Is Dominique Strauss-Kahn Guilty? (Updated)

Holy Roman Polanski, Batman! Ze French seem to be absolutely outraged that a rich and important Frenchman like Dominique Strauss-Kahn could risk imprisonment over a rape accusation from a mere maid. What a barbaric injustice!

Yet, from what we know at this early juncture, the maid’s story seems credible.

Jeffrey Shapiro says his client is from the west African nation of Guinea. He says the woman, who has a 15-year-old daughter, has “no agenda” and did not know even know who Strauss-Kahn was until a day or two after she was allegedly attacked on Saturday.

…The 32-year-old maid told authorities that she thought the suite was empty but that Strauss-Kahn emerged from the bathroom naked, chased her down a hallway, pulled her into a bedroom and dragged her into a bathroom, police said.

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He allegedly forced her to perform oral sex, according to a court complaint. She broke free, escaped the room and told hotel staffers what had happened, authorities said. She was treated at a hospital for minor injuries.

She immediately told other staffers what happened? She’s being treated at the hospital for injuries? As far as evidence in a rape case goes, that’s pretty strong.

Moreover, this accusation has spurred another woman to come forward.

Tristane Banon, the 31-year-old god-daughter of Strauss-Kahn’s second wife Brigitte Guillemette, said he attacked her almost a decade ago.

Ms Banon will now tell French detectives about the alleged attempted rape, which took place in an anonymous studio flat in Paris in 2002.

Strauss-Kahn lured the then 21-year-old trainee journalist to the property under the promise of an interview, and then started to rip her clothes off, it is claimed.

‘I kicked him, I called him a rapist, he didn’t seem to care,’ said Ms Banon in earlier interviews, in which she also described Strauss-Kahn as acting like a ‘rutting chimpanzee’.

Ms Banon’s mother, Anne Mansouret, said the only reason she did not press charges at the time was because ‘she was just starting out in journalism’ and was afraid of being ‘defined by the story’ of being attacked by a senior politicia

…The Frenchman’s allies have claimed he may be the victim of a plot to discredit him. It emerged today that he had once said he feared political opponents would pay a woman more than $1million to say he had raped her.

He has, however, had a long held reputation as a ladies’ man with voracious appetites. Three times married, he was forced to apologise in 2008 following an affair with a junior colleague at the IMF.

…Aurelie Filipetti, a respected French Socialist MP, said in 2008 that she was groped by Strauss-Kahn and would ‘forever make sure’ she was never ‘alone in a room with him’.

In the same year Strauss-Kahn admitted to a sexual relationship with one of his subordinates, Piroska Nagy.

Is Dominique Strauss-Kahn guilty? I don’t know for sure. That’s why we have trials and a presumption of innocence. However, given Strauss-Kahn’s background and what we know so far, the charges against him seem credible. So, maybe the people spinning the conspiracy theories and the faux “Well, I never” outrage should dial it back a few notches.

Update: Yes, putting this guy into a cell until this all gets sorted out is no mistake.

When the arrest of Dominique Strauss-Kahn broke over the news in France, Emmanuel Pierrat remembered the young woman who came seeking legal advice about half-a-decade ago. She said she had had an encounter with Strauss-Kahn and, said the lawyer Pierrat, “wanted to know whether I thought what I heard would form the basis for a solid legal case against him.” Pierrat says that the news out of New York over the weekend was “something I had heard before” because what the young woman several years ago described as “the modus operandi of the attacker she said was Strauss-Kahn was almost identical to the details [described by] the woman [who said she was] attacked Sunday in New York…”

….Recalling his client to TIME, Pierrat says he told the young woman that he believed she had a case. “There were sufficient elements for a legal complaint to be filed and for a judicial investigation into them to be granted,” he told TIME this week. But, in the end, the woman chose not to go ahead. Pierrat explains that it was “because she knew there’d be a lot of public and media attention, knew she’d come under pressure, be cast as a liar, a woman who was looking for trouble, get tagged as the villain who took down Dominique Strauss-Kahn – or tried to. She knew there’d be a high price to pay for trying to do the right thing, and knew she would probably be tarred for it.”

“In addition to my client,” says Pierrat, “I also have a personal friend who came to me and described an unwanted, forceful sexual advance by Strauss-Kahn that she was forced to literally fight off. They’re all essentially the same account, the same kind of behavior, with only the places changed.”

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