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Strauss-Kahn case raises question: How safe are hotel employees?

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But, it’s not clear from the statistics how many of those crimes were committed against hotel or motel employees.

In the past, some of the violent crimes, such as rape, can be difficult for prosecutors to try, mainly because it can often be a matter of “he says, she says.”

In 2004, prosecutors dropped rape charges against basketball star Kobe Bryant after the alleged victim, a hotel employee, decided not to testify. The judge had ruled that Mr. Bryant’s lawyers could question the employee about her sexual behavior in days leading up to the alleged incident, which took place in his hotel room.

In the case of Mr. Strauss-Kahn, he is alleged to have attacked the housekeeper after he emerged nude from the bathroom. He is alleged to have then attempted to rape the victim, followed by an attempt to force her to perform oral sex.

His lawyers maintain their client is innocent. In some press accounts, there are implications of consensual sex. In others, there are reports Strauss-Kahn was at lunch when the attack was alleged.

“Both sides will start to look for corroborative evidence,” says Larry Cunningham, associate dean of the St. John’s School of Law in New York.

For example, he says the New York Police Department might have looked for DNA evidence under the alleged victim’s fingernails or looked for scratch marks on Strauss-Kahn, who has been examined by the police.

“In addition, they would be interviewing people who saw the alleged victim right afterwards. What was her demeanor? Was she calm and collected or agitated and upset?” says Mr. Cunningham.

However, he points out that DNA under a victim’s nails may have gotten there through consensual sex.

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