Big developments in the Dominique Strauss-Kahn rape proceedings today. As a result, he’s no longer under house arrest, he’s free to go wherever he wants within the U.S. and he gets his $1 million in bail money back.
While prosecutors were investigating the circumstances of the sexual assault case against DSK, they were also doing a comprehensive investigation of the Guinea hotel maid who has been identified as his accuser. According to the New York Times:
Prosecutors disclosed that the woman had admitted lying in her application for asylum from Guinea. According to their letter, she “fabricated the statement with the assistance of a male who provided her with a cassette recording” that she memorized. She also said that her claim that she had been the victim of a gang rape in Guinea was a lie.
The woman also acknowledged that she had misrepresented her income to qualify for her housing, and that she had declared a friend’s child as a dependent on tax returns — in addition to her own daughter — to increase her tax refund.
According to the two officials, the woman had a phone conversation with an incarcerated man within a day of her encounter with Mr. Strauss-Kahn in which she discussed the possible benefits of pursuing the charges against him. The conversation was recorded.
That man, the investigators learned, had been arrested on charges of possessing 400 pounds of marijuana. He is among a number of individuals who made multiple cash deposits, totaling around $100,000, into the woman’s bank account over the last two years. The deposits were made in Arizona, Georgia, New York and Pennsylvania.
The investigators also learned that she was paying hundreds of dollars every month in phone charges to five companies. The woman had insisted she had only one phone and said she knew nothing about the deposits except that they were made by a man she described as her fiancé and his friends.
So, what does it all mean?
The trial still goes on. Although the judge in the case released Strauss-Kahn on his own recognizance, ended the house arrest and gave back the bail money, he didn’t drop the charges.
I don’t know who’s guilty and who’s lying, but honestly, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that everything revealed about the accuser is true. The lying to get asylum is something that likely happens every day by people trying to find a way into the U.S. The misrepresentation on her income to get housing has been going on as long as there have been renters and landlords. Declaring a friends child as a dependent to get a bigger tax return, isn’t surprising either. I’ve heard stories about people who declare their pets as dependents.
But on the other hand, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that everything the accuser said happened in the hotel room is true. The evidence shows there was a sexual encounter between the two, and the woman sustained injuries.
Let’s face it, in a trial of this magnitude, when the accused is known world-wide, is rich and is powerful, the only way to a clear conviction is either the accuser has to be a nun or an underage virgin. And even then, conviction with any jail time is tenuous. Don’t think so? Ask Roman Polanski.
Does the fact that Straus-Kahn is known to be a serial philanderer who’s been accused by more than one woman of inappropriate sexual contact mean that he is a rapist? Who knows? Does the fact that the accuser lied about her reasons for asylum and her finances and talked to a convict mean that she wasn’t raped? Who knows?
DSK and the accuser are the only ones who know what happened. If the case goes to trial, it will be a “he said/she said” battle. What happened today is the prosecution took a look at the whole case and thought “Rich powerful guy vs. lying poor immigrant.” Who’s going to win that battle?
Don’t be surprised if Strauss-Kahn is walking down the Champs d’Elysees on his way to the Louvre by the end of the year.