ONTD Political

Charges Against Strauss-Kahn Dismissed

3:47 pm - 08/23/2011
The criminal case against Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former managing director of the International Monetary Fund, officially ended Tuesday after a Manhattan judge dismissed all charges at the prosecution’s request.

Prosecutors in the office of Cyrus R. Vance Jr., the Manhattan district attorney, told the judge, Michael J. Obus of State Supreme Court, that they could not prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt because of serious credibility issues with the hotel housekeeper who had accused Mr. Strauss-Kahn of sexually assaulting her as she entered his suite to clean it.

The judge initially had issued a stay on his decision until an appellate court could hear the housekeeper’s motion to remove Mr. Vance and appoint a special prosecutor. The appeals court denied the request, concurring with Justice Obus that the argument had no legal basis.

Justice Obus’s order of dismissal brought some semblance of vindication to Mr. Strauss-Kahn, 62, after his stunning arrest more than three months ago. He was taken into custody May 14 aboard an Air France jet at Kennedy International Airport and then paraded before news cameras, disheveled and in handcuffs.

For his accuser, Nafissatou Diallo, a 33-year-old Guinean immigrant, the result caps a precipitous fall. Prosecutors initially portrayed her as a credible and powerful witness, only to say that her myriad lies about her past — which included a convincing, emotional but ultimately fraudulent account of being gang raped by soldiers in Guinea — ended up undermining the case.

Ms. Diallo, who has made her identity public, still has a civil lawsuit pending against Mr. Strauss-Kahn for unspecified monetary damages, and her lawyer, Kenneth P. Thompson, has been relentless in his assertion that Mr. Strauss-Kahn sexually assaulted his client and that Mr. Vance’s office abandoned the case too soon.

Mr. Thompson made one last desperate attempt to keep the criminal case going, filing a motion on Monday asking that Mr. Vance’s office be disqualified. But about an hour before Tuesday’s hearing started, a court clerk handed out a one-page decision in which Justice Obus denied Mr. Thompson’s motion. However, Mr. Thompson appealed, leading to Justice Obus’s suspension of his dismissal order.

The appellate division’s ruling was expected to set the stage for Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s eventual return to France, where he is a leading figure in the Socialist Party and had been considered a top candidate for the French presidency.

After the hearing, Mr. Strauss-Kahn issued a statement, characterizing the time since his arrest as “a nightmare for me and my family,” and thanking the judge, his wife and family and other supporters.

He added that he was “obviously gratified that the district attorney agreed with my lawyers that this case had to be dismissed.”

“We appreciate his professionalism and that of the people who were involved in that decision,” he continued. Mr. Strauss-Kahn added that he looked forward to “returning to our home and resuming something of a more normal life.”

The case has attracted international attention ever since the arrest; each appearance in court has drawn a carnival-like atmosphere outside, with journalists and camera crews mixing with protesters. The scene on Tuesday was no exception: Well before Mr. Strauss-Kahn arrived at 11:03 a.m., about three dozen protesters gathered, most of them in opposition to Mr. Strauss-Kahn.

To them, the case represented an instance of a powerful, wealthy man getting away with something he did to a poor immigrant woman.

But his lawyers, Benjamin Brafman and William W. Taylor III, have maintained that the sexual encounter between him and Ms. Diallo was consensual and that she was simply trying to exploit him for money.

“You can engage in inappropriate behavior perhaps,” Mr. Brafman said outside the courthouse after the hearing. “But that is much different than a crime.”

Mr. Brafman and Mr. Taylor each characterized Mr. Vance’s decision to drop the charges in such a high-profile case as “courageous.”

But Mr. Thompson, Ms. Diallo’s lawyer, said Mr. Vance not only “abandoned an innocent woman,” he also made it less enticing for other women to come forward with claims of sexual assault.

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bnmc2005 23rd-Aug-2011 09:02 pm (UTC)
ladypolitik 23rd-Aug-2011 09:06 pm (UTC)
martydressler 23rd-Aug-2011 09:08 pm (UTC)
chimbleysweep 23rd-Aug-2011 09:13 pm (UTC)
This is the worst post for me to stop and say omg Meryl.
aegis52 23rd-Aug-2011 09:08 pm (UTC)
scolaro 23rd-Aug-2011 09:11 pm (UTC)
I'm not surprised.
ennifer_jay 23rd-Aug-2011 09:12 pm (UTC)
Color me unsurprised. Money talks.
chimbleysweep 23rd-Aug-2011 09:13 pm (UTC)
Every day, in every way, I'm getting more and more pissed off.
makemerun 23rd-Aug-2011 11:47 pm (UTC)
Exactly this.
poetic_pixie_13 23rd-Aug-2011 09:21 pm (UTC)

I quit.
grayestnova 24th-Aug-2011 03:38 am (UTC)
IA Anne, IA.
angelofdeath275 23rd-Aug-2011 09:22 pm (UTC)
was just goin to post that very source.

alierakieron 23rd-Aug-2011 09:28 pm (UTC)
So fucking furious about this.
acidosaur 23rd-Aug-2011 09:34 pm (UTC)
yeah, not surprised. just really sad tbh
polietics 23rd-Aug-2011 09:34 pm (UTC)

Just, fuck everything.
fishphile 23rd-Aug-2011 09:38 pm (UTC)
*sigh* I'm not surprised either.
one_hoopy_frood 23rd-Aug-2011 09:43 pm (UTC)
Fuck everything
sephystabbity 23rd-Aug-2011 09:45 pm (UTC)
dkwrkm 23rd-Aug-2011 09:48 pm (UTC)
Was waiting for this to show up.

I'm leaving this in the hands of France. Please don't elect this guy as your president. Ever. UGH.
doverz 23rd-Aug-2011 09:54 pm (UTC)
Not surprising at all. And of course, he's making it all about him and all the trouble he had to go through.
mswyrr 24th-Aug-2011 01:24 am (UTC)
When he was coming up, it was so much easier to rape women and not experience even the slightest bit of bother over it. He's saddened by the world he'll leave behind for his sons, where it's a minor inconvenience sometimes. Why, it might diminish his highest political aspirations! Terrible, terrible.


I want to hurt this man with my bare hands, negl.
ceilidh_ann 23rd-Aug-2011 09:58 pm (UTC)
I don't want to live on this planet anymore.
kyakki 24th-Aug-2011 03:38 am (UTC)
I want to live here. I just want them to get shipped off to Pluto.
keeperofthekeys 23rd-Aug-2011 09:58 pm (UTC)
For some reason I really thought this asshole would have to have his day in court.

Fuck everything.
snarksnarklaugh 23rd-Aug-2011 10:33 pm (UTC)
I think he actually had several.
maclyn 23rd-Aug-2011 10:02 pm (UTC)
At this point I think we can diagnose the NY DA with having some kind of addiction to denying Diallos their rights.
gr_julian 24th-Aug-2011 08:05 am (UTC)
MTE, unfortunately.
x_butterfly19_x 23rd-Aug-2011 10:02 pm (UTC)
thelovewitch 23rd-Aug-2011 10:13 pm (UTC)
I fucking cannot. Fuck everything. JUST FUCK YOU YOU SLEAZY DISGUSTING CREEP. DIAGDF plz.
pandaseal 23rd-Aug-2011 10:13 pm (UTC)
Fucking hell.
awakejupiter 23rd-Aug-2011 10:28 pm (UTC)
Awful. :(

Now please don't elect him, France.
sobota 24th-Aug-2011 03:45 am (UTC)
the french think he was completely innocent. i really didn't like the french for a few weeks whilst i was there.
closetotheflame 23rd-Aug-2011 10:30 pm (UTC)
Fuck all the people who say, "Well, she's a shady person," or "She lied about being gang-raped, that makes her dubious in my book!" or "Why did she go to the media???" and all of the other crap they're spewing. This asshole should have been the subject of the close character scrutiny, not her.
17tea 24th-Aug-2011 05:59 pm (UTC)
This. Everyone is going on and on about how she's "not credible," but he's been accused of sexual assault in the past by possibly as many as 14 people (although not everyone pursued a criminal trial) and this is never mentioned by the media. UGH. I hate this world sometimes.
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