Dominique Strauss-Kahn and his wife. (Photo: AP Photo/John Minchillo)
The rape case against former head of the International Monetary Fund Dominique Strauss-Kahn (DSK) is falling apart. Though DSK has lost his gig and though the charges haven’t been completely dropped, sources close to the case say it’s unraveling fast. How did we go from evidence suggesting that DSK orally raped an African maid to the charges being dropped? The sad answer is that DSK’s accuser is being second-guessed because she’s not perfect.
According to a new letter from the New York District Attorney’s office, DSK’s alleged victim has a pretty checkered past, to say the least. For one, she reportedly lied in her immigration interview when she fled her native Guinea in 2004, saying her and her husband had been brutally assaulted for opposing the Guinean regime, and that her husband had been killed. While being questioned for the DSK case, the woman admitted that those were lies. She also admitted to having a fake visa, lying on her taxes, and, perhaps the final nail in the coffin, lying about having been gang raped in Guinea. In other words, she’s not a very sympathetic accuser. But should that matter?
According to reports, DSK’s alleged victim still maintains that she was sexually assaulted, and yet it’s looking increasingly likely that DSK will walk away from the charges and possibly run for president of France. The lesson here? If you’re a black woman in New York City, especially an immigrant one, it looks as if the justice system once again is not for you.
It’s more than fair to say DSK’s accuser shouldn’t have lied profusely in her past. Nor should she have called a man in prison on drug charges immediately after she claims to have been raped, as court records show her doing. That said, if the district attorney is unwilling to go to bat for her simply because she’s made some poor decisions in the past, he also should be unwilling to go to bat for anyone. Everyone’s made bad decisions in their past, especially people who come from hectic and unstable upbringings. But taking away their right to get justice for crimes brought against them is a frightening precedent to set.
I’m not saying DSK is guilty or innocent, or that his accuser is definitely telling the truth. But I am saying that branding the woman as unfit to bring charges against a rich Frenchman simply because she’s lied before is not a practice that should be happening in America.