It appears that the case of Dominique Strauss-Kahn (DSK), the former head of the International Monetary Fund, has finally come to a close. All charges against DSK relating to the alleged sexual assault have been dropped in New York. While he proclaims his innocence, the case provides a wealth of information about how rape or sexual assault allegations can be challenged.
To understand how DSK and his criminal defense lawyers challenged the sex crimes allegations, it’s important to start at the beginning. DSK was accused of sexually assaulting a maid at a luxury hotel earlier in 2011. He was dramatically arrested as he attempted to travel back to France.
The forensic evidence included semen in the hotel room and the victim’s personal account of the sexual assault. The problem for the victim and prosecutor’s however, was that the victim changed her story multiple times during the investigation into what happened.
Further, the victim also lost substantial credibility in her accusations when it was discovered that she lied about seeking asylum in the U.S. after she was raped in her native West Africa home. These two missteps on the part of the victim harmed the prosecution’s case and made it nearly impossible to demonstrate beyond a reasonable doubt that the sexual assault did occur in the luxury hotel.
Source: LA Times “Dominique Strauss-Kahn is free to go home,” Geraldine Baum, 8/24/2011