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May 16, 2011

IMF Chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn denied bail in NYC sex assault case as alibi talk emerges

Though not (yet?) a sentencing story, the high-profile arrest of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, head of the International Monetary Fund, for sexual assault is too interesting of a criminal justice story to escape blog coverage today (especially since SCOTUS is to keep us waiting at least another week for any big sentencnig rulings).  Here, thanks to this new New York Times piece, are some factual and legal basics:

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the leader of the International Monetary Fund, was ordered on Monday to be held without bail over allegations that he had sexually assaulted a maid in a $3,000-a-night suite at a Midtown hotel.

Prosecutors had asked the judge, Melissa C. Jackson, supervising judge of Manhattan Criminal Court, to remand Mr. Strauss-Kahn, 62, contending that he was a flight risk. They also indicated that a similar attack may have occurred....

In opposing bail, prosecutors highlighted the serious nature of the allegations. “The defendant restrained a hotel employee inside of his room,” Mr. McConnell said. “He sexually assaulted her and attempted to forcibly rape her,” and when that failed, Mr. McConnell said, he forced her to perform oral sex....

Benjamin Brafman, one of Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s lawyers, argued that “there is a very, very defensible case and he should be entitled to bail,” asking that his client be allowed to post $1 million bail. He said his wife would provide the money. She was scheduled to arrive in New York from Paris at 1 p.m., Mr. Brafman said. He added that his client was not trying to flee when he was arrested on an Air France plane that was about to take off from Kennedy International Airport on Saturday....

But prosecutors said that Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s resources, the lack of an extradition treaty between the United States and France and the defendant’s history were all reasons that he should not be granted bail....

Mr. Strauss-Kahn has been charged with various counts of sexual assault including attempted rape, sexual abuse and criminal sexual act. He faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted.

After Judge Jackson announced that Mr. Strauss-Kahn would be held without bail, Mr. Brafman asked if she would be amenable to changing her decision if he were able to strike a deal with the Manhattan district attorney’s office in which his client would wear an ankle monitor. Judge Jackson indicated that she would not change her ruling, meaning that Mr. Brafman may have to make a bail appeal to the appellate court.

Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s appearance in Manhattan Criminal Court, which lasted only 26 minutes, capped a 43-hour odyssey through New York’s criminal system. He was arrested, held in a special cell in East Harlem, placed in a police lineup, and submitted to a forensic medical exam for possible evidence....

On Sunday afternoon, Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s accuser picked him out of a lineup in East Harlem, where he was being held at the Special Victims Unit, and new details emerged on how he came to be taken into custody.... The police have provided few details about the woman at the center of the case beyond saying she was 32 and an African immigrant.

Meanwhile, this new Forbes piece reports on reports of an alibi for the defendant knows often by the initials DSK:

Benjamin Brafman, star defense attorney in charge of Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s defense (DSK) from charges that he sexually attacked a 32-year-old maid at the Sofitel New York in midtown, told Judge Melissa C. Jackson his client was innocent and he could prove it. As the case explodes into a global media frenzy and speculation soars, French media outlets have claimed they have gotten a hold of what would be DSK’s alibi.

According to Le Figaro, generally right-leaning and one of Paris’ largest newspapers, DSK’s lawyers have reconstructed his schedule and can prove both that he checked out of his room before the attacks supposedly took place and that he was having lunch with his daughter at the time. (Read IMF Chief Denied Bail As Legal Problems Now Brew In France).

A double sexual attack was thought to have occurred around 1:00 PM on the 28 floor of the Sofitel New York, deputy commissioner and spokesman for the NYPD, Paul J. Browne, explained to reporters. The French daily, though, notes that sources have put DSK’s check out time closer to noon, with center-right daily Liberation citing police sources claiming the IMF chief handed in his keys at exactly 12:28 PM.

After leaving his room, DSK is said to have gone to lunch with his daughter, a graduate student at Columbia University.

That same information, which, if proven, would constitute the IMF chief’s innocence, is undermined by information gathered by Liberation in New York. The daily, founded by philosopher and playwright Jean Paul Sartre, had Paul Browne, NYPD spokesman cited above, saying “”we said initially that [the attacks] was around 1PM, in fact it was closer to noon.” If the information proved to be accurate, DSK would have had about 28 minutes to sexually attack the 32-year-old and check out of his hotel.

May 16, 2011 at 04:02 PM | Permalink


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I have no idea what is going to become of this case, but I have a strong feeling that, at some point, this jet-setting, super powerful, millionaire, international high finance broker is going to try to turn himself into a victim. (Don't you JUST KNOW he's got some previously hidden "syndrome" and his judgment was "clouded" by his meds and "stress").

It doesn't make any difference anymore how phony this victimhood racket gets. It's all the rage.

I will stand to be corrected if I'm wrong. But I have an inkling the defense or allocution or both is going to be the source of a bunch of really good jokes.

Posted by: Bill Otis | May 16, 2011 7:30:18 PM

I don't think DSK will use victimhood. He will use consent, more likely. Who could resist such power and French charm? The feminist lawyers and their male running dogs will be totally biased, and believe the female, automatically. To overcome this biased presumption, the victim will have to be destroyed on the stand, in cross examination. He is in NYC, a horrible, feminist nightmare. Yet, he is likely a left wing, PC, progressive. So this conflict is something to behold, the left eating its own.

There should be an all out attack on the judge to disqualify her, as a totally biased feminist. Make her the issue, and any other feminist judge that replaces her. Demand total e-discovery on the judge as a start. That has never been done, and experts in discovery tell me it will have to be left to a pro se litigant. Disgraceful betrayal of the client.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | May 17, 2011 9:28:29 AM

To have a feminist judge in a case of "her word against his," is analogous to having a KKK robed, pointy hatted judge enter the court in 1911, to judge a black criminal defendant. It is unseemly for the court and makes it look ridiculous.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | May 17, 2011 9:31:47 AM

As a bit of tactical, trial advocacy advice, in that location? The main criminal trial litigator should be a female, and a feminist. I am not a hypocrite. Well, I am a hypocrite. But the trial outcome is too important to fool around, and should be solidly based on the current realities.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | May 17, 2011 9:36:06 AM

Extremely disturbing that the commenter above can twist any news story into offensive vitriol against women and even more disturbing, that he can then seemingly find refuge here, and dominate this site with such repeated, and profoundly hate-filled posts.

Posted by: anonymous | May 17, 2011 11:36:38 AM

Here is how I see the line of defense (both moral and legal defense).

1. Blame/trash the victim.
2. Start a huge PR campaign that this is just a bunch of parochial Americans with their sexual hang-ups (See Clinton, Bill). The European left will then circle the wagons around this guy a la Roman Polanski.

Posted by: TarlsQtr | May 17, 2011 12:35:09 PM

TarlsQtr --

They'll have trouble trashing the victim this time, because it is soooooo politically incorrect. What we have here is a rich, powerful, jet-setting white male accosting a working class (and possibly minority, although I don't know that) female. Anybody who takes his side against her will be zapped by the PC police.

I agree that, if things were a bit different, the defense would try the Americans-are-prudes trick, but it won't work here. Apparently he literally jumped her and then, when she momentarily got away, chased her down and tackled her. I think that's a bridge too far to turn into a French romantic comedy that we Puritanical wahoos just aren't sophisticated enough to appreciate.

My guess is that the first line of defense will be to try to buy her off, just as Michael Jackson spent several million to buy off the family of a boy he was accused of molesting. But that probably won't work either, since the victim's statement to the police is pretty much is stone at this point, and unlike Michael Jackson's victim, at least she's an adult and can be compelled to testify.

So he'll be back to the tried-and-true "I'm a victim" theme. In this particular case, it's hard to buy off the lady he attacked, and easier to buy off a slew of psychiatrists to testify about whatever mental condition they'll fabricate. So that, I predict, is what's going to happen.

Posted by: Bill Otis | May 17, 2011 3:41:56 PM

Anonymous: "Vitriol against women" Please, be accurate in your ad hominem attack. Not against women, but against feminism, a lawyer founded and led legal terrorism organization, that has completely taken over the legal system. Only a minority of females have bought into your hate philosophy. By the way, you do not support accomplished, assertive females when they are not left wing proponents of big government, so feminism is a Trojan Horse for left wing hate groups. So Sarah Palin, a female that has achieved all feminist ideals is hated by feminists. One huge reason is her beauty, because feminist tend not be pretty. Her biggest sin, however? Not being a Commie. When we say, government, we really mean a wholly owned subsidiary of the male dominated criminal cult enterprise that is the lawyer profession. So feminism is really a masking ideology, with male lawyers benefiting the most.

As with the Klan of 1911, in 2011, the legal presumptions and extreme biases of indoctrinated judges favor the feminist. It has a business plan as legally immune lynchings did, to plunder the assets of the productive males. Lynchings were not of poor boys whistling at white girl, as you learned in your left wing biased indoctrination in school. They were of rich blacks and Jews. Their assets were then taken, without prosecution of the quite public lynching. How is it possible to lynch 5000 people in public, making post cards to send to friends, and not have a single prosecution? How is it possible to falsely convict thousands of innocent males on the vindictive accusations of disturbed females? The terror groups, the KKK, and the feminists have total control of the judiciary, including the prosecution. And this scheme enriches the lawyer, so nothing will derail this train.

I do not judge the guilt or innocence of DSK. I leave that to the jury. I suggest he find himself a feminist, female lawyer for his defense, to seek the destruction of the accuser on the stand without upsetting the feminism indoctrinated NYC jurors. That feminist lawyer should also trash the feminist biased judge, and disqualify her in as dramatic a fashion as possible. To deter other judges from messing with her.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | May 18, 2011 5:40:38 AM

"He described his friend, an immigrant from West Africa and the mother of a 15-year-old girl, as a "good Muslim" and "not the kind of woman to attack a man." "

The defense lawyer also needs to be black and Muslim, since the victim belongs to these other two lawyer privileged groups.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | May 18, 2011 6:55:16 AM

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