More on the SDK Trial

For a complete review of how the witness´ testimony has fallen apart please read this detailed account below from the New York Times.  The picture that has emerged is of a serial liar and manipulator, perjurer, someone who may be emotionally unstable, is not very bright, and has links with criminals.  She has also repeatedly lied to milk the system for all it is worth; a classic example of abusing welfare.  All of this does not prove that she was not raped. There is a small chance that she was. Ultimately, it’s very likely that none of us will truly know what happened in that hotel room, except for the two characters involved. What is true, however, is that her entire case rests upon nothing more than her word, which considering her history of serial lying and opportunistic manipulation, is now in shreds.  She does not have a leg to stand on.

We must remember that the American legal system places a greater burden of proof upon the prosecution, than it does the defense, with the idea that (all things being equal) it is better to let a criminal go free, than to allow an innocent person to go to jail.  With this in mind, all the defense has to do is create a reasonable doubt as to his innocence — not the slightest doubt, not beyond a shadow of a doubt, but a reasonable doubt. It seems to me that in attempting to convict a man and place him in prison for years (effectively ruining his life), that the standard of proof should be higher than merely the word of a woman whose credibility is completely shot.  Convicting someone for rape — which is very serious — without any solid evidence, except an accusation, is already problematic, in my opinion. But, it becomes completely unsustainable when the accuser cannot be trusted. Despite what the feminists say, women lie about rape all the time, and they are good at using emotional manipulation to convince prosecutors and juries.

I’ve heard comments — presumably by feminists and leftists — to the effect that, now that DSK will probably be let off, it sends a message that, “It’s okay for a man to rape a woman, as long as the man is rich white and powerful, and the woman is poor, black and immigrant”.  They are absolutely convinced that Dominique did rape her, and furthermore used wealth and influence to get off scot free. The people who say this do so without a shred of credible evidence.  I can only conclude that, in their little bubble of feminist/politically correct thinking, every time there is a dispute between a rich white guy, and a poor immigrant black girl, that automatically the man by default must be the evil aggressor and the woman must be the oppressed victim. Their thinking has become so schematically distorted along these lines that they can’t conceive of the possibility that — just maybe — the rich white guy might be the victim in this case, and the poor black immigrant girl might actually be the nasty one.  The other reason why these people often seem loathe to accept reality is probably a stubborn pride. They rushed to judgment based on no evidence, and now the last thing they want to do is to admit that they might have been hasty and wrong.  These comments show an insight into the rigid religious mentality of the typical Marxist/feminist/politically correct type, where reality must conform to ideology, and the PC ideology is so wonderful that it can never be wrong, even when faced with evidence to the contrary.

Aside from the conspiracy theory that DSK got off due to money and political influence, there is also the theory swirling around and that’s that the man is actually the victim of a setup. In other words that he was framed, probably by someone like Sarkozy, who has a clear motive to see Dominique sidelined before the next French presidential election. There is also some evidence that the immigrant woman received large transfers of money into her bank account for who knows what purpose. Still this does not mean that the man was necessarily set up. Simply having a motive, or benefiting from Dominique’s arrest, does not mean that nefarious forces were involved.  I think that the conspiracy theory is certainly possible, however, I personally do not see enough solid evidence to convince me that it’s true.

To me the me probably more plausible scenario, is simply that Dominique began to flirt with her, she reciprocated, one thing led to another, and after the event the woman looked for ways that she could exploit the sexual encounter to extract money from the man (who is obviously wealthy), or merely to gain publicity. Considering her long history of serial dishonesty and opportunistic manipulation, I see this as the most likely scenario. But, like I said before, until further solid evidence surfaces, we will never know exactly what happened in that hotel room. All we can do is speculate to the best of our abilities.

As to the investigators and police, I believe that they acted both poorly and well. They acted well, because they were able to accumulate a large body of evidence. Clearly the investigators look to be smart and thorough. I also have to give the prosecutors some belated credit for revealing all the problems with the accuser. Still, I think there was a bit of a rush to judgment in the beginning, and a tendency to take the woman too much at her word. I also believe that the prosecution should have revealed the damning evidence earlier.  If it quickly becomes clear that the defense has been falsely accused, it is imperative for investigators to resolve the issue as soon as possible.

The French love to criticize the American judicial system. One aspect however in which the French have a point is that too often in America we unofficially adopt the policy of “guilty until proven innocent”, especially with serious crimes. In America the accused are essentially treated as criminals until they are cleared of guilt, which can often take months.  An example of this is a much criticized “perp walk”.  I think that we could do a better job of treating the accused more humanely until they’re actually convicted.  Another valid French criticism is that the American judicial process tends to be overly sensationalized, and based on emotion.

Although I of course believe that real victims of rape deserve justice, and the real rapists also deserve to get the book thrown at them, I feel that maybe we need to try to come up with a system whereby innocent people’s lives are not torn apart, just because a nasty person makes an accusation. And, if it becomes evident that the accuser has lied, there should be consequences.  As it currently stands, it seems to me it’s far too easy for women to make false accusations of rape. That’s what we get for decades of feminist propaganda that “women never lie about rape.”. Repeat a lie long enough, and people begin to believe it.

A further thought comes to mind. The three biggest abuses of the judicial system, that I can think of in the last few years, all involve blacks. First we had the OJ Simpson trial, in which a man, whom was almost certainly guilty of murder was let off, because Cochran stacked to the jury with blacks — and especially black women — who were not interested in whether or not OJ Simpson did the deed, but preferred to declare him not guilty because they didn’t want to see another “brother” go to jail. And besides, “the white bitch deserved it for stealing our man.”.  An extremely solid case was completely nullified by a racially motivated jury nullification.

The next injustice that I can think of is the Duke lacrosse case, in which a vindictive and emotionally unstable black woman completely upended the lives of three guys all based upon a false accusation. The district attorney, wanting to play to the racial prejudices of his electoral black base in Durham North Carolina, engaged in all kinds of violations of legal procedures, so as to prevent the judicial process from working correctly.  His obstruction of justice became so bad that the state of North Carolina had to  intervene, the district attorney was reprimanded and removed from his position, and the whole case was thrown out.

Now we have a similar case of white guy being accused by a black woman of rape. However, this time the man has been cleared faster than in the Duke case, because the investigators in New York feel less pressure to pander to black prejudice against whites.

In all of these cases, not only were lives upended and enormous emotional trauma was pushed upon innocent victims, but the fiascoes cost governments enormous sums of money, all at a time when budgets are tight.  How much money was wasted and all of these cases for nothing?


July 1, 2011

Strauss-Kahn Accuser’s Call Alarmed Prosecutors

By and

Twenty-eight hours after a housekeeper at the Sofitel New York said she was sexually assaulted by Dominique Strauss-Kahn, she spoke by phone to a boyfriend in an immigration jail in Arizona.

Investigators with the Manhattan district attorney’s office learned the call had been recorded and had it translated from a “unique dialect of Fulani,” a language from the woman’s native country, Guinea, according to a well-placed law enforcement official.

When the conversation was translated — a job completed only this Wednesday — investigators were alarmed: “She says words to the effect of, ‘Don’t worry, this guy has a lot of money. I know what I’m doing,’ ” the official said.

It was another ground-shifting revelation in a continuing series of troubling statements, fabrications and associations that unraveled the case and upended prosecutors’ view of the woman. Once, in the hours after she said she was attacked on May 14, she’d been a “very pious, devout Muslim woman, shattered by this experience,” the official said — a seemingly ideal witness.

Little by little, her credibility as a witness crumbled — she had lied about her immigration, about being gang raped in Guinea, about her experiences in her homeland and about her finances, according to two law enforcement officials. She had been linked to people suspected of crimes. She changed her account of what she did immediately after the encounter with Mr. Strauss-Kahn. Sit-downs with prosecutors became tense, even angry. Initially composed, she later collapsed in tears and got down on the floor during questioning. She became unavailable to investigators from the district attorney’s office for days at a time.

Now the phone call raised yet another problem: it seemed as if she hoped to profit from whatever occurred in Suite 2806.

The story of the woman’s six-week journey from seemingly credible victim, in the eyes of prosecutors, to a deeply unreliable witness, is drawn from interviews with law enforcement officials, statements from the woman’s lawyer and a letter from prosecutors to Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s defense team released in court on Friday. Some of the events were confirmed by both law enforcement officials and the women’s lawyer; others rely solely on law enforcement officials. In the end, it was the prosecutors’ assessment of the housekeeper’s credibility that led them to downgrade their confidence in the case and agree on Friday that Mr. Strauss-Kahn could be freed from house arrest.

In the beginning, her relationship with prosecutors was strong. Her account seemed solid. Over time, the well-placed official said, they discovered that she was capable of telling multiple, inconsistent versions of what appeared to be important episodes in her life. After the encounter with Mr. Strauss-Kahn, she asked her supervisor at Sofitel, “Can any guest at the hotel do anything they want with us?” her lawyer, Kenneth P. Thompson, said during a sidewalk press conference on Friday defending her.

The supervisor called security, and officers, finding semen on the floor and wall, called the police, setting off the quick chain of events that led to police officers escorting Mr. Strauss-Kahn off an Air France plane set to depart Kennedy International Airport.

Suspicions of the woman’s associations arose relatively quickly: within a week of Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s arrest, the authorities learned of a recorded conversation between the subject of a drug investigation and another man, who said his companion was the woman involved in the Strauss-Kahn matter, according to another law enforcement official.

Prosecutors and investigators interviewed the woman at length.

Her immigration history was a focus. At first, she told them what she told immigration officials seven years ago in her accounts of how she fled Guinea and her application for asylum on Dec. 30, 2004. She described soldiers destroying the home where she lived with her husband, and said they were both beaten because of their opposition to the regime. She said her husband died in jail.

But then, in a subsequent interview with Manhattan prosecutors, she said the story was false, one she had been urged to tell by a man who gave it to her on a cassette recording to memorize. She had listened to the recording repeatedly.

The housekeeper also told investigators that she had been gang raped in Guinea. She cried and became “markedly distraught when recounting the incident,” according to a letter to the defense from prosecutors released Friday. But she later admitted that that, too, was a lie, once again one she had told to help her application for asylum. She said she was indeed raped in Guinea, but not in the way she had described.

Her lawyer, Mr. Thompson, said she was desperate to leave Guinea, and had been encouraged to embellish her application for asylum.

The boyfriend in the Arizona detention center was another issue. He had been arrested while bartering counterfeit designer clothing from Manhattan’s Chinatown for marijuana in the Southwest, the well-placed law enforcement official said. Her lawyer said she did not know the man was “a drug dealer.”

Meanwhile, as the interviews continued, the relationship grew more strained. During a meeting at the district attorney’s office on June 9, the woman wept as she was questioned closely after Mr. Thompson had left for another engagement. Her 15-year-old daughter, who was waiting outside, noticed that her mother was upset and called a relative to alert Mr. Thompson. The lawyer called the prosecutors and demanded an end to the questioning. He said on Friday that the daughter heard them shout, “Get out! Get out! Get out of here!” at her mother. The authorities say there was no shouting.

At another meeting, the woman threw herself to the floor in response to questions, the well-placed official said.

Then, for some 10 days, prosecutors were unable to get Mr. Thompson to bring her in; the lawyer said she was being treated for a shoulder injury that she suffered in the attack, an injury she had not reported earlier.

The final meeting occurred on Tuesday in the seventh-floor offices of the district attorney at 1 Hogan Place. It began at 11 a.m. and lasted five or six hours, except for a short lunch break, around an oval table in a conference room in the offices of the Public Integrity Unit.

It was devastating. In recent weeks, investigators collected bank records showing deposits of thousands of dollars in Arizona, Georgia, New York and Pennsylvania to an account in her name.

The woman had repeatedly said that the Sofitel was her only source of income.

Now, investigators confronted her with the bank records.

The woman, silent, turned to Mr. Thompson, seemingly pleading for direction on how to respond. He seemed startled.

“He was speechless,” the well-placed official said.

The district attorney’s office said the woman had lied about her income to maintain her public housing, and had claimed a friend’s child as her own dependant to increase her tax refund.

At the same meeting, the woman gave a new version of what she had done immediately after the encounter with Mr. Strauss-Kahn. In testimony before the grand jury in May, she said she had fled Suite 2806 to an area in the main hallway and waited until she saw Mr. Strauss-Kahn leave in an elevator. She has said that her supervisor arrived a short time later, and that she told her supervisor what had happened.

On Tuesday, the well-placed official said, she told investigators new details, stating, “I forgot to tell you this.”

In fact, she said, she left Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s room and entered another room — her lawyer said it was Suite 2820 — and cleaned it, and then returned to Suite 2806 and cleaned it until her supervisor arrived.

“She did not know what to do,” her lawyer said. “She did not want to lose her job. She knew that her supervisor was going to be coming upstairs momentarily. So, she went into another room.”

And yet, even this version was not corroborated by card-key data obtained by investigators on Friday, which indicated that the housekeeper went to the other room only after she had finished Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s room.

Some within the district attorney’s office suggested that the rush to bring the case to a grand jury may have contributed to its current, weakened state.

Early on, there appeared to be disagreement in the office over how to proceed — whether to agree to a bail package for Mr. Strauss-Kahn and take more time to investigate before seeking his indictment, or whether to try to keep him locked up and quickly take the case to the grand jury for an indictment, according to three people involved in the case.

The office chose to seek a quick indictment, but a Manhattan judge let Mr. Strauss-Kahn out on bail anyway.

Mr. Thompson said that the housekeeper’s account of what took place in Suite 2806 is the only one that matters, and said that in the jail recording, she recounted a version of the encounter that matched what she had told the police.

“It’s a fact that the victim here has made some mistakes, but that doesn’t mean she’s not a rape victim,” Mr. Thompson said Friday.

The woman has been crushed that her inconsistent statements have been brought to light, Mr. Thompson said. “I will go to my grave knowing what this man did to me,” she told him on Friday, he said.

John Eligon and William K. Rashbaum contributed reporting.

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