French and African Media Out Name, Photo of DSK Accuser

[Update: Many of the reported details below about the background of the accuser have changed since this was written.]

I have always objected to the media naming the person accused of a rape crime, but shielding the name of his accuser. How is that fair? If the woman was stabbed, the U.S Media would name her.

There should be no stigma associated with rape. Rape should not attach a sense of shame to the accuser. But it does in many cases, and so these accusers are looked upon as perennial victims, when a much better word for them would be survivors. Keeping their names from the media perpetuates the antiquated myth that women who get raped are fragile and weak, and need someone to look after them. Releasing their names could empower them and remove them from being under a shadow of shame and the stigma that all too often accompanies women who are raped. By allowing them to be treated just like everyone else, perhaps society will come to accept that rape is an expression of violence, it is not really about the sex. Women have nothing to be ashamed of when dealing with the aftermath of a rape. They were the temporary victim of a violent crime, just like the person who got mugged. Naming the accuser, when the male suspect is similarly publicly named, levels the playing field and makes them equal. No one wants to be a permanent victim.

In the Dominique Strass-Kahn case, no one but the two of them know for certain what happened and didn't happen in that hotel room. [More..]

The accuser's sister, who lives in Harlem, and other relatives have been answering questions to French newspapers about her life. She appears to be 32. She followed her husband here in 1998 and has a green card. She has a 15 year old daughter she raised alone. She divorced her husband shortly after arriving here. (His family says he's very much alive, the widow stories are apparently untrue.) She lives in a fairly squalid 4th floor walkup in the Bronx, in a building designated for AIDS patients, although her lawyer says she doesn't have AIDS, and it was probably a sublet. In a building restricted to Aids/HIV individuals, are such sublets to one without the disease legal?

Her lawyer insists she didn't know who he was. But others at the Sofitel told French reporters that photos of the VIPs for the week are posted in their dressing area. DSK stayed at the Sofitel 6 times in 2010. She was working there 3 years. The Manager told the reporters that not every maid gets that assignment, only the good ones. It's not inconceivable that this might not have been their first encounter, just the first one that went awry. Escort services are now coming out of the woodwork to say they hooked him up with women many times. Maybe he had asked for a young woman dressed in a maid's outfit. Far-fetched? Yes. But outside the realm of possibility? No.

Another detail the U.S. media doesn't tell us: She's 5'11" tall. (160 centimeters.) He's supposedly 5'7". And she's 30 years younger.

She's living with her 15 year old daughter, struggling to make ends meet. Is it inconceivable that she might have figured out a way to make a little extra cash from the occupants of the big suites? She doesn't need to know their names -- she'd know that anyone staying in that room had enough money to engage in some hanky-panky.

In addition to revealing her name, the French and African papers have interviewed her family members, who all support her, and her photo, which shows she's very pretty. Some report : she is not a widow, but divorced her husband shortly after arriving here. His family says he's alive.

Slate, the U.S. news site, also publishes in France and Africa. Here are the links to their stories in French This site translates the Slate French article better than Google. Here's another in English with the photo. Le Monde, Figaro, all have her picture and details we aren't getting here, as does this site in English. Here's another. And Peace FM.

I'm not privy to enough facts to know what happened inside that room, but since we do have the presumption of innocence in this country, he is as entitled to it as anyone, and I'd caution against a rush to judgment that Dominique Strauss-Kahn committed a crime.

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    I'd caution (5.00 / 5) (#1)
    by kmblue on Fri May 20, 2011 at 06:14:17 AM EST
    against a rush to judgement that the woman is just after money.  

    espically when (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by nyjets on Fri May 20, 2011 at 06:50:31 AM EST
    This espically true when you consider that having a motive to lie is not the same as actually lying.

    If only (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by Nemi on Fri May 20, 2011 at 06:31:55 AM EST
    By allowing them to be treated just like everyone else, perhaps society will come to accept that rape is an expression of violence, it is not really about the sex.

    But headlines screaming "Sex scandal!" sells so much better, sigh.

    And somewhat related, in France there's a law against showing pictures of a suspect - as long as the person is just that. A view I totally agree with. So it caused some controversy in France when papers reprinted the pictures of Strauss-Kahn that was released in and by the US.

    Shielding the victim's name (5.00 / 6) (#5)
    by Lena on Fri May 20, 2011 at 07:45:38 AM EST
    If the public reacted to rape crimes more maturely, your point would be valid. As it is, the victims are assailed by the media, the crimes recounted in privacy-shattering detail, personal information about the victims' relationships revealed; the media speculate that they're prostitutes or criminals themsevles--is the victim falsely reporting the crime or shaking down the mark? The victim's reaction is dissected, all to great titillation for people's entertainment. All that on top of dealing with the aftermath of an incredibly violent, personal crime.

    Without the rape shield laws, I bet you the rate of reporting rape crimes in this country would plummet.

    We would have to develop some (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Militarytracy on Fri May 20, 2011 at 07:54:24 AM EST
    decent systems for empowering them, because the rapists always go after them in every way possible.  Everyone has a sex life, and no matter what yours may be it is always dragged through the mud just because someone decided to rape you.  People who are raped get to be victims twice simply by telling the truth about what happened to them.  It's sad.

    It is sad.... (none / 0) (#13)
    by kdog on Fri May 20, 2011 at 08:35:46 AM EST
    when the grief is piled on a victim...but frankly I don't know what can be done about it while maintaining the right to face one's accuser, which can not be abridged, and a free press.

    One would hope the peanut gallery would have more class,  but ya can't mandate class.

    I'm afraid it's one of those unpleasantries we have to accept, best we can do is spread the word there is no shame in being raped, and nobody is ever "asking for it"...and call out the people who play that.


    How things exist now is not perfect (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by Militarytracy on Fri May 20, 2011 at 08:47:58 AM EST
    But we have been dealing with this type of crime with more honesty for awhile now and our system has evolved with that in play.  I don't jump quickly into making assumptions, but because of the gravity of law enforcement's response it would seem pretty obvious there was a lot of clear evidence.  And I say this also knowing that there is crooked law enforcement out there too.  This person is a very big fish though and if you were going to try to railroad him he could really sink your prospects forever.

    The good ole boy network and those that aspire to be its cheerleaders try to shred rape victims and keep the patriachal system fully powered up that feeds them.  It's a fine line, and we still have a very sexist society and culture along with an extremely powerful and corrupt oligarchy right now.


    It's a toughie... (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by kdog on Fri May 20, 2011 at 08:53:36 AM EST
    to be sure...I'd be open to considering shielding all names if public trials can be maintained at the same time, but I agree with Jeralyn that to perp-walk the accused in front of flashbulbs and have their name all up in the paper, while shielding the accusers identity, is blatantly unfair.

    btw... (none / 0) (#28)
    by kdog on Fri May 20, 2011 at 09:20:05 AM EST
    I'd love to know where you found this faith in the NYPD and Manhattan DA's office:)

    I don't have instant faith in anything (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by Militarytracy on Fri May 20, 2011 at 09:36:15 AM EST
    But the more people involved in any work, the harder it is to be wholesale lying evil.  Works the same way in the military.  It is very hard to coverup many things in the military.  Too many people involved who can/will eventually talk.  When you see quick movement like this from something that must do all it can to watch itself because it is already under suspicion and when up against someone as powerful as this man, in my life experience that usually means they really had the need and felt the need to do so.

    I'm not thinking cover-up... (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by kdog on Fri May 20, 2011 at 10:06:40 AM EST
    or frame-up, though a possibilty of course...more so a high-profile scalp and/or case that just kinda snowballs...bad intent not even necessarily required.

    Lindbergh baby, Duke Lacrosse...the sh*t happens.  Cops and prosecutors are susceptible to believing what they wanna believe and forcing the pieces to fit as much as anybody, if not more so with pressure from the mayor and the citizenry.

    But I'm off the speculators deep-end at this point...we shall see.  My gut feeling is leaning towards this guy being a total sleaze and at least having assaulted the poor woman, if not rape, but I have no clue...that could just be my rich and powerful prejudice talking...after cops, old white dudes in 5k suits are the demo I struggle most with my prejudice against:)


    thank you but please keep (none / 0) (#47)
    by Jeralyn on Fri May 20, 2011 at 10:51:11 AM EST
    this discussion to DSK

    You've discussed... (none / 0) (#48)
    by kdog on Fri May 20, 2011 at 10:51:53 AM EST
    that case before, crazy...Thanks for the better example Don.  

    Two different things (5.00 / 3) (#15)
    by jbindc on Fri May 20, 2011 at 08:51:25 AM EST
    The defendant has a right to face his accuser - in court. He (mostly he) is not guaranteed a right to face his accuser through the press and on the street.

    There is no law that says a rape victim's name can't be published - most news outlets choose not to do so.


    I did not know that there was no law (none / 0) (#18)
    by Militarytracy on Fri May 20, 2011 at 08:55:04 AM EST
    So they go case by case?  And they have to deal with and weigh out if they are further victimizing someone who is already a victim.

    It started in the 70s when there (5.00 / 3) (#37)
    by inclusiveheart on Fri May 20, 2011 at 10:07:14 AM EST
    was something of a movement to get women to report rapes.  I think that it is an overly simplistic view that society changing their view of rape would make it all okay to name rape victims.  The whole reason that this started was that rape victims routinely did not report because often the police and papers would treat them pretty badly.  After being assaulted on such a personal level, then to face the possibility of being assaulted publicly many women just opted to keep the attack to themselves.  But the reality is that rape is a deeply personal and horrifying experience that can take years to work through emotionally and physically.  Being forced to talk about it can be very difficult.  A lot of women still don't report rapes simply because it is too traumatic to admit to anyone else.  And that is not entirely driven by societal stigma.  That's just plain old human trauma at work - the mind and heart trying to protect itself by shutting out a horrifying memory.

    I don't know if you ever really get over (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by Militarytracy on Fri May 20, 2011 at 11:02:11 AM EST
    it.  Something about this case has triggered something for me, wish I knew what it was.  When Al Gore was accused it didn't trigger anything within me other than some empathy for him having to go through it all, there was just something wrong from the get though in all of that.  But once you have survived rape, it still seems like you often relive the past horror in some current events happening around you.  This case makes my hair feel like it is standing on end, and I couldn't even tell you why.

    I don't think anyone gets "over" (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by inclusiveheart on Fri May 20, 2011 at 11:31:34 AM EST
    trauma.  People assimilate it into their lives - sometimes negatively and sometimes positively and sometimes a little of both.

    But why this case makes your hair stand on end?  I am not sure.  Maybe it is context.  I have always felt that being a hotel maid was a risky job on some level.  At a property like the Sofitel, one wouldn't expect such brutality from their clientele, maybe?  The fact that this guy, if this is some sort of pattern, is probably an extremely successful high-fuctioning sociopath?

    As for Gore, I would say that because you have a picture of him and a perception of him being a fairly upright guy that has been developed over many years, it was probably harder to imagine that he would do something like that.  For me with Gore, it was the lack of the random gossip that is normally out there when a politician in DC if he is the type of guy who chases women that made me question whether or not the story was true.


    With Gore it was her response (5.00 / 3) (#60)
    by Militarytracy on Fri May 20, 2011 at 11:42:47 AM EST
    that caused me to say myself what the heck?  The videos of her leaving didn't show her running or acting abnormal and she saved all that stuff.  I know everyone responds differently to being attacked and trauma, but as far as being raped goes I remember two things running through my head after "get away alive".  Do I call the police or try to learn how to live with this alone?  I was so young and scared I chose the later one.  And saving stuff?  Oh God, you don't save anything.  You shower covered in soap until the hot water runs out while you sob, and I would have burnt my clothes and anything he had touched if I could have done so unnoticed in the first few hours.

    I am sorry that you went through that. (5.00 / 2) (#67)
    by inclusiveheart on Fri May 20, 2011 at 12:20:19 PM EST
    My experiences have been close calls - and I guess I would say "only" but those were scary enough - and one experience with a victim who was raped across the street from our house when I was about eleven years old.  No one on the street would let her in except my family.  It was a traumatic experience for me.  I never saw her.  I was in my room, but the poor girl was sobbing and wailing in fear, pain and tears.  She had been badly beaten.  My mother used my favorite beach towel to soak up the blood.  I threw it out afterwards.  The police took a really long time to respond.  It was the 70s and I remember hearing my father kind of go after one of the police officers who seemed to be questioning the girl's story.  She was 19 or 20 and was walking home from a bar by herself around 10:30 or 11:00pm.  The fact that she had been pretty savagely beaten seemed to be important because had she not been wounded, the police and prosecutors at that time might not have been as motivated to help her - she was out drinking under-age and wandering the streets by herself - that made her a "loose" woman even in that rather crazy era.

    Could it be... (none / 0) (#50)
    by kdog on Fri May 20, 2011 at 11:09:03 AM EST
    that the accused is a hot-shot bankster?  The international banking cartel has helped themselves to so much of other people's money, is it that much of a leap to think their sense of entitlement might lead to them helping themselves to actual people?

    Thats what makes me think he's a slimeball, he's the now former head of the IMF...but I realize thats just prejudice based on but a shred of truth.


    Dearest kdog (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by Militarytracy on Fri May 20, 2011 at 11:15:54 AM EST
    Oh my....having been the victim of a sexual predator isn't something that gets mixed up with being angry at bankers :)  I did some extensive therapy too around what happened to me, very extensive.  I even did this horrible reenactment type therapy, and I say it was horrible because you really do relive a lot of the feelings but in a very safe healing environment instead of isolated and alone.  It is something else.  It doesn't even really register for me that he is a bad banker.  What does seem to register for me for some reason is that he is a physically bodily dangerous man.....don't know why either.

    I'm really sorry... (none / 0) (#52)
    by kdog on Fri May 20, 2011 at 11:20:42 AM EST
    I somehow missed or forgot that you were a victim...say no more.

    And peace be with you sister, inner and outer peace.



    I don't act like a good victim :) (none / 0) (#53)
    by Militarytracy on Fri May 20, 2011 at 11:28:49 AM EST
    It's okay, no harm done.  It is a complex social issue, made more complex because not every person accused is guilty.  People have accused others for monetary gain.  When that happens that makes me very angry too because when the crime does take place it makes it that much harder to obtain justice and protect the innocent.  I don't think there is another crime/social issue as complex as rape.

    I'm aware... (none / 0) (#19)
    by kdog on Fri May 20, 2011 at 08:55:09 AM EST
    but I believe the accused should have the right to know the identity of their accuser from jumpstreet, even if they don't actually face them until trial.  Anything less if Kafka-esque.

    They know (5.00 / 5) (#20)
    by jbindc on Fri May 20, 2011 at 08:56:53 AM EST
    I'm not sure where you get the idea that the defense in rape cases has no idea who the accuser is.

    Was talking generally... (none / 0) (#23)
    by kdog on Fri May 20, 2011 at 09:07:52 AM EST
    I'm not sure how long it takes to find out after arrest who made the accusation against you...minutes, hours, when you get to court for arraignment.

    In cases other than rape with confidential informants, it might not be until trial...can you or anyone break it down for me?


    Well (none / 0) (#25)
    by jbindc on Fri May 20, 2011 at 09:16:14 AM EST
    A confidential informant is not the same thing as a vicitm, accuser, or "complaining witness" (as many jurisdictions now call accusers of rape).

    And I don't know if it's minutes or hours either, but for any lawyer to mount a proper defense, they would have to be able to know the accuser.  There are rules of discovery and a criminal defense lawyer could answer this better, but there is not a time when a defendant would walk into a courtroom and have absolutely no idea who accused him of rape.  

    There are no "Perry Mason" moments in real life.  All the lawyers know what evidence the other side has, what witnesses are going to be called, what those witnesses are going to say, etc.


    Unless the prosecution... (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by kdog on Fri May 20, 2011 at 09:18:39 AM EST
    witholds evidence that might help the accused.

    Is the prosecutor presumed innocent? (none / 0) (#58)
    by oculus on Fri May 20, 2011 at 11:37:58 AM EST
    Yes... (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by kdog on Fri May 20, 2011 at 12:07:57 PM EST
    but they're all suspects...two can play that game! :)

    However did we manage to peacefully (none / 0) (#63)
    by oculus on Fri May 20, 2011 at 12:10:56 PM EST
    exist @ the Dead Poet?????

    Easy... (5.00 / 1) (#79)
    by kdog on Fri May 20, 2011 at 12:58:40 PM EST
    we weren't sitting at adversarial opposing tables, and the Dead Poet serves beer.

    Also, I don't recall even touching on the (none / 0) (#81)
    by oculus on Fri May 20, 2011 at 01:02:46 PM EST
    subject of criminal justice or lack thereof.  Looking forward to a repeat this summer.  

    Absolutly not (none / 0) (#91)
    by Rojas on Sat May 21, 2011 at 10:02:16 AM EST
    The prosecutor's position is one of authority without accountability. As long as prosecutors enjoy absolute immunity for their actions one should assume they are working for one goal which is to advance their political career or that of the DA they report to.

    Through a judge made law prosecutors have ascended to the level of Deity in this country. As such their revelations should be weighed by the same rational standard in which one would weigh the motive of those who claim that god speaks through them.

    In any arrangement one should look at the incentives. Most of these leaks that are coming out in the DSK case have their source in the police and the DA's office. They serve to raise the profile of the case and the potential stakes for a successful prosecution. When and if the case eventually makes it to trial we will find out that much of leaked material is in fact just innuendo and speculation. No one will get on the stand and swear to these "facts" under the penalty of perjury. But it doesn't matter and it will not matter because the prosecutor's interest, his career, will be served.


    You could go down and look at (none / 0) (#57)
    by inclusiveheart on Fri May 20, 2011 at 11:36:16 AM EST
    the court record yourself, if you wanted to in most rape cases.  What you can't do is read about the accusers in the newspapers or see them on TV because the media opts not to publish that information - unless and until the accuser's story is called into question - and even then the media will often steer clear until they see something terribly wrong with the story.  Then the accuser becomes fair game in their minds.

    boy jeralyn, good to know you don't speculate, (5.00 / 5) (#8)
    by cpinva on Fri May 20, 2011 at 08:03:11 AM EST
    absent facts in evidence. i know, "just asking questions", sort of like a certain mr. beck.

    i am curious too, as to what possible difference you think the difference in their ages makes in all this? that her being so much younger than he (and apparently taller as well), she should have been easily able to fight him off, making (somehow) the claim of rape less supportable (in your mind, anyway)?

    i do now know why he so readily agreed to DNA testing though, due to his attorney's implying they did have sex, it's simply a matter of whether or not it was agreeable among the parties.

    of course, since both the DA & the NYPD "powers that be" aren't stupid people, i must also (reasonably, i think) assume they must feel that they possess compelling evidence of a crime, to arrest this guy, given the high potential for adverse blowback, if they're wrong.

    i doubt we're watching a duke lacrosse team repeat.

    Everyone doubted the Duke Lacrosse (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Buckeye on Fri May 20, 2011 at 08:11:54 AM EST
    was a hoax, until they found out it was.  I do not think Jeralyn is doing what you say.  She is offering counter arguments to the tsunami of media reports/talking heads/etc. assuming guilt.  The Duke Lacrosse case not only had the presumption of guilt, but everyone was pontificating on what their guilt represented - white men on a black woman, town vs. gown, women forced to make a living off stripping, money, yankees vs. southerners, etc.  This is eerily similar IMO.  Everyone is assuming guilt without any facts and pontificating about bigger themes around the guilt - like French aristocratic snobbery, America's egalitarian legal system (year right), etc.  

    no, jeralyn (and she knows this) (5.00 / 4) (#75)
    by cpinva on Fri May 20, 2011 at 12:46:05 PM EST
    isn't "offering counter-arguments", she's raising speculative issues, which (she again knows) are totally irrelevant to the issue at hand. the only issue is: was there a forced sex act? period, end of discussion.

    the alleged victim's immigration status, height, weight, preferred reading materal, et al, have zero bearing on that issue. jeralyn, being the extremely smart and competent attorney that she is, knows this. she knows as well that none of it would ever see the light of day in court, for that very reason.

    this doesn't mean i dislike jeralyn, simply that i disagree with her on this.


    sorry, i meant to add: (none / 0) (#76)
    by cpinva on Fri May 20, 2011 at 12:49:52 PM EST
    the same goes for the accused. his job status, height, weight, etc also have no bearing, absent evidence to the contrary.

    darn, i sure wish you had an "edit" function here!


    I don't think eveyone doubted (none / 0) (#73)
    by ding7777 on Fri May 20, 2011 at 12:42:37 PM EST
    Duke Lacrosse was a hoax - just read Talk Left's forum re the case

    Exactly my point. The Duke Lax (none / 0) (#83)
    by Buckeye on Fri May 20, 2011 at 02:51:16 PM EST
    case if what initially drew me to this site.  Talkleft was one of the very few places that first starting calling BS on things happening in that case.  It wasn't until the defense went public with VERY damaging exculpatory evidence that doubt starting dripping into the conversation.  

    Which is why I am defending her now.


    Every accused person is entitled to a defense. (5.00 / 8) (#10)
    by steviez314 on Fri May 20, 2011 at 08:18:15 AM EST
    However they are not entitled to you making such idle speculation about the alleged victim.

    Did she live there ilegally?
    Is it inconceivable that she might have figured out a way to make a little extra cash from the occupants of the big suites?

    You would never be allowed to bring up such speculation in court without any foundation.  I am astonished that you do it so freely here.

    This is a criminal defense site (none / 0) (#39)
    by Jeralyn on Fri May 20, 2011 at 10:21:40 AM EST
    Credibility will be at issue. The media has reported on the sublet and her attorney, in denying she is HIV positive, said she sublet the apartment. Since the housing is for those who are HIV positive, it's a valid question.

    A set-up is not out of the question. It's something the defense is entitled to investigate.

    This man is being convicted in the media. So were the Duke LaCrosse players and the young men wrongfully convicted in the Central Park Jogger case.

    People need to keep an open mind.


    Except (5.00 / 6) (#17)
    by jbindc on Fri May 20, 2011 at 08:54:12 AM EST
    They were the temporary victim of a violent crime, just like the person who got mugged.

    Sure - because everyone knows that mugging victims are thought of as "asking for it".

    Right. They are exactly the same. <snark>

    jbinc (none / 0) (#40)
    by Jeralyn on Fri May 20, 2011 at 10:23:46 AM EST
    remember you are limited to 4 comments a day in these threads. I think you are there.

    For the record Jeralyn (5.00 / 5) (#21)
    by Militarytracy on Fri May 20, 2011 at 08:59:39 AM EST
    Becoming a rape survivor happens for the person who was raped when you have been able to recover somewhat from the trauma of all of it.  Some people who have been raped never quite make it to that stage, they are never able to reclaim their sense of self to the degree that they or those who knew them before the rape would consider them as having survived it all and now moving on.  I have never shared my story with anyone either who had also experienced it that it didn't destroy your ability to even have a sex life for at least a time too.  That length of time is different for everyone who has been raped.

    It's bad enough that the media act as if (5.00 / 3) (#22)
    by Anne on Fri May 20, 2011 at 09:02:59 AM EST
    they are an acceptable substitute for judge, jury and prosecution (they seem less interested in the defense aspect for some reason), but to give them the opportunity to bring the alleged victims into this would only encourage them to persist in their mission to try cases in a venue where rules of evidence and constitutional protections are routinely disregarded.

    Protecting the names of those who claim to have been raped is not meant to encourage false accusations, but to encourage the pursuit of justice against those responsible for real crimes; the feeding frenzy that attaches to these high-profile cases would not just go to a new, manic level if the alleged victims' names were made public, but would drive those with legitimate claims deeper underground and allow those responsible the freedom to perpetrate them against others.

    Sex sells, violence sells, celebrity sells - which is why the media can spend unbelievable amounts of air time on cases like this, and little to no time on things that actually affect millions and millions of people in their day-to-day lives.  Imagine if they had devoted this much energy to uncovering the web of powerful people responsible for sending the economy into a tailspin.  Imagine if they devoted even a tenth of the time they are spending on Strauss-Kahn on mortgage servicer abuses, to the failure of HAMP, to the lender-servicer connections.  We should be discussing whether the war in Libya is legal, whether we should extend the Patriot Act for another four years.  We should be looking at surveillance programs and data mining.  We should be educating the people on the debt and the deficit, not repeating talking points verbatim that only advance the agenda of the rich and powerful.

    More and more, I find less and less reason to pay much, if any, attention to the media; there are some exceptions, but it's gotten to be like what I imagine dumpster-diving to be: having to paw through a lot of stinking garbage for the chance you might find something of value.

    Millions of women (none / 0) (#85)
    by Politalkix on Fri May 20, 2011 at 09:52:23 PM EST
    get raped each year, changing many lives for ever for the worse. Discussing issues relating to rape (particularly when it involves the possibility of abuse of power) is not a waste of time. Issues relating to sexual harassment, intimidation, rape, etc are real problems that millions and millions of people face routinely just like any other issue that you mentioned. All coverage of the DSK alleged rape story has not been of the tabloid variety.

    I know several rape survivors (5.00 / 5) (#35)
    by Coral on Fri May 20, 2011 at 09:50:10 AM EST
    And believe me, it takes huge courage to press charges, especially against a wealthy and famous figure.

    And the suffering never ends--even decades later.

    The charges were filed so quickly that I tend to believe her story. Blaming the victim is too often the first path for the defense in rape cases.

    Jeez, this is blog site. (5.00 / 2) (#41)
    by Green26 on Fri May 20, 2011 at 10:25:07 AM EST
    In defense of Jeralyn, her statement/question was fine and absolutely correct, in my view. She didn't speculate or say it was true that the maid had found a way to make some cash. She asked if it was "inconceivable" that this could occurred. Of course, it's not inconceivable that it could have occurred. These are the types of questions that should be asked and discussed in a site like this. It's also one of the questions the prosecutors have surely discussed themselves.

    thank you (none / 0) (#43)
    by Jeralyn on Fri May 20, 2011 at 10:29:50 AM EST
    for pointing that out to Donald.

    As I mentioned in a previous (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by KeysDan on Fri May 20, 2011 at 10:49:33 AM EST
    thread, the defense has its work cut out for it, based on the facts and circumstances provided.  However, just as continued denial of bail for the accused would have been unfair, given the precautions that the Court could (and did) take, so too, is the continued deployment of the facts and circumstances by the prosecutors and their stenographers, the media,  unfair.   The prosecution obtained an indictment, the accused is out on a restricted basis, and there will be a trial.

    The case for a flight risk made sense in the context of the complaint, but, not equally so, in the context of a consensual encounter or other defense argument--the ticket for the Air France flight was bought at least a week in advance and he boarded in a timely manner in  accord with rules for international flight.  Similarly, the prompt reporting to police is a strong argument in the context of the complaint, but becomes weakened if a different motivation is the reality.

    I, for one, will await the trial.  

    Disappointing Talk Left chooses to link to (5.00 / 7) (#65)
    by oculus on Fri May 20, 2011 at 12:14:30 PM EST
    photo and name id. of the DSK's alleged victim.

    mainstream media all over (5.00 / 1) (#86)
    by Jeralyn on Fri May 20, 2011 at 10:30:59 PM EST
    Europe and Africa have. It's out there. There's nothing wrong in my linking to that reporting.

    Two speculations don't make an unbiased jury. (5.00 / 3) (#68)
    by Addison on Fri May 20, 2011 at 12:30:17 PM EST
    She's living with her 15 year old daughter, struggling to make ends meet. Is it inconceivable that she might have figured out a way to make a little extra cash from the occupants of the big suites?


    I agree that, until there is more mutually agreed upon detail vis-a-vis DSK's movements and demeanor after the alleged rape, there's a lot of room for hesitancy in judging this case as an observer. While "presumption of innocence" is a requirement of the legal system and not of everyday citizens with opinions, there's enough murkiness here that people should steer clear of hard-and-fast judgments.

    But if Jeralyn is upset about rampant speculation about DSK's guilt, the solution to that is not to speculate about the alleged rape victim. Isn't that somewhat obvious? Totally undermines her credibility on the overall point she is trying to make.

    Anyway, since she brought up a specific "theory": where's the money for this woman? Extortion's profitability ends when you go to the police, unless you're theorizing that this woman is media savvy and has visions of magazine covers and ABC News cash-for-interviews and the like? Would anyone think that was worth it? And she's staying as hidden as possible, not capitalizing on it. So that theory seems equally as unlikely as some of the anti-DSK theories.

    Additionally, if the woman was extorting him somehow, and has been working at the hotel for 3 years, I think it'd be unlikely this was the first time. So other men would've been extorted -- and now they have a relatively clear path to come out and tell everyone about it (people will believe them). So I think we'll hear from some others if Jeralyn's speculation is true.

    One could of course similarly (5.00 / 5) (#82)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri May 20, 2011 at 02:02:28 PM EST
    ask, if it is incocievable that DSK is a serial sexual predator who exploits his wealth a power to get what he wants regardless of consent and who due to his position at the time of the alleged incident viewed Africans as less than human. I am not accusing Kahn of any of this simply noting that such things are at least as valid as any possible prostitution angle.

    if she periodically (none / 0) (#4)
    by desmoinesdem on Fri May 20, 2011 at 06:54:35 AM EST
    has sexual encounters with wealthy hotel guests for money, it is even harder for me to believe she would go to the police in this instance.

    I know he is presumed innocent, but honestly I wouldn't be a good person to serve on that jury.

    And (5.00 / 4) (#26)
    by jbindc on Fri May 20, 2011 at 09:18:29 AM EST
    Even if she "periodically has sexual encounters with wealthy hotel guests for money", that still would have no bearing on whether she was sexually assaulted or not.

    I agree (none / 0) (#32)
    by desmoinesdem on Fri May 20, 2011 at 09:27:32 AM EST
    didn't mean to imply otherwise.

    Its shameful that we try people in the press (none / 0) (#6)
    by Bornagaindem on Fri May 20, 2011 at 07:52:22 AM EST
    instead of in a court of law. I really like the idea that in France one cannot show photos of the prep in handcuffs until they are convicted - what a concept.

    I also agree completely with the idea that by hiding the identity of the victim we perpetuate the idea that being raped is shameful rather than that one was the victim of a violent crime.

    Rape isn't shameful for the victim (5.00 / 3) (#11)
    by Militarytracy on Fri May 20, 2011 at 08:18:57 AM EST
    It is shameful what is publicly done to the victim after the crime has occurred.  And if the rape didn't damage you enough, by the time a high profile person's attack dogs are done with you you had better have a spine and a mind made of steel.

    asdf (none / 0) (#71)
    by Addison on Fri May 20, 2011 at 12:39:45 PM EST
    I also agree completely with the idea that by hiding the identity of the victim we perpetuate the idea that being raped is shameful rather than that one was the victim of a violent crime.

    The victim wants her identity hidden from the public for the time being. French media can print it without issue because they are in France. Americans can print the handcuff photos because they are in the US. Everyone is doing what they can and what the law allows.

    People are really having to tie themselves in knots to excuse one and not the other, or to decry one and not the other. Making it into some great illustration of how one side is backwards and unjust. Europhilia and Europhobia are still major factors in people's "personal" opinions, it seems. The laws in both countries have their purposes and also have their faults. And the laws in both countries are, of course, the applicable law that should be followed.

    But whether a perp walk is better or worse than outing a victim's name is simply too subjective a determination for the amount of trans-Atlantic bluster that's gone on over the past few days. It's a personal judgment call which is worse, and whether one or both should be banned, not a moral absolute.


    you are wrong (none / 0) (#98)
    by Bornagaindem on Fri Jul 01, 2011 at 07:30:02 AM EST
    My comments are not about making judgments whether europe is better or the US is better they are about what is a better system. Mostly they are aimed at what our media sells us as news. It is always the speculation and not the real story. And now we hear that the police may be dropping the case against Struass- kahn . A man's life is ruined primarily by the press. Weiner has to resign- primarily because of the press and they still say they do not make the news they merely report it. Ha!

    It rarely happens... (none / 0) (#30)
    by kdog on Fri May 20, 2011 at 09:24:55 AM EST
    till it happens...it's not .01% rare pal, remember we only hear about the cases when the chicanery comes to light, and an innocent and/or wrongly convicted person is released from our cages.

    the comment you are replying to (none / 0) (#31)
    by Jeralyn on Fri May 20, 2011 at 09:26:36 AM EST
    was deleted for stating false information.

    Donald, then you are on the wrong site (none / 0) (#44)
    by Jeralyn on Fri May 20, 2011 at 10:30:27 AM EST
    Raising questions is not rushing to judgment. I have not made any accusations. I intend to continue to counter the unacceptable rush to judgment that he is guilty.

    the defense is not speculating in public (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by Jeralyn on Fri May 20, 2011 at 12:38:56 PM EST
    they aren't saying anything. It's the media and court of public opinion that has rushed to convict this man. I will continue to publish media reports suggesting the facts may be otherwise.

    Neither, you nor any other commenter will change the mission of this site, which is to protect the rights of those accused of crime.


    Differences (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by Addison on Fri May 20, 2011 at 12:45:49 PM EST
    There is a difference between raising questions (there are multiple reasons, as past rape cases have shown, where the charges have been fabricated) and fleshing out theories (hypothesizing that this particular woman in this particular case is perhaps just out for the money).

    That's why people are getting upset. Of course there's cause -- historically-buttressed cause -- to hesitate to "know" DSK is guilty of his alleged crimes. People have fabricated all sorts of stories in the past. But moving past that into active storytelling and detailed, situation-specific speculation yourself? That's not in keeping with your overall sentiment, is it?


    Accidental arrest (none / 0) (#59)
    by PSUtah on Fri May 20, 2011 at 11:40:13 AM EST
    Was his arrest accidental?  Had he not left his phone, he would now be safely in Paris.  Although I'm not privy to the actual evidence, it has been reported that he checked out at 12:28 pm and the police weren't called till around 1:30.  It also appears that after the police were called, no one was aware that he went to the airport until he contacted the hotel about his phone.  Don't most hotels ask for your itinerary when you make a reservation?  If this was a political set up as opposed to a money making scheme, then having DSK in France would still serve its purpose without having to prove the actual crime.  If your DSK would you want to return to the US justice system knowing that you had already been set up?  The charges linger, his career is over, and nothing has to be proven.  On the other hand, it could all be just good solid police work involving a rich connected predator.          

    My Mistake (none / 0) (#66)
    by ScottW714 on Fri May 20, 2011 at 12:18:37 PM EST
    You actually linked to the victim, truly pathetic.

    the accuser (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by Jeralyn on Fri May 20, 2011 at 12:34:37 PM EST
    or the alleged victim please.

    I deleted your other comment (none / 0) (#72)
    by Jeralyn on Fri May 20, 2011 at 12:41:48 PM EST
    It was arrogant and insulting to this site. If you don't like the point of view here, don't bother reading. This site exists for a reason. To protect the rights of those accused of crime.

    My Point Was... (5.00 / 3) (#84)
    by ScottW714 on Fri May 20, 2011 at 03:53:17 PM EST
    ... the hypocrisy in protecting the right of the accused at the expense of the accuser.

    I think both parties should be equally protected.  I also think it's shameful that a person who has committed no crime, hasn't even been accused of committing a crime, who goes into hiding, is outed for no purpose, except that the accused has been splashed all over the media.

    I have no issue with protecting both sets of rights.  I really wish you would have commented on my comment instead of deleting it and then stating it was insulting.  I know it was, but that doesn't make it false, I do apologize for insulting you personally.  I wouldn't be here if I didn't agree with your point of view, but there are exceptions.

    I'll try and state in a way that doesn't get it removed.  The victimization that sexual victims are put through by rigorous defenses are the reason the they are shammed into what I think you called perpetual victimization.  If defenses would treat them as they would any other non-sexual victim, it would go a long way in helping sexual victims not feel like they were somehow responsible, or worse, deserving.

    I think it's highly hypocritical to make the claim that they shouldn't feel shame or that they aren't to blame when you are in a profession that perpetuates that rational on behalf of the client in the sake of a good defense.  

    I understand and fully support a good defense, but when the questions start focusing on number of partners, clothing, make-up, and the other host of questions that would never be allowed in a non-sexual trial, it's perpetuating to the jury, that as some level, the incident is the victim's fault.  It's why it's done, and it's why it works.

    To me, if the person accused is truly innocent, no defense should have to wonder into that arena, and if they aren't, well that's of those moral questions this non-attorney will never have the displeasure of answering.


    the Bill of Rights (none / 0) (#87)
    by Jeralyn on Fri May 20, 2011 at 10:32:43 PM EST
    was designed to protect those accused of crime, not crime victims. That's why states and the feds have passed laws protecting crime victims to the extent they do not conflict with a defendant's constitutional rights.

    Actually (5.00 / 4) (#89)
    by nyjets on Sat May 21, 2011 at 07:44:46 AM EST
    I have always believed that the bill of rights was meant to protect everybody.

    Yes,, it seems to me that (none / 0) (#92)
    by KeysDan on Sat May 21, 2011 at 10:52:03 AM EST
    some do not understand, or do understand but do not like, the liberal underpinnings to the Constitution which includes the Bill of Rights, of course.

    Interesting Take on the Bill of Rights (none / 0) (#93)
    by ScottW714 on Mon May 23, 2011 at 12:28:10 PM EST
    Right, there are no provisions for accusers, super good point, but irrelevant for this discussion.

    You are basically for defendants rights, which I understand, but the post is about women's rights or rather them being outed and the shame they feel when making an accusation, which IMO directly conflicts defendant's rights, the Bill of Rights has nothing to do with that conflict.

    Anyways, I'll leave it alone.  I know I am treading lightly and again, this wasn't personal, just an observation form a male who's never been in a court room for anything beyond a traffic stop.


    I think the point is that it is the job (none / 0) (#90)
    by observed on Sat May 21, 2011 at 09:26:19 AM EST
    of a defense attorney to ask questions that may seem inappropriate or intrusive.
    So, even though I find this post distasteful, I think it serves a purpose in a way that Glenn Beck wouldn't, if he asked the same questions.

    I Went Off a Bit (5.00 / 0) (#94)
    by ScottW714 on Mon May 23, 2011 at 12:42:10 PM EST
    There was a case here in Texas where adults had kids doing really shameful acts for their entertainment.  Drugs and sexual BS, sicken stuff.

    Nearly all will walk because of some legal technicality, their convictions all over turned and the prosecution didn't want to anther trial because of the effects the first 7 had on the kids.  Each defendant was tried seperately, so the kids had to testify 7 times to the acts.

    To me, and maybe I am way off on this one, but in this case I think it would be hard to take someone seriously about kids rights and work as a defense attorney, who job in this case has taken a huge toll on the kids.

    Granted I kind merged the two, but they re the same at their roots, accusers getting put through hell in the sake of the defendants rights.  I get that this is part of the process, but to me if that is your profession, you lose a certain moral position to make certain claims about how victims should behave or what they should feel.  Because in this case at least, the defense has harmed the kids in such a way that the prosecutor isn't interested in re-trying them because he is sympathetic to the harm that another trial will put the kids through.

    Here's the case.


    Jesus Christ (none / 0) (#95)
    by Rojas on Mon May 23, 2011 at 09:44:36 PM EST
    The infamous Mineola Swinger's Club. For those so inclined you may want to read An Absolute Honest-to-God Texas Frame-up.

    That one is so bad even the Neanderthals on the Texas Court of Appeals slapped 'em back. And you've got to be mighty damn deep in stink for that bunch to take notice.

    The case was a modern day Salem with one child literally testifying to flying around the room on a broom. You can rest assured that it wasn't for the kids sake that the prosecutor declined to retry.

    It literally sickens me that someone imply that  the defenders of the BORs are against children. The very defenders that strive to preserve their birthright, their legacy, that this generation has failed to hold dear.

    In my half decade in this world I don't believe I've ever met a person with the wealth of ignorance you've accumulated. Although I have to admit I'm not that outgoing socially. But by god they are out there. Tribal hoards beating the drum for another exception to the BORs.


    You Know (none / 0) (#96)
    by ScottW714 on Tue May 24, 2011 at 09:24:41 AM EST
    I never read this and I read a several pretty thorough descriptions of this case.

    For me to believe what I have read isn't exactly something out of line.  This is the first time I have ready anything to the contrary of that has been printed in established media.

    I'm not over here reading Red State or watching Glen Beck.  I think the last article I read was MSNBC, which isn't some fairytale source.  And your point is taken.

    And the kids testified to a lot of craziness the read was they were given drugs.  If you hadn't used Texas Monthly as a source, I would still question it, not because I an an idiot which you seem to imply, but because the overwhelming reports aren't saying anything that this article is.


    Kudos to the French media for promoting fairness. (none / 0) (#97)
    by jackster on Thu May 26, 2011 at 10:44:32 PM EST
    It's great that they published her name and photo. The same should occur in the United States and any place else where DSK's name and photo have been published in association with this accusation.

    We need to have the identity of the accuser publicized so her reliability and credibility can be evaluated, just as the IMF chief's past and reputation are being evaluated. It's nonsense that we shield accuser's (note that I say Accuser and not Victim) identity in the US but not the accused's identity when a sex crime is involved. It is important to suppress the knee-jerk reflex to refer to an accuser as a "Victim". We don't know who the "Victim" is in this case, nor do we know who the "Victim" is in any such case without the facts and evidence being sorted out in court. It may be that the "accused" is the "victim". Having said that, why are we shielding the identity of the "accuser" and not the accused? Information regarding the credibility of the accuser is also relevant. I believe being accused of rape these days is far more "humiliating" and "shameful" than accusing someone of rape, which makes someone an instant "victim-hero". In the famous Duke false gang-rape accusation case, it turned out the accuser, whose name is Crystal Gail Magnum, had previously made false gang-rape allegations against police officers, which were thoroughly investigated and found to be false. This information was relevant and only came to light because of the intense media scrutiny of the case. In an ordinary rape accusation case, information like this would likely never come to light, because we "perp walk" the one who has has a finger pointed at them, and shield the identity of the accuser, so we're starting out with a very unfair playing field as the case is investigated and facts are looked into.

    Let's quit shielding the identity of accusers in cases of sexual abuse accusations. Or, if we feel that it is necessary to do this, then we need to shield both the accused and the accuser's identities, and keep the playing field even.

    Many are questioning whether or not the accuser in this case, who worked in a French-owned hotel with connections to powerful business interests in France, may have been involved in a set up to take out the socialist who threatened to displace the right-wing government. It's certainly possible. Let's investigate and find out what connections the accuser may have had with such French interests. Oh wait, I forgot, we're not allowed to even know who she is. Never mind. Let's just presume he's guity and "perp-walk" him, hold him without bail, and spread his picture around the internet with accusations of rape attached to it.