The New York Criminal Law Blog

The Dominique Strauss-Kahn Case Collapse

The Dominique Strauss-Kahn case collapse is complete. In a 25-page motion requesting that the judge dismiss the case, Manhattan prosecutors stated that they did not believe they could prove Strauss-Kahn’s guilt in sexually assaulting hotel maid Nafissatou Diallo. For that reason, Strauss-Kahn is to walk free — regardless of his guilt or innocence.

In May, Strauss-Kahn was accused of attacking and sexually assaulting Diallo, a maid at an upscale Manhattan hotel. However, the case against Strauss-Kahn quickly began to unravel when investigators delved deeper into the alleged victim, reports The New York Times.

The media portrayal of Diallo quickly switched from that of victim to that of predator. Diallo was accused of being a prostitute with connections to incarcerated drug dealers. Inconsistencies in unrelated asylum applications were dug up. And Diallo's own inconsistent statements to officials in the Strauss-Kahn case made prosecutors reconsider the veracity of their victim, reports the Times.

It may seem unfair to let Strauss-Kahn walk without even a trial, due largely to credibility issues of Diallo that may be unrelated to the case. However, prosecutors were put in a tough position where they had to champion a woman who told conflicting tales and had trouble keeping a story together.

Whether Strauss-Kahn actually attacked Nafissatou Diallo no longer mattered. The fact that the physical evidence remains the same as it was when Strauss-Kahn was arrested also no longer matters. The Dominique Strauss-Kahn case collapse happened because prosecutors decided they had no shot at convincing a judge and jury on the truthfulness of their star witness -- the alleged victim herself.

What actually happened in that hotel room may never be known except to Strauss-Kahn and Diallo. That's as much Diallo's fault as it is Strauss-Kahn's.

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