Prosecutors Prepare to Drop DSK Charges, Meet With Maid

By Jonathan Dienst and Shimon Prokupecz
|  Monday, Aug 22, 2011  |  Updated 3:07 PM EDT
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NBC New York has learned prosecutors are now planning to tell a judge on Tuesday they cannot move forward with the sex assault case against the one-time IMF chief. First they will likely explain their decision to the maid and her lawyer Monday.

Jonathan Dienst

NBC New York has learned prosecutors are now planning to tell a judge on Tuesday they cannot move forward with the sex assault case against the one-time IMF chief. First they will likely explain their decision to the maid and her lawyer Monday.

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NBC New York has learned prosecutors are likely to dismiss all charges in the sexual assault case against Dominique Strauss-Kahn by Tuesday.

Having detailed significant credibility problems with the hotel maid in recent weeks, prosecutors at the Manhattan District Attorney's Office are preparing to tell the court they cannot move forward with the prosecution, NBC New York has learned.

The maid and her attorney, Ken Thompson, are meeting with prosecutors Monday afternoon at 80 Centre Street.

Thompson on Monday filed a motion to disqualify the Manhattan DA's office from handling the case,  asking that a special prosecutor be appointed. He argued that the DA has "sabotaged" the prosecution, leaked false statements about the maid to the press and subjected her "to verbal abuse and outright disrespect."

The motion quotes a prosecutor telling the maid's attorney in June that "no one with half a brain would ever put her on the stand," and alleges a member of the prosecution team "repeatedly screamed at and outright disrespected her."

"In short, the DA has demonstrated clear bias and prejudice and this court respectfully should appoint a special prosecutor to restore the confidence in prosecution of this matter," the motion says.

Read the full motion here.

A spokeswoman for District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. declined to comment, as did an NYPD spokesman.

Strauss-Kahn, the former head of the International Monetary Fund, had been considered a top contender for French president until the maid accused him of attempting to rape her at a Manhattan hotel.

The accuser, who came forward late last month and identified herself as Nafissatou Diallo, said at a rally that she has cried every day since her encounter with Strauss-Kahn.

"What happened to me, I don't want that to happen to any other woman," she said.

The decision to dismiss the charges comes more than three months after Strauss-Kahn was arrested, and more than seven weeks after a judge released him from house arrest as investigators admitted they had discovered significant problems with the credibility of the maid.

She was found to have lied about parts of her past, as well as her actions on the day of the encounter, May 14.

Read a timeline of the case here.

The case against the French diplomat upended politics in his home country, where he was a likely Socialist candidate for president next year. When he was first arrested, it was widely believed that his
political career was over. Days after he was arraigned, he also resigned as head of the IMF.

The maid's credibility issues have "caused us to reassess the position... about the strength of the case," Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzzi-Orbon said in court last month.

In a letter prosecutors filed with the court on July 1, they detailed some of the issues with the Sofitel Hotel maid, including that she changed her story about what she did right after the alleged
assault.

The woman first claimed, and testified to a grand jury, to have gone down the hallway and waited until Strauss-Kahn left the room, before immediately reporting the incident to her supervisor. Prosecutors said in the letter that she "has since admitted that this account was false."

After the incident, the letter said, she proceeded to clean another room and then returned to Strauss-Kahn's room to clean it before then going to report the incident.

The letter also discussed inconsistencies on the maid's application for asylum from Guinea, where she is from. The lies, which were made under penalty of perjury, could expose her to federal charges.

In the asylum application, and to prosecutors, the maid claimed her family was persecuted and harassed by Guinea's dictatorial regime, and that police and government soldiers had destroyed her home and beaten her and her husband.

She later admitted to prosecutors that the information was a lie, the letter said.

The letter also suggested that she falsely claimed to have been gang raped in Guinea.

The maid's attorney has insisted that evidence still shows the woman was attacked by Strauss-Kahn, including her ripped stockings and DNA evidence on her clothing that matched a sample from him.

He reiterated that point again Sunday.

"You can't ignore the physical evidence," he said.

Benjamin Brafman -- the defense attorney for Strauss-Kahn -- declined to comment on news his client could be free Tuesday to return to France.

Follow NBC New York on Twitter @NBCNewYork and at Facebook/NBCNewYork.

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