Prosecutors have serious questions about the credibility of a hotel housekeeper who has accused former International Monetary Fund leader Dominique Strauss-Kahn of sexual assault and are taking the extraordinary step of seeking to substantially reduce his pricey bail, according to people familiar with the case.
Investigators have come to believe that the woman lied about some of her activities in the hours around the alleged attack and about her own background, a law enforcement official told The Associated Press on Thursday. The official is familiar with the case but spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss matters not yet made public in court.
Prosecutors think she lied about details on her application for asylum in the U.S., including saying she had been raped in her native Guinea, the official told the AP.
“She actually recounted the entire story to prosecutors and later said it was false,” the official said. Prosecutors haven’t necessarily reached a new conclusion about the allegations themselves and have not decided whether to downgrade the charges, the official said.
A court hearing is set Friday for the 62-year-old Strauss—Kahn, who is accused of crimes including attempted rape, has been under armed guard in a Manhattan town house after posting a total of $6 million in cash bail and bond. He denies the allegations.
Another person familiar with the case but not authorised to speak publicly about it said Strauss-Kahn may get his bail and house arrest arrangement eased at Friday’s hearing but would not elaborate. Strauss-Kahn lawyer William W. Taylor would say only that the hearing was to review the bail plan. The Manhattan district attorney’s office declined to comment.
A third person who spoke on condition of anonymity told the AP that prosecutors have raised issues about the accuser’s credibility in the case against Strauss-Kahn, but also would not elaborate.
The New York Police Department, which investigated the case, declined to comment. The woman’s lawyer did not immediately return a telephone call seeking comment.
“There will be serious issues raised by the district attorney’s office and us concerning the credibility of the complaining witness,” Benjamin Brafman, a lawyer for Strauss-Kahn, told The Wall Street Journal.
The maid told police that Strauss-Kahn chased her down a hallway in his $3,000-a-night suite in New York’s Sofitel hotel, tried to pull down her pantyhose and forced her to perform oral sex before she broke free.
If the case collapses, it could once again shake up the race for the French presidency.