MANHATTAN (CN) – Former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn was released from all bail conditions on Friday after prosecutors uncovered several lies told by the Sofitel hotel maid who has accused him of rape.
Strauss-Kahn’s attorneys, William Taylor III and Benjamin Branfman, quickly convened a bail hearing after receiving a letter from prosecutors Thursday, disclosing lies that the maid has made about the day of the attack and about her experiences in her home country of Guinea.
In addition to fabricating a story about political persecution and torture to get immigration asylum in the United States, the witness also admitted that she made up a story about being gang raped in Guinea.
The witness had told the gang-rape story in two interviews with assistant district attorneys assigned to her case against Strauss-Kahn. “During both of these interviews, the victim cried and appeared to be markedly distraught when recounting the incident,” according to the statement. “In subsequent interviews, she admitted that the gang rape had never occurred. Instead, she stated that she had lied about its occurrence and fabricated the details, and that this false incident was part of a narrative that she had been directed to memorize as part of her asylum application process. Presently, the complainant states that she would testify that she was raped in the past in her native country but in an incident different than the one that she described during initial interviews.”
Though prosecutors say forensic evidence proves a sexual encounter with Strauss-Kahn occurred, they revealed that the maid lied about her actions immediately after the alleged attacked. She now admits that, after Strauss-Kahn allegedly sexually assaulted her in Suite 2806 of the Sofitel, she proceeded to clean a nearby room and then cleaned Suite 2806 before reporting the alleged attack to her supervisor.
Previously, she had claimed that she fled to an area of the hallway after being attacked in the suite, and that she waited until Strauss-Kahn got on an elevator before finding her supervisor.
The maid has also revealed that she has lied on her tax returns, claiming a friend’s child, in addition to her own child, as a dependent to get a bigger refund from the government. To maintain her housing, the maid has also lied about her income.
Strauss-Kahn’s attorneys, William Taylor III and Benjamin Branfman described their client’s relief in a statement.
“The last six weeks have been trying for Mr. Strauss-Kahn and his wife Anne, and they are grateful that the restrictions on his movement have been lifted,” according to the statement.
“We have maintained from the outset that Mr. Strauss-Kahn did not commit the crimes of which he stands accused,” the lawyers said. “Today’s disclosures only further confirm that he will be fully exonerated.”
Though the disclosures have diminished the strength of the case, to say the least, prosecutors defended the filing of charges.
“The fact of a sexual encounter was and is corroborated by forensic evidence, and the very brief time period inside the hotel suite strongly suggested something other than a consensual act,” Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzzi-Orbon said in a statement.
“Although it is clear that the strength of the case has been affected by the substantial credibility issues relating to the complaining witness, we are not moving to dismiss the case at this time,” Illuzzi-Orbon added.
Prosecutors note that Strauss-Kahn’s passport remains surrendered. The next court date in this case is July 18.