“We couldn’t tell the jury that she kept lying to us but that they should believe her.”
That’s an anonymous official speaking to The New York Times regarding the case against Dominique Strauss Kahn, the former head of the International Monetary Fun who was forced to step down three months ago after he was accused of sexual assault by a New York City hotel maid. The 33-year-old housekeeper, Nafissatou Diallo, claimed that on May 14, DSK forced her to perform oral sex on him when she arrived to clean his room at the Sofitel Hotel; he has insisted the two had a consensual sexual liaison and insinuated rather slanderously that she is a prostitute. The maid’s ripped stockings and DNA from DSK were seen as damning physical evidence against him.
But in the weeks following the alleged attack, during which DSK resigned from the IMF, it came to light that Diallo had lied on her asylum application from her home country of Guinea and repeated those lies to investigators. No one has accused Diallo of lying about the details of the alleged assault in the Sofitel, but even her legal team seems to agree a jury won’t see her as trustworthy and therefore the case can’t be proved beyond a reasonable doubt. Tomorrow, prosecutors are expected to announce charges against DSK will be dropped. [UPDATE: Aroudn 4p.m. EST this afternoon, news outlets began reporting prosecutors would ask a judge that “some or all” of the charges would be dropped. — NPR]Some say the lies Nafissatou Diallo has been caught in are typical — or at least not uncommon — when it comes to the immigration system and making it as an immigrant in America. Diallo has said she was coached to say on her application that she had been gang raped in Guinea to help get asylum and to say that she has more than one child and list her income as lower than it is to get tax breaks, all of which she later admitted were untrue. She also initially told investigators that she went straight to her supervisor after the alleged sexual assault. Later she said that she had cleaned another hotel room before telling someone what happened. The New York Post warns onimously today that prosecutors have more “bombshells” against her yet to be revealed.
Of course, her tax status and exact behavior following the alleged attack should not matter. If a sex crime was committed against her, it was committed against her even if she’s a tax cheat or a liar or even a prostitute. That’s called labeling someone a “good victim” or a “bad victim,” even though they may have been victimized all the same. But still, the inability to be seen credible to a jury has apparently killed this case. Diallo and her attorney, Ken Thompson, are expected to meet with prosecutors in New York today to learn what will be announced tomorrow.
Diallo has filed a civil lawsuit against DSK in the Bronx, where she lives, for “unspecified monetary damages.” She is also suing The New York Post for claiming the she works as a prostitute at the hotel, in addition to being a maid, and insinuating that DSK was a rich client that she was trying to shake down. Those may be her last recourses for justice in what has truly been a long, strange and sad affair.
Do you agree that the charges against DSK should be dropped? Or do you think prosecutors should go ahead with this case?