Dominique Strauss Kahn: Were We Too Quick to Judge?

Lindsay Mannering
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dominique strauss-kahnThere's been a major shift in the Dominique Strauss-Kahn sexual assault case. Law officials told The New York Times that prosecutors now believe that the housekeeper could be lying. Strauss-Kahn was accused of forcing the maid to perform oral sex in a New York City hotel room.

Officials close to the case shared that the prosecutors have found major holes in the maid's story and that she's been untruthful about everything from her background to her application for asylum in the U.S. to the incidents surrounding the night of her encounter with Strauss-Kahn. It's also possible that there is evidence linking the maid to drug dealing and money laundering.

It's normal for the defense to attack the credibility of the accuser, but it's highly unusual for the prosecution to question the integrity of their own witness. This is starting to get hairy.

It hasn't yet been proven that she was raped, but there is forensic evidence that proves a sexual encounter did, in fact, take place between Strauss-Kahn and the housekeeper. There's a lot going on here, but the fact remains that Strauss-Kahn is still on trial and that the charges will not be dropped.

However, in light of the recent revelations, the defense is asking for an adjustment to Strauss-Kahn's $6 million bail arrangement and house arrest assignment. They want the price reduced and Strauss-Kahn to be released on his own recognizance.

I believe in innocent until proven guilty, and I also believe that a victim should not be blamed or discounted before the trial is heard, but a question comes to mind. If it turns out that the housekeeper was lying about being raped (I don't care if she was lying about her background or her living situation or whatever ... all I care about is whether or not she is lying about the forced oral sex), then should she suffer any consequences?

A rape can ruin a woman's life, but a cry of false-rape can just as well ruin the defendant's life. I remember that Duke lacrosse case back in 2006 when stripper, dancer, and escort Crystal Gail Mangum falsely accused three players of raping her at a party. When I heard the case, I instinctively took her side and thought about how terrible her experience sounded. Turns out she was lying about it, and the Duke players are now seeking damages in consequent lawsuits.

It's unlikely Strauss-Kahn will ever fully recover from this accusation, whether he committed a crime or not. I think most of us, myself included, are quick to side with the victim and defend her, but is that just as wrong as siding with the accuser, saying that the victim is lying? You know something, I'm not sure. I know we're all supposed to assume innocent until proven guilty, but that's hard in emotional cases that we feel strongly about. That said, this watershed in the Strauss-Kahn case reminds me to wait for a trial before making any assumptions.

What do you think?


Photo via YouTube

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