D.A. seeks to drop all charges against Strauss-Kahn
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Shortly after meeting briefly with the hotel maid who accused Dominique Strauss-Kahn of trying to rape her, prosecutors in New York filed a motion Monday afternoon to dismiss all criminal charges against the prominent Frenchman.
“The Manhattan district attorney Cyrus Vance has denied the right of a woman to get justice in a rape case,” attorney Kenneth Thompson told reporters after he and his client, accuser Nafissatou Diallo, 32, met briefly with prosecutors.
“If the Manhattan district attorney, who is elected to protect our mothers, our daughters, our sisters, our wives, and our loves ones, is not going to stand up for them when they are raped or sexually assaulted, who will?” Thompson said, as Diallo stood silently beside him and protesters yelled in anger from across the street.
Thompson and Diallo declined to take questions amid a chaotic scene in Lower Manhattan.
“Cyrus Vance must go!” protesters yelled.
“No means non-consent,” read a sign held by a woman.
Diallo has maintained that Strauss-Kahn, the former head of the International Monetary Fund, cornered her last May in a hotel suite that she was about to clean and forced her to perform oral sex and ripped off her stockings.
Strauss-Kahn has proclaimed his innocence from the beginning.
“There were many reasons to believe that Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s accuser was not credible,” his attorneys said in a statement.
“Mr. Strauss-Kahn and his family are grateful that the District Attorney’s office took our concerns seriously and concluded on its own that this case cannot proceed further,” the statement said.
Earlier Monday, Thompson and his co-counsel filed a motion to have Vance removed from the case, claiming he botched the investigation and treated Diallo unfairly.
“Because of the DA’s actions, abuse of confidence and unfair treatment, bias and prejudices, the DA is unfit to try this case,” Diallo’s attorneys wrote in a court filing.
Although prosecutors said initially they believed Diallo’s story, they began to question her credibility after she admitted to lying on several occasions about her personal life and about a claim she made on her application for asylum that she had been raped in her native Guinea. Diallo, who has lived in New York for seven years, has a 15-year-old daughter and had worked for the hotel for three years as a housekeeper.
Strauss-Kahn is scheduled to be in court Tuesday, when a judge is likely to approve the prosecutors’ request to dismiss the case.
A spokesman for Vance declined to comment about Diallo’s demand for a special prosecutor.
-- Geraldine Baum and Tina Susman in New York