In a final plea to stop the criminal case against Dominique Strauss-Kahn from being dropped, the hotel maid who accused the powerful Frenchman of sexual assault asked a New York judge Monday to take the extraordinary step of removing the prosecutors before they dismiss the charges.
The lawyers for Nafissatou Diallo told the judge that the Manhattan district attorney's office had engaged in “abuse of confidence, unfair treatment, bias and prejudices” in dealing with her and therefore should be disqualified from making the final decision.
The prosecutors are likely to ask a judge Tuesday to dismiss sexual-assault and attempted-rape charges against Strauss-Kahn, saying they could no longer prove them beyond a reasonable doubt after a raft of lies Diallo told them during the course of the case. The lies ranged from making up a story about an earlier rape in her homeland of Guinea to filing a false tax return, a false asylum application, and a false application for her apartment.
The prosecutors’ dismissal would amount to a dramatic turnabout in a case that forced Strauss-Kahn from his prestigious job as head of the International Monetary Fund and tarnished his chances of running for the French presidency. Prosecutors have plenty of evidence to prove a sexual encounter occurred in the Sofitel hotel's suite 2806 on May 14, but the credibility issues have made it difficult to prove it was forced, as the maid alleged.
While Diallo has acknowledged making mistakes, she insists her account of the incident was accurate and corroborated by the physical evidence as well as by testimony from witnesses she spoke with immediately afterward.
Kenneth Thompson, the lawyer for Diallo, told the court Monday in his last-ditch filing that he believes the prosecutors “sabotaged” the case and treated his client to “verbal abuse and outright disrespect.”
A spokeswoman for the district attorney's office declined immediate comment.