Dominique Strauss-Kahn Released as Prosecution Collapses

Jul 1, 2011, 10:33 by R.E. Christian

Dominique Strauss-Kahn was released on his own recognizance Friday after New York prosecutors said they had problems with the sexual assault case against him.

Prosecutors said they had credibility issues with the hotel housekeeper who accused Strauss-Kahn of trying to rape her in May, The New York Times reported.

When Strauss-Kahn was first arrested, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. said the state had a strong case. However, prosecutors Friday said the case was not as strong as initially suggested.

Investigators said the victim lied since her initial allegation May 14, one law enforcement official said. Also, two officials said they had a recorded phone conversation between the woman with an incarcerated man in which she discussed the possible benefits of pursuing the charges against the former International Monetary Fund executive. In addition, one official said she told investigators her application for asylum included mention of a previous rape, but there was no such account in the application.

Kenneth Thompson, the woman's attorney, said Friday leaks about his client coming from the prosecutor's office are lies.

"We believe that the district attorney is laying a foundation to dismiss this case," he said after the hearing Friday.

He said he was concerned Vance was "afraid to try this case" because he was afraid of losing such a high-profile case.

"The district attorney has an obligation to stand up for this rape victim," Thompson said.

He said his client was raped in Africa and a victim of female genitalia mutilation, but lied about them because she was afraid she should be returned to her native country.

He said the defense contention that the sex was consensual "is a lie."

Strauss-Kahn, 62, considered a contender in France's presidential elections, was accused of sexually assaulting a housekeeper at the Sofitel New York. After his arrest, Strauss-Kahn resigned his position as managing director of the IMF.

While prosecutors haven't dismissed the case, Strauss-Kahn now can move about more freely. Even though prosecutors will keep his passport, most of his restrictive bail conditions were lifted.

Strauss-Kahn was arrested May 14 and charged with sexual assault and attempted rape after the woman told authorities she had gone to Strauss-Kahn's Sofitel New York Hotel suite to clean it when he emerged naked from the bathroom and attacked her.

He was indicted by a grand jury May 19 and could face more than 25 years in prison if convicted. He was arraigned June 6 and pleaded not guilty.

The case will return to court July 18.

Source: UPI