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How do you say “Duke Lacrosse” in French? “Dominique Strauss-Kahn”

How do you say “Duke Lacrosse” in French? “Dominique Strauss-Kahn”

If you noticed, when Dominique Strauss-Kahn was arrested for the alleged sexual assault on a maid at a hotel in New York, I didn’t join in, almost alone in the blogosphere.

Something didn’t seem right. The story was too neat, and too couched in political correctness. It was the same feeling I got when the accusation was made against the Duke Lacrosse players. White privilege, an immigrant victim, a not very sympathetic rich guy … it fit a made-for-media narrative.

Call it instinct, or plain dumb luck, but it now looks like the criminal case against Strauss-Kahn is falling apart, as reported by The New York Times:

The sexual assault case against Dominique Strauss-Kahn is on the verge of collapse as investigators have uncovered major holes in the credibility of the housekeeper who charged that he attacked her in his Manhattan hotel suite in May, according to two well-placed law enforcement officials.

Although forensic tests found unambiguous evidence of a sexual encounter between Mr. Strauss-Kahn, a French politician, and the woman, prosecutors do not believe much of what the accuser has told them about the circumstances or about herself.

Since her initial allegation on May 14, the accuser has repeatedly lied, one of the law enforcement officials said.

AP confirms the problems through its own sources:

The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss matters not yet made public in court, told The Associated Press that prosecutors have raised issues about the accuser’s credibility in the case against Strauss-Kahn, but would not elaborate on what those issues were.

A separate law enforcement official who is familiar with the case, but not authorized to speak about it publicly, told the AP that the issue was not necessarily about the rape accusation itself, but about troubling questions surrounding the alleged victim’s background that could damage her credibility on the witness stand. The official refused to elaborate.

Was there a sexual assault? That’s an open question now, but we shut our minds to the possibility of innocence before.

While I was silent about Strauss-Kahn, I also did not express my skepticism on the blog. Call it a learning lesson.

Update 7-1-2011:  Strauss-Kahn was released today on his own personal recognizance.   More discussion to be added in a new post here.


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Juba Doobai! | June 30, 2011 at 11:15 pm

I think you are jumping the gun, dear sir.

That the woman may have lied on a number of matters does not mean she may have lied on sexual assault. If that is the DA’s rationale for dismissing the charges, then no one can be charged with any crime because everybody lies.

The problem for the DA is that his primary witness has character defects. Nevertheless, he still has to address the matter of her demeanor immediately after the alleged rape. Is she a sufficiently good liar that she can mimic the attitudes and behaviors of a rape victim well enough to fool medical personnel?

The defense might be able to tear her apart because she lied about money, cellphones, asylum. However, they may not be able to shake her about the rape.

teapartydoc | July 1, 2011 at 12:14 am

I hate to say it because I’ve seen this argument mis-used so many times, but I think this is a case of prosecuting the victim in order to help a prosecutor get out of a situation he’d rather not be in.

That is a sad statement about rape prosecution in this country if the problems are about her personal life. Can only a nun get justice?

    William A. Jacobson in reply to just a conservative girl. | July 1, 2011 at 12:48 am

    From the reports it appears that the prosecutors have doubts about the case going far beyond any past issues she may have. The Manhattan DA office has experienced sex crimes unit and they would not do this just because she had past problems.

Is this a case of a defective witness vs. a HUGE SCUMBAG? I don’t know. As much as I am a political operative (which I am not) I am also a don’t “lock someone in pound-me-in-the-ass-prison” guy as can be if I cannot prove beyond the shadow of a doubt.

He was embarrassed and resigned. Mission Accomplished.

Carol Herman | July 1, 2011 at 12:40 am

The frenchman had a reputation for being rough.

And, women who can earn money quit being hotel maids, because being a hotel maid is back breaking work!

Oh. And, the maid had to pass the RAPE KIT TEST! She had marks on her body. The evidence was there … even given that her skin is black. Not like white bruises at all.

Plus, the only reason DSK got caught is that he called the hotel and asked if they found his cell phone. (It’s an amazing thing his lawyers aren’t claiming the woman swallowed it … to show she could take his penis into her mouth.)

Of course, there was a policeman at the desk when DSK’s phone call came in from Kennedy. And, the policeman told the hotel manager to LIE. He said tell him “the hotel service would bring him his phone … All he had to do was tell them where he was.)

Maybe, that’s a reason to throw out the case.

An individual shouldn’t be helping the prosecution. We all know that. Even those of us who haven’t gone to law school. Or ever heard the Maranda Rights even being read out loud.

But I digress. Ruining the reputation of a maid who is a witness is an old trick. Probably taught in law schools. But learned to do well only by the most aggressive lawyers. Most would drown trying to be sharks.

…and you don’t think this douche bag has the political connections to stomp on the accuser from within the system?

The Bill Clinton’s accusers were all liars too.

It’s all but impossible to read these cases with any certainty when involved first hand. Those of us involved third hand are very smart to keep an open mind. I never presumed the guy guilty, just as I do not presume him innocent now. No chance at all the French have not made a sufficiently persuasive threat or inducement to the Obama admin to drop the case?

The NY Post reported in May that DSK’s wealthy friends were trying to bribe the maid’s impoverished family, including her extended family in Guinea, West Africa, to make the case against DSK ‘go away.’ This latest news about the case sounds as though they may have been successful. Hope the court revisits the attempted bribery story before making a decision on reducing DSK’s bail.

Even prostitutes can be raped. We know there was a sexual encounter between Strauss-Kahn and the housekeeper. The only issue is whether it was consensual or not.

That’s a question of fact for a jury.

    William A. Jacobson in reply to myiq2xu. | July 1, 2011 at 8:42 am

    I find it hard to believe that the Manhattan DA’s office would drop the case just because the maid had a sordid past. They absolutely would prosecute the rape of a prostitute, in your example. If the Manhattan DA’s office has doubts about the truth of her story of the crime, they did the right thing rather than being the type of prosecutor who — like Nifong — ignores the facts in front of their eyes.

Juba Doobai! | July 1, 2011 at 1:47 am

The DA never wanted to prosecute and had to be pushed into it, in the first place, Wm. Therefore, the prosecutor had doubts before he saw any evidence from the rape kit test. Why?

The defendant was dishing out the bread in the victim’s country to get her to back off. How much money did D-K pass out in this country? To whom did he pass it? Did anybody in the DA’s office receive any of it? Is the accuser’s English enough to withstand the more complex legal English? Is she answering questions in English or is she using a translator? If in English, what level of English provides the basis for the questions asked?

Why did the DA not want to prosecute the case originally? What about the forensic evidence? What about the maid’s immediate reaction after the alleged rape?

We know that in the age of Obama the law is meaningless. Is it so meaningless that a French sleazebag can buy his way out of trouble in America?

Let’s say for the moment that the guy didn’t do as alleged (presumption of innocense notwithstanding) so what was motive of the authorities to press charges where the evidence was flimsy? Was this another Nifonging incident by an overzealous local prosecutor seeking notariety at the expense of justice as with the Duke Lacrosse boys?

Was this sanctioned by the State Department? IF so, what did federal authorities have to gain by removing Strauss-Kahn’s from the IMF? Given the politcal influence peddling of the Obama admin, was Strauss-Kahn advancing Obama’s interest, hindering Obama’s interest or neutral?

Was this sanctioned by the State Department?

Was any political pressure put on the DA to dismiss the case?

alwaysfiredup | July 1, 2011 at 3:55 am

Professor I think you’ve badly misread this. There’s no evidence the case is falling apart. This is just background dirt being overhyped by the Yellow Times. Seriously, why shouldn’t she discuss the possibility of making money from the unfortunate event of having been raped? Our civil system is founded on the premise. I just see nothing here aside from the Times’ assertion to show that the case is actually falling apart.

I think the NYT is a key indicator also. They had the Duke Lacrosse case 180 degrees backward with malice. The NYT lied and lied.

Here I think French IMF socialist superstar trumps poor third world immigrant. I think the poor woman is being Alinskied so Strauss-Kahn can mount his socialist white horse and defeat Sarkozy in the coming French elections. The plaintiff is road kill in that effort.

To his credit, Rick Moran of American Thinker was another observer who didn’t join the herd mentality when Strauss-Kahn was charged. In fact, he wrote: “Label me a cynic, but there may be more than meets the eye to the shocking news that the head of the International Monetary Fund, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, was hauled off a plane bound for France by New York police and subsequently charged with assaulting a hotel maid.”

Moran went onto write that the story being told by the maid “doesn’t ring true and perhaps there is something else we’re not being told.”

DINORightMarie | July 1, 2011 at 8:09 am

I believe @M_lucky said it best: “He was embarrassed and resigned. Mission Accomplished.” I smelled a bit of a rat when I first heard this, as DSK noted that his “enemies” had implied they would try something like this to discredit him. His womanizing ways were well known.

He lived a life where he gave ammo to the enemy. Sounds like he resigned to cool the publicity. The man knows how the world works, and I’m sure his lawyers know how to defend him, using the tactics that are legal, if unseemly. The accuser/victim/woman sounds like she has credibility issues, and has lied since the accusation to the police. I don’t know if DSK’s wealth is buying off people, but he certainly has the money. Like it or not, he might not be an angel, but he just might be an “evil rich white guy” being set up to take his powerful position. I just saw on Drudge today that the lady who replaced him is from “Chicagoland.” What is that all about?!

Let the courts and the prosecutor/defending legal team work – our legal system is second to none in the world. Who knows? There might be an even bigger scandal exposed: what if DSK’s enemies DID set him up? How would the financial world handle that tsunami?

DINORightMarie | July 1, 2011 at 8:14 am

Troll alert, Professor: I believe “myiq2xu” is a possible troll. Just from reading his comments and that creepy image. Is that a white-painted black face? Bloody hand? Just sayin’.

    William A. Jacobson in reply to DINORightMarie. | July 1, 2011 at 8:44 am

    myiq2xu is not a troll in the traditional sense, actually a pretty good blogger, formerly at Reverdaughter at The Confluence, now at The Crawdad Hole, who can be provocative (including calling me a “wingnut” every now and then).

    Nah, he’s not a troll. The “wingnut” comments were snark. Myiq is a blogger who believes that truth, or at least interesting commentary, can be discussed regardless of the ideological purity of the source. The wingnut comments were a dig at his fellow liberals, who would wet their pants at the horror of linking to an article from an “unapproved” source.

    He’s a pretty sharp old-school liberal thinker who loves honest debate right left and center, as well as a skewed humorist and sometime provocateur and devil’s advocate. But his provoking is usually in the interest of getting people to THINK and defend their position – even if he actually agrees with their position (or not). He’s a lot of fun.

[…] to resign from his position from his IMF position. Could this have been a conspiracy to oust DSK? Some have been skeptical of the news accounts from the outset, and with good reason it seems. Share […]

DINORightMarie | July 1, 2011 at 8:21 am

Another interesting thought: the timing of this case falling apart…..just days after his successor is chosen and seated.

The timing, it is intriguing, indeed.

At the outset of these cases we have only the media accounts to frame our views if it. The initial account (unlike that of the lacrosse players) was inherently consistent: A single immigrant mother working in a hotel being accosted by a man known for crossing sexual boundaries; DNA and physical evidence supported her claim; the man had made a seeming dash for a plane out of the country.

IMO,DINORightMarie has an important point on the timing. However I believe that one should keep in mind that the newly elected IMF leader has strong ties to Chicago, but could not be put into that position until DSK was knocked out of it.

Mission accomplished!

(including calling me a “wingnut” every now and then)

{{turns red}}

I guess if you’re going to read my posts I better be more polite. I am a lawyer, an independent liberal and a fan of yours. I don’t believe liberals (or conservatives) have a monopoly on truth. I live in a very red district in California’s Central Valley so unlike many lefties I actually know lots of conservatives.

I used to post snarky “wingnut warnings” when I was at The Confluence because some readers (and a couple co-bloggers) there would freak out if I linked with approval to conservative sites (“ZOMG! Don’t you know that Soandso is a crazy right-winger?”)

TC started as a refuge for Hillary supporters who were driven out of Dkos and other lefty sites by Obama supporters. PUMA (Party Unity My Ass) started at TC because we refused to back Obama after the 2008 primaries.

I am a radical feminist and agree with Amanda Marcotte that we should not have a presumption of innocence in rape cases (when the accused it a Marxist).

What this says to me, and I say this as a woman, and also one who was a victim of a rapist at the age of 19, is that the way the laws were modified to almost elevate the female victim of rape, over other victims of other crimes helps to create a presumption of guilt. I’ve seen so many such rape cases in the media where the end result only serves to harm real victims of rape, as there’s almost a sense of entitlement and little to no risk to make a false allegation. Again, rape is a real crime, and it harms all victims of rape. It’s not about sex, it’s a violent attack that is about power and ocntrol, but to play games the way the women’s movement has demanded, has not served to lessen rape, but to actually make a mockery of the crime and real, actual victims.

    Thank you for saying what only a woman is allowed to say in this PC charged atmosphere. I commend you for the hard work it took to achieve the healing that it took to come to this point in your life. It takes a strong person to not condemn an entire group for the actions of an individual. It is only when people like yourself stand up and denounce the faux PC nonsense of victimization feminism that will end the usurping by the left claiming to be the sole voice for women.

Mark Styen was also a touch skeptical of the rush to condemn. There is enough politics at play in this case, that I’m afraid that any truth of the matter is going to get over-written.

“DSK is out on OR. New York District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. has in his wisdom; Released Domique Strass-Kahn on his Own Recognizance! In a most compelling Press Conference by the victim’s attorney Ken Thompson…it almost brought tears to our eyes. Hearing of a woman from Africa, brutally raped by soldiers and by great luck able to escape that country with her baby daughter. (True or Not true?) A woman then brutally raped in this country by the head of the IMF and then thrown to the wolves by the NYC DA Cyrus Vance Jr. A woman threatened about her immigration and tax status in this country by the DA’s office. The NY DA’s Office having their third in command married to one of the attorney’s for DSK.

Thompson, the victim’s attorney will be attacked for attempting to “try the case in the press”, as an unprecedented desparate attempt to save a failing case. Our thought is: If in fact the NYC DA’s Office and the Judge are dirty….what would you have the Defense Attorney do – other than come clean in public?

This case involves International Politics, Paid off Public Officials on both sides of the big pond, and Jaded Justice! The victim is being characterized as a liar and just trying to make a buck on a unlucky meeting. The victim has supposedly lied on her tax return, told some drug dealer that she will be making money on the deal. The DA’s Office has also brow beaten the victim according to Thompson, the victim’s attorney – over a three day period including abusive language and attitudes. In any event, DSK is out. Out, because of the Judge? Out, because of the DA’s Office? Out, because of the what counter evidence?”

Orange Juice

Dominique Strauss-Kahn: Kenneth Thompson Press Conference (full)

You Tube

Carol Herman | July 1, 2011 at 4:38 pm

You know the case is really simple.

Strauss-Kahn knew the checkout rules. He knew the maid would come in and clean the room up so it could be rented out to the next customer. He got naked. He hid. She knocked. There was no answer. When she swiped her electronic key and entered. THE DOOR WAS LEFT OPEN!

But the naked DSK slammed the door shut.

He thought he’d could do his rough sex routine. And, the maid would be scared shit-less. You know? Maybe she actually shit on the bed? She had DNA proof and everything needed to prove she had been raped.

She also knew she was an illegal. And, if charges got pressed she’d be sent back to her “homeland.” Which is proving to be true. Because, somehow, in the grand jury room she was asked about her citizenship status.


Gotcha journalism at work.

While most people know a first class hotel doesn’t hire folk who try to sell drugs to their clientele. Or who steal “stuff” that’s left in any room! Just the thought of losing this job … terrifies those who break their backs lifting mattresses.

The real rape of American taxpayers will continue!

That’s also not reported in the press. Who are too interested in “halping” their sources.

Even on slow news weekends. Maybe, particularly on slow news weekends? Otherwise? My gosh, DSK would have had to wait for another 9/11.

[…] with today’s news regarding the ongoing Dominique Strauss-Kahn case, the usual suspects are starting to draw parallels between this case and the Duke lacrosse case — arguing that […]