While there is reportedly unambiguous evidence of a sexual encounter between former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn and the 32 year old Guinean hotel maid who accused him of rape, the case against him now appears near collapse.
The gist of a just published New York Times story is that the accuser has repeatedly lied to investigators in the case, had multiple cell phones she denied having, was connected to money-laundering and had received roughly $100,000 over the past two years from a drug dealer.
The key facts from the Times piece …
According to the two law enforcement officials, the woman had a phone conversation with an incarcerated man within a day of her encounter with Mr. Strauss Kahn in which she discussed the possible benefits of pursuing the charges against him. The conversation was recorded.
That man, the investigators learned, had been arrested on charges of possessing 400 pounds of marijuana. He was among a number of individuals who made multiple cash deposits, totaling around $100,000, into the woman’s bank account over the last two years. The deposits were made in Arizona, Pennsylvania, Georgia and New York.
They also learned that she was paying hundreds of dollars every month in phone charges to five different companies. The woman insisted she only had a single phone and said she knew nothing about the deposits except that they were made by a man she described as her fiancé and his friends.
In a case with no eyewitnesses and apparently no physical evidence going to the question of consent, clear evidence of criminal activity and repeatedly lying to investigators would likely make the case quite difficult to win at court. And the article suggests that prosecutors may simply drop the charges or try to get Strauss-Kahn to plead out to a dramatically reduced charge.
Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.