Prosecutors in New York now doubt the credibility of the hotel maid who alleged that Dominique Strauss-Kahn raped her, but the evidence surrounding the rape itself are still solid, her lawyer says.
Sources close to the case said the credibility of the hotel maid, a 32-year-old immigrant from the West African state of Guinea, is questionable after a look into her past revealed a number of lies.
The revelations brought about a dramatic twist in perception with regards to the case against the former IMF chief, but the woman's lawyers are quick to point out that, past aside, physical evidence regarding this case hasn't changed.
Ken Thompson, the woman's lawyer, blasted the D.A., asserting a sexual attack did happen.
It is a fact that the victim here made some mistakes, but that doesn't mean she's not a rape victim, he said. You cannot discount the powerful physical evidence that was left behind during that assault.
Credibility of alleged victims in sexual assault crimes are crucial. Most times there isn't an independent witness, meaning prosecution cases rely entirely on the victim's statements.
But Thompson said some many aspects of the case are simply irrefutable.
He went on to explain that the nurses who examined her saw the bruises on the maid chambers body, and have submitted those to the District Attorney.
Dominique Strauss-Kahn threw the victim to the ground and tore a ligament in her shoulder, Thompson explained. That's a medical fact.
Indeed, Strauss- Kahn's encounter with a hotel maid may have involved force, including reports of blood at the scene.
Strauss-Kahn's lawyers want the charges dropped, saying the encounter was consensual.
We are absolutely convinced that while today is a first giant step in the right direction, the next step will lead to a complete dismissal of the charges, his lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, said.
The judge said prosecutors will reexamine the evidence after they revealed the housekeeper lied to a grand jury about her actions after the alleged attack and on tax and immigration documents.
The woman initially said that after Strauss-Kahn assaulted her, she had cowered in the hallway outside his room until he left and she felt safe to seek help. Now, prosecutors say, she admits she cleaned a nearby room and then returned to start cleaning Strauss-Kahn's suite before reporting the incident.
As Justice Michael Obus released Strauss-Kahn, he told the court: I understand that the circumstances of this case have changed substantially and I agree the risk that he would not be here has receded quite a bit.
Strauss-Kahn, whose house arrest had included electronic monitoring and an armed guard, agreed to return to court as needed, including for a July 18 hearing.
His bail payment of $1 million and bond of $5 million were returned to him but his passport was not.