Collapsing Case Against Strauss-Kahn?

The New York Times talks to its sources in the NY Police Department and prosecutor’s office and reports:

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, according to two well-placed law enforcement officials.

Although forensic tests found unambiguous evidence of a sexual encounter between Mr. Strauss-Kahn, a French politician, and the woman, prosecutors now do not believe much of what the accuser has told them about the circumstances or about herself.

More key phrases include “repeatedly lied” to investigators, “issues involving the asylum application,” and “possible links to people involved in criminal activities, including drug dealing and money laundering.”

The Times article is based on two anonymous sources, about which readers should always be careful. On the other hand, prosecutors and defense attorney will return to court on Friday morning (NY time), where this new evidence will be presented to the judge.

If the Times account is accurate, the charges against Strauss-Kahn could be greatly reduced or even dropped altogether. Time to shake up French politics again.

Brief thoughts:
* Presumption of innocence is not enough to protect your high-profile political job.
* Track records matter.
* When defense attorneys talk about undermining the credibility of an accuser, they’re not always contemplating personal smears. (Although this may still be the way to bet.)
* The amount of money she is alleged to have been involved in laundering is not trivial. I wonder if the police forces have tugged on all of the threads here to see where they lead.
* I have no idea whether a political comeback for Strauss-Kahn is plausible.

6 thoughts on “Collapsing Case Against Strauss-Kahn?

  1. If it turns out to have been “consensual”, it will still have been a stupid and irresponsible move on his part. I don’t think a comeback is plausible at this point, but who knows? Whenever I see DSK, I cannot help but think of the stains he left on the maid’s shirt collar…

  2. It looks as though the problem for the prosecutors is that they can no longer be confident that their witness will look like an upstanding citizen after the defence has finished with her. The NYT piece doesn’t say that prosecutors think that her accusation against DSK isn’t substantially true. Just another of the burdens of being one of the underclass, perhaps: you can’t get believed by members of the overclass.

  3. Also, ‘connections to money laundering’ and similar might mean that police have been saying things like: we know that your abusive brother-in-law is a money-launderer. He even operates out of your bedroom. That does not mean that the police think you are involved with money-laundering, or that you’re to be considered a criminal.

  4. Updated reporting from NYT:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/02/nyregion/one-revelation-after-another-undercut-strauss-kahn-accusers-credibility.html?_r=1&partner=rss&emc=rss

    Money quote: “When the conversation was translated — a job completed only this Wednesday — investigators were alarmed: “She says words to the effect of, ‘Don’t worry, this guy has a lot of money. I know what I’m doing,’ ” the official said.”

    This case is done.

  5. It was obvious from the very beginning.
    -no screams?
    -nobody else heard anything?
    -Oral rape? Are you kidding me?

    That said, this is a known danger in the US, where a female hotel employee can enter a famous basketball players room after hours, obviously to discuss basketball moves, or another one to go to the world heavyweight boxing champ’s room to obviously discuss boxing.
    What is amazing is that someone like DSK did not have a bodyguard!

    http://www.onthehush.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-8795.html

  6. whatever the merits of this particular case, it has explained to me why younger/prettier maids seem so unusually skittish!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>