Dominique Strauss-Kahn: Accuser's Lawyer Predicts Dismissal

The New York Times reports the lawyer for the accuser in the Dominique Strauss-Kahn case got a letter inviting his client to a meeting at the DA's office Monday, one day before the DA will announce in court whether he is dropping charges against DSK.

Kenneth Thompson, the lawyer, predicts charges will be dropped. Why? From the terse tone of the letter, and because:

“If they were not going to dismiss the charges,” Mr. Thompson added on Saturday, “there would be no need to meet with her. They would just go to court the next day to say, ‘We’re going to proceed with the case.’ ”

Then there's this statement in the letter: [More...]

Mr. McConnell wrote that the purpose of the meeting would be to explain “to her what I anticipate will occur in court on the following day.”

“Should she not be available or should she fail to attend, I will assume that she does not wish to take advantage of this opportunity,” Mr. McConnell added.

In other words, they are offering to explain their reasoning for dropping the charges before telling the public. As I wrote earlier today, in addition to personal credibility issues, the DA's office is now concerned about private settlement talks that took place between Thompson and DSK's lawyers in June -- concerned enough to ask Thompson to produce documents related to the meeting.

I suspect when the DA dismisses the charges, he will give two reasons. One will be problems with the accuser's credibility (based on inconsistencies in her version of events and false statements about her past history) and the other will be the actions of her lawyer. Between trotting her out in front of the media to make even more statements the defense can use to impeach her on cross-examination, filing a civil suit for damages before the criminal case is concluded, and reportedly engaging in settlement negotiations with DSK's lawyers at which money demands may have been made (Thompson denies it but if the DA asked him for documents from the discussions, clearly they aren't disregarding the possibility it's true), her lawyer's strategy may be as much the cause of the dismissal as his client's credibility problems.

If Vance can tell the public he's dismissing not just because of the accuser's credibility issues, but because those issues, combined with her lawyer's meddling, have diminished the chances of a successful prosecution to a point where they have no confidence they can win the case beyond a reasonable doubt, it may look better for Vance.

This case has never been about what happened in the hotel room. It's been about how DSK was hauled off an airplane, paraded in front of the media, forced to acquiesce to a ridiculous amount of bail with over-the-top conditions, all while the accuser, enjoying the privilege of anonymity and the protection of the DA's office, lawyered up with someone her friend found on the internet (the predecessor to Thompson)wbo took to the morning shows day after day; who discussed the case, including DSk's stature and its financial implications with her fiance/boyfriend/husband drug dealer and counterfeit clothing distributor housed in an Arizona immigration jail; and who in a last desperate move, took to the airwaves and neighborhood rallies herself to proclaim her victimhood and ask for support.

The NYPD and Manhattan Sex Crimes Unit need to learn to investigate first and arrest and charge later, after they've determined they have a solid case. With DSK, they jumped the gun and failed to objectively evaluate the facts before filing charges and seeking his arrest, all because they feared DSK would get bond.

I also doubt the civil lawsuit will uncover any great truth as to what happened in the hotel room. It's a he said, she said case, and both sides have a powerful motive -- big dollars at stake -- to lie or slant the truth. The only people who stand to gain from the civil lawsuit are the accuser and her lawyer.

Bottom line: I'm sticking with my prediction made on July 1:

This case is toast. It's not illegal to have sex with a hotel maid. The only remaining viable theories are: (1) It was a set-up (2) He paid her for the sex or (3) She consented, thinking she was going to paid, and got angry when he didn't offer money, didn't pay enough or refused to pay. While normally, paying for sex would be a crime, in this case, just like the rape claim, if he denied it, proving it would require believing her, and that's out of the question now.

The future: Dominique Strauss-Kahn will walk free and be hailed in France as a victim of an unfair American justice system that relies on outrageous perp walks and the sensationalized saturation of public opinion by American media, which views every case through guilt-colored lenses. Every defense attorney in the country will now bring up the DSK debacle in voir dire and closing when trying a he-said/she-said sex assault case. The accuser will return to Guinea to avoid criminal charges of lying to the grand jury and obstructing justice. And Cyrus Vance and his sex crimes unit will never live this one down.

Our prior coverage of the case is available here.

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    perhaps so. (none / 0) (#1)
    by cpinva on Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 01:41:56 AM EST
    more realistically, had DSK been allowed to stay on that plane, he'd never have seen the inside of an american courtroom, because the french gov't would never have consented to his extradition, should he have chosen to fight it, which he would have.

    a glaring omission by the DA all along: any mention of questioning whether or not a criminal act occurred. the issues the DA has (at least publicly) demurred on have been concerns related to prior acts, and how that might result in the accusor being perceived by a jury, not that they didn't believe DSK assaulted the women.

    perhaps we'll learn more, if a civil trial ever happens.

    A little myopic, I think (none / 0) (#5)
    by sj on Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 02:26:13 PM EST
    had DSK been allowed to stay on that plane, he'd never have seen the inside of an american courtroom, because the french gov't would never have consented to his extradition

    That may have been true if charges had been filed while he was in France.  But frankly they could have just waited til the next trip to the US before playing their cards.  And I say that as someone who doesn't necessarily have a problem with the fact that he was prevented from leaving when I believed that the evidence was, shall we say, a little stronger.


    gosh no, hardly "myopic", rather (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by cpinva on Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 02:39:15 PM EST
    realistic. what, you seriously believe that just because he was in france, he'd never have heard about the investigation in the US? seriously sj, they have all kinds of new fangled communications devices in france these days: wireless telegraphy (radio), movin' picture shows, tee vee, the intertubes, etc. heck boy, it's a whole new world over there!

    so no, i believe, based on current empirical data and events, that once aloft, DSK would never have been seen on these shores again, absent a seal team extraction.


    Depends (none / 0) (#8)
    by sj on Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 03:54:42 PM EST
    Would the DA's office have been stupid enough to make the investigation public?  Well, based on what they actually DID do, probably so.  But seriously, are all active investigations made public?  They are not.  All I'm saying is that a little professionalism would have gone a long way to making this debacle ... not one.

    And anyway, no SEAL team would have been necessary as you see -- they are walking back the entire thing.


    the investigation of DSK would (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by cpinva on Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 09:24:57 PM EST
    inevitably have been made public, he being kind of an international hot shot and all. i'm not suggesting it would have officially come out of the DA's office, it would have been leaked, by someone in or close to the DA's office. welcome to the 21rst century.

    i doubt seriously all investigations are made public, but few of them involve "celebrity" personages, such as mr. DSK. those pretty much always go public. see above.

    i would agree with you on the professionalism part, but that could well be said for nearly any police dept./prosecutor's office anywhere in the US. see all the examples of wrongful prosecution/incarceration/execution in this country.


    a blessing in disguise (none / 0) (#10)
    by Ambiorix on Mon Aug 22, 2011 at 07:54:29 AM EST
    His arrest may be a blessing in disguise for DSK, because it is now on record that the physical examination after his arrest found that he didn't have any obvious scratches or bruising.
    So if there was an alleged rape it wasn't that violent, and if there was oral sex it wasn't that forced.

    Interesting metric... (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by Anne on Mon Aug 22, 2011 at 08:36:09 AM EST
    If there was a rape, it wasn't "that" violent, and if there was oral sex it wasn't "that" forced?

    So, once again, if a woman doesn't leave proof on her alleged attacker that she fought back, it's not "that bad?"

    What's next?  Her uniform was too short, or showed cleavage, so if something did happen, what did she expect?  She was asking for it?

    Give me a break.


    Lying before a Grand Jury (none / 0) (#12)
    by Ambiorix on Mon Aug 22, 2011 at 09:02:24 AM EST
    Where it to come down to she said he said, she is the one who lied to the Grand Jury and has changed her story on numerous points.
    Lying to a Grand Jury will result in federal perjury prosecution.
    This case isn't about rape it's about extortion.

    I fail to see how this changes anything (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Anne on Mon Aug 22, 2011 at 09:57:19 AM EST
    you said in the comment to which I objected.

    Your comments about the alleged rape and forced oral sex showed the kind of utter ignorance that women have been dealing with for years, that somehow, if we can't "prove" that we fought the attack, it must mean we consented; the only thing missing from your comment was a "so what?" as you stated that, if there was a rape, it wasn't "that" violent, and if there was oral sex, it wasn't "that" forced.


    Not being raped doesn't mean it was consented. (none / 0) (#14)
    by Ambiorix on Mon Aug 22, 2011 at 11:18:36 AM EST
    Can you show a link that cleary states that DSK admits to have had sex with the maid.
    And I mean links that don't use qualifiers like alleged, may, could; or links that just state for a fact without any further links that DSK had sex with the maid; and links about DNA evidence only proof that he was in that room; and please don't come with a quote from anonymous police detective quoting a anonymous source close to the defence. And that the defence have been fishing to plead consent doesn't mean either that DSK admitted to have sex with the maid. After all the DA office last month asked him to admit to only some minor offences but DSK refused to admit to anything.
    He simply is innoccent.

    "He simply is innoccent." (none / 0) (#16)
    by jbindc on Mon Aug 22, 2011 at 01:26:21 PM EST
    There is no way on earth you can make that statement and know if it is true or not.



    So he must be guilty. (none / 0) (#18)
    by Ambiorix on Mon Aug 22, 2011 at 01:38:25 PM EST
    And it is not a statement but my opion and not just mine.

    No (none / 0) (#20)
    by jbindc on Mon Aug 22, 2011 at 01:50:02 PM EST
    I don't know and niether do you, so you can definitively state he is innocent.

    Notice I am not talking about "legally not guilty" (defendants are NEVER found "innocent").  I'm talking about ACTUAL innocence - and you, nor anyone on this blog know that to be true.


    No one knows what happened in the room (none / 0) (#19)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Aug 22, 2011 at 01:41:51 PM EST
    between them. But it's the state's job to prove a crime occurred, and not DSK's job to prove one didn't. If the state legitimately believes it can't meet its burden and drops the charges, DSK is not guilty of a crime.

    This isn't about what really happened or did not happen. It's not about factual innocence.  Like all criminal cases, it's only about whether the state can meet its burden of proof in proving a crime beyond a reasonable doubt.  


    a comment in reply to this (none / 0) (#17)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Aug 22, 2011 at 01:34:50 PM EST
    was deleted for personal attacks on the commenter and name-calling. No repeats please.

    Okay, let me try this again: (none / 0) (#21)
    by Anne on Mon Aug 22, 2011 at 02:45:46 PM EST
    What was offensive to me was this:
    So if there was an alleged rape it wasn't that violent, and if there was oral sex it wasn't that forced.

    Followed by this:  

    Not being raped doesn't mean it was consented.

    So, to begin, you're saying that even if there was a rape and forced oral sex, the fact that DSK exhibited no signs of struggle translates to it not being "that bad."  

    And then you go on to say that even if she withheld her consent, whatever followed doesn't qualify as rape?  How does that work?

    I am not taking issue with the facts, assumptions, inferences, implications, rumors or leaks-of-the-day as they relate to this case; I am taking issue with the quoted parts of your comments, which I find to be a combination of extremely anti-female and seriously unenlightened.

    Are we clear on this, or do you still want to argue things I haven't raised?


    Anne (none / 0) (#22)
    by Ambiorix on Mon Aug 22, 2011 at 03:52:40 PM EST
    I was actualy referring to how she claimed to have been brutally and sexually attacked by a naked man and the recorded fact that he had no obvious scratches or bruises.

    On "Not being raped doesn't mean it was consented.": way to many people demand from DSK, after being falsely acquised of rape, not only to prove that there was no rape, but also to prove that he didn't had consented sex with the maid while he was getting ready to leave the hotel.

    Why is it after all her lies still so hard to accept that she had made the rape up, obviously without thinking it trough.


    Perhaps the prosecutor wants (none / 0) (#2)
    by oculus on Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 04:40:57 AM EST
    to have a face to face mtg. with victim to determine her willingness to participate in the criminal trial.

    not likely (none / 0) (#3)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 11:27:24 AM EST
    the NY Post is reporting it's a dismissal and the prosecutor will file a long list of reasons with additional grounds related to her credibility not previously disclosed and both her lawyers are saying it will be a dismissal. They haven't asked to see her in the past 20 days. They are done with her.

    Does NY state law require the (none / 0) (#4)
    by oculus on Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 01:56:33 PM EST
    prosecution to file w/the court a detailed explanation as to why the DA's office moves to dismiss in the interests of justice?

    i could be wrong, (none / 0) (#7)
    by cpinva on Sun Aug 21, 2011 at 02:41:08 PM EST
    but i don't believe the prosecutor, anywhere, is required to explain, to anyone, their reasons for not going forward with a case. it's called "prosecutorial discretion".