Strauss Kahn sexual assault case dropped
Court ruled in the business mogul's favour today against the housekeeper who claimed he assaulted her.
In the trial of Strauss-Khan and the hotel housekeeper, the “his word against mine” argument proved to pan out in his favour.
On Tuesday, the judge of this controversial case dismissed him of the charges, and the prosecutors of Cyrus R. Vance Jr., the Manhattan district attorney, said they could not prove the case beyond reasonable doubt due to serious credibility issues with the housekeeper.
Nafissatou Diallo, 33 from Guinea, began as a solid witness to the case, but slowly faltered as it continued to progress. It doesn’t help that a convincing and emotional performance about being gang raped by soldiers in Guinea turned out to be a fraudulent fabrication. This undermining of the case ultimately lead to a huge lack of credibility, which prevented prosecutors from being able to prove Khan’s guilt.
Ms. Diallo did not play her cards carefully as she has given several different accounts of what happened on May 14. In one variation of the story she claims to have ran to the 28th floor- remaining there until encountering a supervisor. This story proved to be quite static as another account says that she cleaned another room (after the attack) before reporting to a supervisor. The final account says that Diallo claimed she did not clean another room after the attack, but went to collect her supplies. The report also cited a telephone call Diallo made to her fiancé (in an Arizona jail) about making money from the case, but previously she stated that this thought hadn’t cross her mind.
Khan suffered public humiliation after being taken into custody on May 14 while aboard an Air France flight at Kennedy International Airport. Shortly after, he was lead into a frenzy of photographers and reporters while handcuffed. Naturally, this nightmare of events came to a just resolution as there hasn’t been enough viable proof to charge him. The housekeeper’s lie was a gift from Heaven for the French economist.
On Monday, Mr. Thompson tried his best to file a motion asking for Vance’s office to be disqualified, but Justice Obus made a quick decision to deny the motion.
After the hearing, Strauss Khan issued a statement saying that he was glad the nightmare was finally over, adding that he was pleased the district attorney agreed with his lawyers that the case needed to be dropped. He also thanked the judge,
“We appreciate his professionalism and that of the people who were involved in that decision,” and said that he was looking forward to returning to his “normal life”.
Like so many powerful and wealthy men before him, this type of case is not uncommon. The story usually involves consensual sex, and then an opportunity to exploit and lie. The public (angry protestors), who are unhappy with this decision, feel that Khan is “getting away with it”.
The physical evidence in the case does suggest that a sexual encounter took place, but does not prove that it was a forcible attack.
Benjamin Brafman and William W. Taylor III, Khan’s lawyers on the case, maintain that this was a case of exploitation on Diallo’s behalf.
Brafman says, “You can engage in inappropriate behavior perhaps, but that is much different than a crime.”
Diallo, who fearlessly made her identity public, is not giving up just yet. She is still trying to sue for unspecified monetary damages. Her lawyer, Kenneth Thompson, is also trying to keep the case alive by claiming that Vance’s office is abandoning the case far too quickly. She has gone public to create media attention for the case by taking interviews with Newsweek and ABC.