Former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn's (DSK) release seems to be a reversal of the attitude prosecutors originally had toward the case. DSK's house arrest ended this Friday.
Just a few weeks ago, prosecutors were touting the case and the strong evidence they said showed DSK had sexually assaulted a hotel maid. In fact, one prosecutor had said that the evidence was "continuing to grow every day," reports The New York Times.
Now, as a result of his release, many of the conditions DSK had faced under house arrest will be lifted. He will no longer have to wear a monitoring ankle bracelet, and will no longer be confined to the Manhattan home with an armed guard, reports The Times. However, DSK's passport will remain with authorities.
The reason for the recent release? The questionable credibility of the victim that DSK is accused of assaulting, reports The Times.
DSK's release seems to only underscore the difficulty of proving rape charges. Forensically speaking, there is still strong evidence of a sexual encounter between the hotel maid and DSK. But, just because there was a sexual encounter does not mean it was a rape. Rape requires that there must have been forcible sexual encounters against the victim's will, meaning that there was no consent. And, then the question then turns to how you can prove consent, or lack thereof.
The result is that the victim's credibility often comes into play. The hotel maid reportedly had a conversation with a man in jail about the potential benefits of pursuing rape charges against DSK after the incident, reports The Times. She also was paying hundreds of dollars in phone charges to five different companies even though she told police she only had one phone. And, there were allegations that her asylum application may have discrepancies.
Do all of these "inconsistencies" mean that she was lying about the rape? It doesn't, on its face. But, in the game of "he says, she says," a witness' credibility is definitely in play - and DSK's release seems to show that the prosecution may have lost some of its confidence.
Though, while DSK's house arrest is over, the case may still march on, though its strength has likely weakened.