Dominique Strauss Kahn: Doubts on maid's credibility(207 Posts)
It's looking like DSK will get off, as doubt is placed on the maid. Why do these stories repeat themselves?
It's because the burden of proof is on the prosecutor.
That's really not the only reason, though. It's because rich and powerful men can get stories placed in the New York Times as part of a media strategy. The power to do that is not available to poor immigrant women. The NYT should be ashamed of itself for publishing this stuff, which is all unattributed rumour at this point.
It still has to go through the courts, regardless of public opinion.
Hugo Schwyzer, who's sometimes been mentioned here, said it well and briefly enough that I'll steal it:
Things are changing fast, but it appears that the sexual assault case against Dominique Strauss-Kahn is collapsing due to the unreliability of his accuser.
We don't know what we don't know. But what we do know is that women who lie on asylum applications can still be rape victims. Women who have shady drug-dealer boyfriends can still be rape victims. Women who themselves deal drugs, or who work in the sex industry, or who commit fraud can still be rape victims. Yes, in a court setting, a pattern of dishonesty on the part of the accuser will undercut a prosecution's case. But we need to push back against the developing narrative that only a "perfect victim" (virginal, middle-class, impeccably honest) deserves the protection of the legal system.
Women shouldn't have to be flawless — or even all that "good" — to get justice.
Here's the link again. It says that the case may be close to collapse, not just because of questions over her reliability (specifically it seems, because of earlier rape allegation she had made:
"The officials believe the woman lied on her application for asylum in the US, particularly over an allegation that she had been raped while at home in Guinea, in West Africa. "She actually recounted the entire story to prosecutors and later said it was false," one law enforcement official told the Associated Press news agency".
But also the article says:
"But prosecutors have not necessarily reached a new conclusion over the allegations against Mr Strauss-Kahn and have not decided whether to downgrade the charges, the official said".
So immigration officials say women seeking asylum lie about being raped? Who knew? Asylum seekers, as is well known, are lying, cheating scum of the earth. But we must give credit for the originality of this defence to a charge of rape. Consent has obviously lost all novelty value. Also, she's a drug dealer. And some other stuff. Surely we all know drug dealers can't be raped? Strauss Kahn is a serial sexual abuser of women. This is the latest example.
For those who wish to read it the District Atorney's letter to DSK defence team is here.
The issue is not just that she is an ilegal immigrant but that she did not tell the truth to the Grand Jury.
I do wonder if we will ever hear the truth now.
Thanks for posting that letter.
The two main issues seem to be a) previous perjury - which she has admitted - and b) changing of her statement about this case (what happened immediately after she left 2806), and admitting what she said under oath to the Grand Jury about this was false.
Can someone point me in the direction of DTK being a serial sexual abuser' please? Any good links? I want to get up to speed on this story. I knew he was alleged to have had affairs but I was unaware of any previous abuse angle. In my defence I haven't had time to do much news reading lately!
fellatio: nothing brought to court.
I suggest you google for the slew of statements which came out in the press following the arrest.
It's difficult but if the letter is true I think she would be an impossible witness. If it could be proved she lied to a grand jury, her credibility would be destroyed in a trial. Like someone said further up I doubt we will ever know the truth.
fellatio: slightly more helpfully - you could start with this Independent article. Tristane Banon made the allegations in 2007, about an incident in 2002. Now a journalist, she is also DSK's ex-wife's Goddaughter.
I don't think anyone else has been specific, or commented other than in the media-frenzy after his arrest.
dittany: the prosecution always have a duty to let the defence know the outline of a case - otherwise how could you prepare your defence?
This has to include all new evidence coming to light - witness statements, forensics, anything. They are also under a duty to disclose all material which may assist the defence - this is a vital protection against abuse of the judicial system by the State as prosecutor.
The public nature of every step of the process is a feature in the US, and not one I like as I see trial by media as unhelpful. The actual letter, linked above, is much more measured than the media.
That doesn't however invalidate the underlying system of the prosecution notifying the defence of the case to be answered and any changes to that case (both to their favour and to their disadvantage). It is vital that the defence, no matter what one thinks of the defendant, can prepare properly.
Disclosures between the prosecution and the defence happen in every single criminal case (in UK), it's totally routine.
Which bits of the letter are highlighted and biassed? It's a straightforward account of potentially exculpatory material. The stuff about wider criminality isn't in the letter.
Look to the role of the press here.
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