New York State Supreme Court Justice Michael Obus dismissed all charges against former IMF Chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn at the request of prosecutors on Tuesday. Strauss-Kahn was arrested in May on allegations of sexually assaulting a hotel maid in New York. The charges were dropped even though forensic tests found unambiguous evidence of a sexual encounter between Strauss-Kahn and the woman, Nafissatou Diallo, an immigrant from the African nation of Guinea. After the court hearing, Strauss-Kahn’s lawyer praised the decision.
Benjamin Brafman, attorney for Dominique Strauss-Kahn: “You can engage in inappropriate behavior, perhaps, but that is much different than a crime, and this case was treated as a crime when it was not. And finally, I’d like to say this, and I’d like to say it publicly, and I say it proudly. Today is an extraordinary day, and it’s an extraordinary event to have a district attorney stand up in a public courtroom and dismiss an indictment, concluding that the complaining witness is not worthy of belief. I’ve practiced in this city for 35 years. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that post-indictment. So I give Cy Vance a great deal of credit."
Nafissatou Diallo’s attorney Kenneth Thompson told reporters that prosecutors would have pushed ahead with the case if the defendant had not been such a powerful and famous person.
Kenneth Thompson, attorney for Naffistaou Diallo: "District Attorney Vance has abandoned an innocent woman and has denied an innocent woman a right to get justice in a rape case. And by doing so, he has also abandoned other women who will be raped in the future or sexually assaulted."
The District Attorney’s press conference was cut short when a 5.8-magnitude earthquake shook the room in New York City, causing reporters to flee out of the building.