Continuing this week’s previous post on the Dominique Strauss-Kahn (DSK) sexual assault allegation, this post will discuss the challenges facing the prosecution that ultimately led to the dismissal of all charges. In general, sexual assault cases are difficult for prosecutors because there is often limited evidence unless the DNA evidence is present.
A witness’s credibility is often a critical component of a sex offense case because when there are only two people involved namely the victim and the alleged offender, the testimony is often pitted as one against another. That’s why the judge or jury must have a great deal of faith in the victim’s credibility.
In this particular case, credibility of the witness was extremely important. The problem for the maid in this case, however, was that she admitted that she lied about a previous gang rape prior to her arrival in the U.S. Some reports also said that her application for U.S. asylum was falsified when it included the rape information, but that was later discounted by the New York Times who reported that the application actually contained no mention of the gang rape.
Despite pleas from prosecutors to be absolutely honest about everything she said, the alleged victim fabricated the gang rape story. After the lie about the story occurred, it would be relatively easy for the defense lawyers to discount the woman’s story about the sexual assault in New York. That’s part of the reason why the charges against DSK were dismissed and the accuser’s request for a special prosecutor request was denied.
It is important for a criminal defense attorney to understand the alleged victim’s credibility and his or her past when defending against sex offense allegations.
Source: LA Times “Dominique Strauss-Kahn is free to go home,” Geraldine Baum, 8/24/2011