Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr. has officially filed papers requesting the dismissal of sexual assault charges against Dominique Strauss-Kahn. The Times reports that the filing came after a brief meeting between prosecutors and attorney Kenneth Thompson, who represents Strauss-Kahn's accuser and former hotel maid Nafissatou Diallo. In a statement near the Manhattan Supreme Court, Thompson told reporters that "District Attorney Cyrus Vance has denied the right of a woman to get justice in a rape case," the Post reports.
Thompson went on to claim that the DA "turned his back" on Diallo, and posed the question, "If the Manhattan district attorney, who is elected to protect our mothers, our daughters, our sisters, our wives and our loved ones, is not going to stand up for them when they’re raped or sexually assaulted, who will?”
While judges normally grant the prosecution's request to dismiss cases immediately, because Thompson filed papers asking for a special prosecutor to review the case, the judge was forced to review them. Thompson's filing reportedly contains proof that the DA's office mishandled evidence and was biased against Diallo, claiming that an Assistant DA said to Thompson: "No one with half a brain would ever put her on the stand." The Post has reported that the dismissal request filed by the prosecution will reveal "bombshells" about Diallo's character, and bolster Vance's decision to drop the case.
Strauss-Kahn's attorneys also released a statement, affirming the prosecution's decision:
We have maintained from the beginning of this case that our client is innocent. We also maintained that there were many reasons to believe that Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s accuser was not credible. Mr. Strauss-Kahn and his family are grateful that the district attorney’s office took our concerns seriously and concluded on its own that this case cannot proceed further. We look forward to attending the hearing on Tuesday.
Tomorrow morning at 11 a.m., a rally is being held in front of the courthouse at 100 Centre Street in support of Diallo. Carole Sher, the Director of the Rape Crisis/Violence Intervention Program at Beth Israel Medical Center who is one of the sponsors of the rally, says in a statement, “The justice system should equally be available to all, regardless of the background of an alleged victim or an alleged perpetrator. A victim’s past does not change the fact that a crime was committed against her."