Saturday, July 2, 2011

Joanna Molloy DSK accuser's checkered past doesn't mean she wasn't attacked, but tough sell for jury

Joanna Molloy

Saturday, July 2nd 2011, 4:00 AM

Dominique Strauss-Kahn and his wife, Anne Sinclair, leave Manhattan Supreme Court after his bail was cancelled and he was released from house arrest Friday morning.
Jefferson Siegel for News
Dominique Strauss-Kahn and his wife, Anne Sinclair, leave Manhattan Supreme Court after his bail was cancelled and he was released from house arrest Friday morning.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn fairly cancanned out of Criminal Court after Judge Michael Obus freed him without bail on charges he sexually attacked a hotel maid.

He even gets his money back - or his rich wife's: $1 million in cash and a $5 million bond.

Just in time for Bastille Day, the French banking big has gone from "Les Miserables" to "Life Is Beautiful." He can even go out to eat at Bouley, instead of ordering in at the Tribeca townhouse where he's been under house arrest.

Isn't that how we treat all our accused? To paraphrase Mark Twain, steal a loaf of French bread, go to prison; make a lot of French bread, await trial in a mansion.

Prosecutor Joan Illuzzi-Orbon said she isn't dropping the case yet. It's just that it may be hard to convince a jury Strauss-Kahn is guilty because the maid who said "J'accuse" may be a shady character from a sunny place.

She told investigators from the Manhattan district attorney's office she'd been raped in her native Guinea - yet made no mention of it on her application for asylum.

They reportedly found several bank accounts with a total of almost $100,000 and wonder if she wasn't laundering more than bed linens.

She had a phone chat with a jailed guy who got caught with 400 pounds of pot in which she crowed about how much money she could make off the former International Monetary Fund chief in a civil suit. Of course, the whole jailhouse call was recorded, duh.

Okay, her credibility is as wobbly as a three-legged chair, but that doesn't mean she wasn't attacked.

Her shakiness as a witness doesn't change the fact that the horny Frenchman (wait, is that redundant?) left his DNA on her uniform.

She says he came running naked out of the bathroom and forced her to perform oral sex. Maybe he thought that's what "Room Service" meant.

Defense lawyer Ben Brafman said in court he'll prove it was consensual. Hard to imagine Dominique Strauss-Kahn is simply irresistible without a towel on.

As they like to say on Law & Order, "You can't pick the vic."

Her checkered past doesn't mean she wasn't attacked, though it could make it tough to convince 12 jurors to believe her beyond a reasonable doubt.

That's what happened in the "Rape Cops" case, where jurors cleared the cops because the Gap exec who said she was raped was totally drunk and couldn't remember everything.

Never mind that two of the jurors said later they believed the woman was raped, but wanted more forensic evidence.

It would be beyond horrible if this sends a message to rape victims that pressing charges is futile.

Meanwhile, Strauss-Kahn is free to travel anywhere in America this holiday weekend, stay anywhere he wants.

I wouldn't want to be the maid who walks into his hotel room.

Would you?

jmolloy@nydailynews.com

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