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Strauss-Kahn rape case dropped: A 'bad message' to vulnerable women?

The abrupt end to the Dominique Strauss-Kahn sexual assault case caused consternation among groups that say it sets too high a bar for some women to come forward.

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L'affaire DSK est terminé.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Tuesday asked the New York State Supreme Court to dismiss all sexual assault charges against Dominique Strauss-Kahn, former head of the International Monetary Fund and the man once thought to be the next president of France. The judge in the case agreed.

In a 25-page document Mr. Vance detailed his doubts about the case in which a housekeeper at the Sofitel Hotel alleged she had been sexually attacked by Mr. Strauss-Kahn. The main reason for the dismissal was a stream of lies from the woman, Nafissatou Diallo, a Guinean immigrant. The lies caused Vance to doubt the woman’s credibility on the witness stand.

The abrupt end to the case – which began with Strauss-Kahn’s arrest in May – caused consternation, especially in the African immigrant community, among feminist groups, and social justice organizations.

“It sends a very bad message to women who are vulnerable to any sexual abuse by men for sexual power,” says Yasmeen Hassan, the global director of Equality Now, an international human rights organization. “Unless you are Mother Teresa, don’t come forward in a case like this.”

Outside the courtroom where DSK – as he is known in the media – had his court appearance Tuesday, protesters yelled, “Put him on trial!” and “DSK shame on you!”


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