Alleged New Details in Dominique Strauss-Kahn Case

IWatch News has new details in the alleged sexual assault case of former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, all from anonymous Sofitel Hotel workers. It says some of the workers testified before the grand jury.

First, the new details. Then the inconsistencies, between this version, earlier versions, police statements and leaks and the court documents. [More...]

The sources said the maid... had normally been assigned to clean a different floor in the hotel but recently volunteered to take the floor of Strauss-Kahn's luxury suite after a colleague went on leave.

The maid reported she entered Strauss-Kahn's room shortly before noon on Saturday, May 14, after a room-service employee assured her the suite was empty.

A floor cleaning supervisor found her in the hallway around 12:30. She said she was hiding and waiting for DSK to leave. He had left to check out moments before.

The supervisor took her into DSK's suite to hear what happened, and after hearing the maid's account, the cleaning supervisor called her supervisor, also in housekeeping. After she told the second supervisor, they called hotel security and a security officer came to the suite and interviewed her. He then called his supervisor in security, a former law enforcement official, who came and interviewed her. Then they called police.

The four interviews (and time it took her to calm down enough to relate what happened) took about an hour and police were called around 1:30.

Strauss-Kahn's lawyer, Ben Brafman, interviewed in Israel today by a French tv station, says he believes DSK will be acquitted as their investigation to date shows the accusations are false.

“From what I have seen already in the file, I am confident,” said Brafman, whose comments in English were translated into French for broadcast. “If he can have a fair trial, at the end of the hearings he will be acquitted. From the investigations we have carried out, I believe the accusations will prove false.”

Reuters has a timeline
. One thing that doesn't add up is the alleged phone call in which DSK purportedly asked the hotel to bring him his phone at the airport. According to Reuters:

SATURDAY, about 3.30 P.M. - Strauss-Kahn called the hotel to ask about his missing mobile phone and asked that it be delivered to him at the airport.I think the security officer to whom his call was routed offered to bring it to him.

I don't think he asked for the phone to be brought to the airport. That was the police's idea.

It wasn't DSK's only phone. He made other calls that afternoon including from the car on the way to the airport.

By that time [of the phone call], cops were at the hotel -- and instructed staffers to tell him they had his phone and to ask where he was, the sources said. "Where are you? We'll get it to you," one staffer told him, according to the sources.

He said he was arriving at JFK for his flight -- and Port Authority cops pulled him off an Airbus 380 -- where he was sitting in first class -- at 4:38 p.m., two minutes before takeoff.

The Post also says Strauss-Kahn "mistakenly" thought he had left a cell phone at the hotel. If he was mistaken, there was no phone.

He had lunch with his daughter a few blocks from the hotel. At 2:15, his car arrived to take him to the airport. His flight was at 4:40. At 3:30, when he called, his flight was in 1 hour and 10 minutes. Surely he knew a hotel employee wouldn't be able to get to the airport, through security and to the gate, and get the phone to him (before doors closed) in 1 hour and 10 minutes.

Also, he left the hotel for lunch, a few blocks from the hotel, in a Yellow Cab. A car picked him up to take him to the airport. Where? Back at the hotel? Why wouldn't he have gone back in to ask about his phone? The Guardian reports law enforcement sources as saying when he called, it was to ask whether he had left anything at the hotel (not a phone.)

The law enforcement source said investigators believe that Strauss-Kahn phoned the Sofitel at 3.30pm, presumably from the airport, and asked if he had left anything at the hotel.

They said the hotel worker was told to reply they had found a phone and would bring it to him. But other reports say they called him back to tell him that. Did he also give them his phone number? Sure doesn't sound like he was trying to avoid them.

As to the fortuitous arrival at the last minute, as if the plane would have been gone had they arrived five minutes later, police sources also say that's not true. They had called ahead to have the plane held till they got there. Also from The Guardian:

Instead, New York police arranged with the Port Authority to have Strauss-Kahn's plane held at the gate until detectives arrived.

Same version here. Did they have an arrest warrant? Or need one to have the plane held, or to board a French plane after doors had been closed? Does hot pursuit of a fleeing suspect extend this far?

Other inconsistencies from the police. New York Police Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne told CNN that the maid went to the front desk to report the attack. Clearly, that's not what the other hotel workers say. All the interviews took place in the 28th floor suite.

Nor do the workers allege, as Browne claimed, that DSK chased her down the hall.

New York Police Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne said the economist emerged naked from a room, ran down a hallway after the woman, and attacked her.

The whole incident, if it occurred, took place in the suite. But even those reports aren't consistent. The early news reports have her in the foyer and him jumping out at her naked from the bedroom. What came out in court, according to NPR: She was cleaning the bedroom when he emerged from the bathroom.

As spelled out in court, by police sources and in news reports, the maid entered the hotel suite where Strauss-Kahn was staying, thinking it was empty. She walked into the suite, called out to make sure nobody was there and, when she didn't get an answer, went to the bedroom area to begin cleaning. At that point, Strauss-Kahn walked out of the bathroom naked. The maid apologized and turned to leave, but she made it only as far as the foyer. Strauss-Kahn allegedly ran up behind her, closed the door, locked it and dragged her into the bedroom where, according to the criminal complaint, he forced her to perform oral sex. The maid told the police that she broke free and ran out of the bedroom, but was caught again and dragged this time into the bathroom, where Strauss-Kahn once again tried to force her into sexual acts. She broke free again, and this time managed to escape. She immediately reported the attack to her supervisor, and the hotel quickly called the police.

According to the French and African news sites which have identified the maid, she's 6 feet tall and weighs 200 pounds. How did this 62 year old, smaller, out of shape man drag her repeatedly from room to room?

Lastly, what happened to the claim of anal sexual contact? It was in the complaint, but it's not in the Indictment. The criminal complaint, available here, alleges that Strauss-Kahn forced the woman to engage "in oral sexual conduct and anal sexual conduct" and tried to force her to engage in sexual intercourse.

I doubt they made it up out of thin air, it must have been what the maid initially reported for it to be in the Complaint. Did she change what happened before her grand jury appearance?

As for the latest stories that he asked two receptionists if they wanted to have a drink with him, how does that bear on whether he forced anyone to have sex? They said no, he apparently didn't pursue it further. Just because he's a womanizer doesn't mean he's a rapist. Trials take place in courtrooms, not living rooms or on the internet. The facts are murky and the allegations untested in a court. This rush to judgment that he's guilty is so unbecoming.

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    some of your questions, (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by cpinva on Sun May 22, 2011 at 08:07:12 PM EST
    regarding what appear to be inconsistencies in the alleged victim's statements, may well be the result of poor translation, or her poor grasp of english, which is apparently not her first language.

    with respect to her height/weight, it doesn't, by definition, mean she's a great physical specimen.

    i've no idea what actually happened, so i guess i'll have to wait for the trial, should there actually be one.

    I do tend to think that "down the hall" (none / 0) (#4)
    by Peter G on Sun May 22, 2011 at 11:50:00 PM EST
    was a misinterpretation of "into the foyer" (of the suite).

    Some of these suites are ridicuously large (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by honora on Mon May 23, 2011 at 06:54:07 AM EST
    It would not surprise me, if there was a 'hall' within the suite connecting living area, bedroom and/or bathroom(s).  

    Perhaps (none / 0) (#10)
    by Rojas on Mon May 23, 2011 at 07:35:24 AM EST
    or perhaps someone embellished the story to give it  more effect. I think the point of the matter is that these revelations need to be taken with a large grain of salt.

    My work involves a fair bit of failure analysis of product and process. It is the very rare exception when the observations of the people who witnessed or were involved in an event are accurate.

    I think it is just the way the human mind works. We are not Vulcans. People will almost always color a story in a way that they believe is in their self interest or fits their prejudice if someone else is involved. If it's second hand it gets colored twice. It's just the nature of things.


    if the defense strategy (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by desmoinesdem on Mon May 23, 2011 at 07:59:31 AM EST
    is to say this was a consensual encounter, but she called police because she didn't get paid enough money or, or that she initiated the sexual contact, hoping to get money, that will be difficult to square with testimony from the room-service employee (who told the alleged victim the suite was empty) and from the two cleaning supervisors, the security officer and the hotel security supervisor (who interviewed her before police were called).

    Just because a man has a paunch (5.00 / 4) (#12)
    by Militarytracy on Mon May 23, 2011 at 08:09:50 AM EST
    and is older, doesn't mean he isn't still extremely physically strong.  It's just silly to suggest he is out of shape or "fat".  He looks like a bull of man to me and very capable of forcing women of any age.  The size of the accusser is probably something that worked in her favor as she was able to break free and get away.  A smaller woman probably wouldn't have been able to.

    You beat me to it (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon May 23, 2011 at 01:19:31 PM EST
    I just pointed out the same thing above before getting to your comment.

    It frankly drives me nuts that although I'm strong for a woman, any weakling male couch potato outclasses me by a factor of around 10 in strength, particularly in arm strength.  I can struggle and struggle and sweat and curse over some outdoor physical chore, only to have some weakling male friend take one whack at whatever it is and accomplish it easily.  Not fair!


    While Strauss-Kahn is certainly entitled (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Anne on Mon May 23, 2011 at 08:33:40 AM EST
    to his day in court, and to the presumption of innocence, I think we all understand that this man's history with women is making it a lot harder for many to give him the benefit of that presumption.  And his continuing to seek the company of women he doesn't know, even after all that has happened, just seems - to be blunt - stupid.  It may all be completely aboveboard - or as aboveboard as it could be considering that he is married, after all - but it's not going to sell well here, where people are not so blasé about the whole cheating thing.

    No wonder he needs a PR firm...

    I have, for the most part, avoided the media coverage; the little I heard in the beginning was so breathlessly ready to convict the guy that I knew it was unlikely that the coverage would ever be at all objective.  I also anticipate the usual swing in the other direction, against the alleged victim, as more dirt is unearthed on her.

    At some point, a jury will hear the evidence and make a decision; I hope, by that point, there is even a remote possibility that after what may be months of media saturation, something resembling justice will be possible for those involved.

    The American perp walk is embarrassing (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by Militarytracy on Mon May 23, 2011 at 09:23:58 AM EST
    for this nation, but treating a struggling Guinea immigrant like she is a human being is not one of our shames.

    What is this "history" (none / 0) (#15)
    by BackFromOhio on Mon May 23, 2011 at 09:24:57 AM EST
    based on?

    Not sure whether you are asking for (none / 0) (#16)
    by Anne on Mon May 23, 2011 at 10:17:22 AM EST
    information about his history, or questioning the sources for it, but here is an article that may be of some use.

    Thanks but (none / 0) (#26)
    by BackFromOhio on Mon May 23, 2011 at 03:48:39 PM EST
    the article is full stories of accusations, ladies' man reputation, etc.  I'm not saying he's guilty or not, just that we don't know.  

    It can show a pattern (none / 0) (#27)
    by jbindc on Mon May 23, 2011 at 04:01:26 PM EST
    or propensity on his part to treat women like objects.  The prosecution would have to argue that it was his "modus operandi" or that it shows a common plan, etc. to get it in to court, but this investigative reporting also makes it harder for the defense to make some of its arguments because potential jurors read daily about how boorish he's been with women.

    I think it shows a pattern of accusations (none / 0) (#34)
    by BackFromOhio on Wed May 25, 2011 at 08:23:23 PM EST
    most of which would probably not be admissible.  I'm not saying there isn't anything behind the accusations, but accusations by themselves are not facts.  

    A good PR firm (none / 0) (#17)
    by Rojas on Mon May 23, 2011 at 10:34:40 AM EST
    might alledge it was the result of dragging hundred dollar bills through trailer parks.

    Thank you, Jeralyn (none / 0) (#3)
    by jen on Sun May 22, 2011 at 10:18:18 PM EST
    It's amazing (but not really) how many people are so quick to judge. I have thought from the get go that this story sounded fishy. Getting stinkier by the day.

    I haven't read anything on this (none / 0) (#6)
    by Madeline on Mon May 23, 2011 at 12:34:18 AM EST
    thread in posting where people were ready to judge.

    I guess when a man is accused several times over the years of either attacking, feeling up, forcing himself on women there might be a little doubt in his absolute innocence but I haven't read posts jumping to judgement.


    you don't read that here (5.00 / 3) (#7)
    by Jeralyn on Mon May 23, 2011 at 12:41:23 AM EST
    because I delete comments that insist someone is guilty before trial. It's one thing to point out it looks bad for the guy, it's another to assume he's guilty.

    I think Jen was referring to the media reporting and commentary elsewhere. It's pervasive with guilt assumptions.


    is there any indication (none / 0) (#5)
    by observed on Mon May 23, 2011 at 12:16:40 AM EST
    Dsk used any other threats, for example threats about her immigration status? A smart man like that could have scared her in many ways. Good work going through his personal schedule for the recent past to find that his  physical condition. Or did you see his doctor's report?

    his photographs (none / 0) (#8)
    by Jeralyn on Mon May 23, 2011 at 12:50:19 AM EST
    show he's got a bit of a paunch and news reports say he's only 5'7". I didn't want to call him overweight or fat (as others have) so I settled on "out of shape."

    FWIW (none / 0) (#20)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon May 23, 2011 at 01:16:09 PM EST
    being overweight or having a paunch does not at all inevitably correlate to being "out of shape" in terms of strength.  Also, it's a maddening fact of life that most men, out of shape or not, shorter or not, overmatch most women in pure physical strength.

    exactly. (none / 0) (#22)
    by observed on Mon May 23, 2011 at 01:20:16 PM EST
    I bet Sharon was strong as an ox, even in his 70's.

    What's really fascinating (none / 0) (#18)
    by NYShooter on Mon May 23, 2011 at 11:34:14 AM EST
    about this case, irrespective of the outcome, is that both of these people are just so incredible.

    Strauss-Kahn's reputation, whether he's found guilty, or not, is the stuff a million books, movies, and other assorted venues will be made of.

    And the maid!! If she's telling the truth, she will go down in history, along with Rosa Parks, Elizabeth Stanton, and all the other feminist heroes. But, if she's pulling a scam, ooh boy, she'll be the richest inmate ever from all the offers for the rights to publish her story that will come poring in.

    Stay tuned.

    Anecdotes/Reporting from France (none / 0) (#19)
    by christinep on Mon May 23, 2011 at 12:28:29 PM EST
    As suggested in some commentary, there may be so many parts to the episode at the Sofitel & beyond. One not-going-away reportage concerns DSK's alleged background in potentially related dimensions. For me, comments being reported here & there--on NPR, on msm nightly news, transcribed from French press now--definitely portray the man in a very negative way; and, frankly, as one a woman might not want to run into alone. While that may have no direct bearing in a court of law, the court of public opinion may be on the verge of rendering its verdict (if it hasn't already done so.)

    In a societal sense and in the "character" sense, I am quite interested in comments from a number of French female journalists about behavior issues alleged in the past. While I am trying to separate out the fury of perception from the facts that will eventually be determined in a courtroom, this is one hard-sell for any PR firm representing DSK. Especially so in these weeks where the American public has been so emphatically reminded of another power man's history in California...reminded with an exclamation point. It will be hard, indeed, to separate the gut reaction from the open mind needed by a future jury.

    Dominique Strauss-Kahn: DNA samples confirm sperm traces on maid's dress
    DNA samples taken in the Dominique Strauss-Kahn case have confirmed traces of sperm on the maid's dress, according to reports.

    Mr Strauss-Kahn has been indicted on seven charges. If he is convicted, he would face up to

    The New York Police sent the test results to French authorities on Sunday where they allegedly confirmed the trace. The results are expected to be made public shortly.

    Mr Strauss-Kahn, 62, who is accused of trying to rape a maid last week in his suite at the Sofitel hotel in New York, was released from Rikers Island jail on Friday.

    His lawyer has already indicated he plans to argue that there was consent.

    Here we go again...

    There goes the subsequent "Innocence (none / 0) (#24)
    by oculus on Mon May 23, 2011 at 02:45:22 PM EST
    Project" habeas.

    The DNA has been confirmed to be DSK's. (none / 0) (#31)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon May 23, 2011 at 05:13:50 PM EST
    Precisely. (none / 0) (#32)
    by oculus on Mon May 23, 2011 at 05:41:51 PM EST
    Oh, I agree (none / 0) (#29)
    by jbindc on Mon May 23, 2011 at 04:07:32 PM EST
    It's just that the article I linked to points out that he hit on one or two receptionists within a day or so of the alleged incident and made comments to the flight attendant on the same day.

    Now a man flirting or being a pig is not a crime and doesn't prove that he could commit rape.  But I think all of these incidents will be viewed together and it does not paint a picture of man who is just flirty - it makes him look creepy.

    Please stop reprinting (none / 0) (#33)
    by Jeralyn on Tue May 24, 2011 at 01:46:13 AM EST
    large segments of news articles. It's a copyright violation. A short paragraph or two is enough, with the link.

    Also potentially libelous comments are not allowed.

    Video of the suite. (none / 0) (#35)
    by ddada on Tue Jun 07, 2011 at 11:50:00 AM EST
    Surely the maid must have seen his personal belongings ...clothing suitcase etc. in the bedroom.(...if he really was in the bathroom showering as she claims...)
    So her statement that she thought he was already gone cannot be correct.
    The bedroom is the first room you come into when entering the suite.(see video below)
    I have worked for several years in hotels. Usually if they maid enters a room after 12 to clean and finds that the guest is still there she will  leave  (...and call reception to hear when and if the guest will leave.) No way if personal belongings are still in the room a maid will start cleaning if they know the guest´s departure is the same day and the guest has not left yet.

    I think we will have to wait and see what she says in court.
    I think what is reported in newspapers must be wrong.
    Could well be he was already in the bedroom.

    Have a look at this video of the Strauss Kahn´s suite....