Victim Should Step Forward And Confront Dominique Strauss-Kahn

After an initial meeting this week between Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s attorneys and New York prosecutors, the case against Dominique Strauss-Kahn, or DSK, will likely disappear and so will DSK.

He will fly back to France leaving the hotel maid a faceless and demonized victim—of his attack and the legal system’s attack.

Within hours of DSK’s arrest, his attorneys announced that they had evidence that would cast doubt on the maid’s credibility. Unlike their client, they did not lie. No one denied that a sexual encounter took place; there was too much evidence for that. But prosecutors chose to follow the lead of DSK’s team and throw her under the proverbial bus.

Accusations that she falsified federal and bank documents, kept company with a convicted felon, and discussed with said felon the possibility of a huge payday, were released to the press. If DSK’s attorneys did not illegally obtain government and private records, then the prosecutor’s office did the work for them.

Unless I’m missing something, there was an allegation of a sexual assault. Did anyone investigate that? Police and prosecutors initially alluded to hotel videotapes that strengthened the maid’s version of the events—what happened to those tapes? What happened to her fellow employees who spoke with her after the assault? What was the evidence that made New York City police officers –a particularly cynical bunch of folks on a good day– pluck DSK off a flight bound for France?

Further, the victim has been objectified in a calculated and deliberate manner. I can think of no name to call her other than “victim,” “maid,” or “immigrant.” That is partly the fault of her advisors although their intentions were well-meaning. They sought to shield her from the negativities associated with the crime and to deny access from those who would further hurt her. But in hiding her away from public view she became the worst of us—a dishonest, opportunistic and greedy immigrant, grabbing at a few bucks. That is what many people think of us and the DSK team took full advantage of the stereotype because perception is everything.

Essentially, neither the maid, nor her legal team had enough money or experience to go up against DSK and the prosecutor’s case just collapsed under the weight of a focused and well-financed campaign to discredit the victim.

It is time for the maid to come forward and show the world that she is a woman we can identify with and have empathy for. Allow her to speak her truth. She has an opportunity that our ancestors didn’t have—the ability to face off against the person she pointed out as her rapist, who seeks to humiliate her further by attacking her credibility as he attacked her body.

DSK has been photographed with a broad smile on his face and videotape shows him walking with a self-confident strut. He will continue to attack women as his wife, another victim, defends him and financially underwrites his disgusting actions. He will return home knowing that he no longer needs to rule France because he now realizes he rules the world, hence the broad smile.