Ms Diallo’s civil case is still pending against Strauss-Kahn in New York state court in the Bronx. In the suit, which alleges ‘‘violent and deplorable acts’’ occurred in the suite in the hotel, Ms Diallo is seeking unspecified monetary damages.
Sources: AAP & Bloomberg