Unreliable Victim

The long New York nightmare is over for Dominique Strauss-Kahn: all charges against him involving alleged sexual violence against the Sofitel housekeeper have been dismissed. (Of course, he will go home to France to face yet another rape charge out of an alleged incident from 2003.)

Some may decry this result as yet another instance of the rich and powerful getting away with abusing the poor – after all, there was clearly some sort of sexual contact involved. The problem, though, is the personal credibility of the victim, one Nafissatou Diallo, an emigrant from Guinea. Those needing convincing of this would do well to consult the precise and complete dissection of that credibility assembled on the US affairs blog maintained by the French newspaper Libération named (in English) “Great America.” The piece is called The DKS affair: The lies of Nafissatou Diallo, and it is derived directly from the court document put forward by the New York City’s prosecutors office asking for dismissal.

Here are her biggest untruths, enumerated 1-2-3 as in the piece itself:

  1. She changed her story about what actually happened that May 14 morning too many times. After the alleged rape did she go cower in the corridor, as she first told the grand jury? Or did she carry on cleaning another room, before deciding to report the incident? Her self-reported movements do not correspond to what the key-cards of the rooms in question show.
  2. She had lied before about having been raped. Specifically: gang-raped, back in Guinea, with her daughter allegedly torn out of her arms and watching from the floor near-by. And she told this story in a very moving, seemingly-sincere way – only to disavow it later as merely something she had thought up to better her chances of gaining asylum in the US.
  3. Similarly, it seems Ms. Diallo’s life is riddled through with other significant falsehoods. She has not reported the very income she earns from the Sofitel, in order to qualify for low-income housing. She entered the US in the first place using someone else’s papers. She has explained some large sums appearing in her bank account as originating from her fiancé, who is in the clothing & accessories business – he has actually been imprisoned for trafficking in marijuana.

There it is, then, all laid out, admittedly from a newspaper from the Left of the French political spectrum, which therefore can be expected to be on DSK’s side. Nonetheless, the operative concept here is that, in the end, DSK’s guilt would have to be established “beyond all resonable doubt” to twelve jurors. That just was not going to happen.

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