Report: New York Prosecutors To Drop Charges Against Strauss-Kahn
Given last week’s revelations, this is not at all surprising:
U.S. prosecutors will drop sexual assault charges against ex-IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn at his next court appearance in two weeks, or earlier, because of doubts about the credibility of the alleged victim, the New York Post said on Tuesday.
The newspaper quoted an unnamed top investigator in the case who said the eventual dismissal of charges was “a certainty”.
“We all know this case is not sustainable,” The New York Post quoted its source as saying.
“Her credibility is so bad now, we know we cannot sustain a case with her,” the source told the newspaper, referring to the Guinean hotel maid who accused Strauss-Kahn of
trying to rape her in a luxury hotel in Manhattan.
“She is not to be believed in anything that comes out of her mouth — which is a shame, because now we may never know what happened in that hotel room,” said the source
quoted by The New York Post.
The newspaper said its source was at the center of the investigation and spoke only on the condition of anonymity.
One wonders if they are considering bringing perjury charges against the accuser who did, after all, testify under oath in the Grand Jury.
Update: As noted in the comments, Strauss-Kahn may be facing additional legal trouble back in France:
PARIS — Dominique Strauss-Kahn will face another complaint alleging attempted rape, this one in France, according to the lawyer for a French novelist who said in an interview published on Tuesday that she wanted “a chance to be heard” about her accusation.
The novelist, Tristane Banon, 32, claims that Mr. Strauss-Kahn tried to rape her in 2003, and said that she remained silent on the advice of her mother, a prominent Socialist. After Mr. Strauss-Kahn was arrested in New York in May on a similar charge, Ms. Banon hired a lawyer, David Koubbi, who said Monday that the criminal complaint would be filed Tuesday.
Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s lawyers responded Monday evening, saying he had asked them to file a counter-complaint of slander against Ms. Banon. The lawyers, Henri Leclerc and Frédérique Baulieu, said in a statement that her accusations are “imaginary.”
Mr. Koubbi had said numerous times in the past two months that Ms. Banon would bring charges, but that he did not want her lawsuit to become mixed up with the one in New York, in which Mr. Strauss-Kahn is accused of sexually assaulting a housekeeper who came to clean his hotel suite. However, that case appears to be collapsing in light of new evidence that casts doubt on the housekeeper’s credibility.
The turnaround caused a weekend flurry in France, as some Socialists discussed the possibility that Mr. Strauss-Kahn would be exonerated and return in time to run for the presidency after all. He had been widely seen as the party’s strongest candidate against President Nicolas Sarkozy in next year’s election.
But a new criminal procedure against him would render such a comeback — already unlikely, according to his own party — nearly unimaginable. If Ms. Banon files her complaint as expected, an investigative judge would be appointed to look into the allegations, but the process of deciding whether to prosecute could be lengthy.
In an excerpt released by the magazine, Ms. Banon offered a graphic account of her alleged encounter with Mr. Strauss-Kahn in 2003, saying he grabbed her in a nearly empty apartment as she was interviewing him and dragged her to the floor, pulling off some of her clothes and forcing his hand into her underwear. She said she escaped by kicking him desperately.
“I know that half will believe me, the others not,” she said. “There is no good solution, only one that means I can finally look at myself in the mirror. For once, I want to be in control of what happens. I want people to listen to me, because I have, perhaps, finally, a chance to be heard.”
Ms. Banon said she had no connection to the New York case, but that if the housekeeper “lied on certain subjects, it doesn’t mean that she lied about the rape.” When she saw Mr. Strauss-Kahn freed from house arrest and immediately “dining in a luxurious restaurant with friends, it made me sick.” Mr. Strauss-Kahn denied Ms. Banon’s accusations in an interview in March for what was to be a campaign biography. “The scene she recounts is imaginary,” he told the author, Michel Taubmann, two months before being arrested in New York. “Do you see me throwing a woman on the floor and being violent, as she claims it?”
Asked why she had delayed taking legal action for eight years, Ms. Banon said: “It is very hard for every woman in this case. People are asking you to say what happened minute by minute, while you have only one wish: to forget minute by minute what happened.”
“It is even harder when you know in advance that it is doomed to failure,” she said. “In these matters it is one person’s word against the other. So what value would be placed on the word of a young trainee journalist working on her first book who was going to be suspected of seeking publicity?”
As I’ve said before, Strauss-Kahn is no doubt a jerk. Whether he’s a criminal is a different manner and not an accusation that should be made lightly.