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Strauss-Kahn arrested for sexual assault
May 14, 2011 7:19 PM   Subscribe

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Managing Director of the IMF and likely French Presidential Candidate, was arrested in New York for sexual assualt today. The Port Authority of New York removed Strauss-Kahn from the first class cabin of an Air France flight ten minutes before it departed for Paris and handed him over to the NYPD, whose Special Victims Unit is handling the case, for questioning. He is expected to be arraigned later tonight.

According to the New York Post, Strauss-Kahn is accused of forcing a hotel maid to perform oral sex on him and then immediately heading to the airport to fly to France, leaving his cell phone and other personal articles in the hotel. Fellow Parti Socialiste politician Jean-Marie Le Guen claimed hours before the arrest that "there is now a totally structured and orchestrated campaign, which has already been announced by Mr. Sarkozy and his closest allies, to attack the character of Strauss-Kahn."

Strauss-Kahn had been due to meet Angela Merkel in Berlin on Sunday to discuss the European monetary crisis and the upcoming G8 summit.
posted by strangely stunted trees (147 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

 
We live in insane times.
posted by Ironmouth at 7:23 PM on May 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Special Victims Unit is handling the case"...

wait, this is being handled by the cast of a TV show???!!
posted by tomswift at 7:27 PM on May 14, 2011 [10 favorites]


I often wonder how newspapers choose which generic photo of a world figure to use for any given story. Someone who really doesn't like Strauss-Kahn has been saving that photo for a story like this.

Also, holy shit! It's like reality is copying Law and Order episodes.
posted by benito.strauss at 7:28 PM on May 14, 2011 [5 favorites]


Someone who really doesn't like Strauss-Kahn has been saving that photo for a story like this.

"Hey, can you pull the one where his mouth looks exactly like a butth-- yeah, that's it, thanks."
posted by theodolite at 7:32 PM on May 14, 2011 [13 favorites]


This editorial that was in the Guardian yesterday made it sound like he had a history of really sketchy sexual behavior.
That wasn't the only scandal. There was a fuss last year when a young French author, Tristane Banon, described her encounter with him. She explained that she had interviewed him for a book about public figures and their missteps, and claimed she had to fight him off physically. She said she hadn't made a complaint at the time, because she didn't want to be "the girl who had a problem with a politician".
Of course, the point of the thing is that enlightened French people don't care about politicians' sex lives, unlike those prudish Americans, so I guess French people file sexual assault under "private sexual conduct." It looks like that's not true in New York.
posted by craichead at 7:32 PM on May 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


Benson and Stabler'll sort him out.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 7:35 PM on May 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


Strauss-Kahn [...] has a special arrangement with Air France that allows him to get on any flight and sit in first class, the sources said.

Nice work if you can get it.
posted by Capt. Renault at 7:35 PM on May 14, 2011


Not a lawyer, but he may have diplomatic immunity

Section 4

The specialized agencies, their property and assets, wherever located and by whomsoever held, shall enjoy immunity from every form of legal process except in so far as in any particular case they have expressly waived their immunity. It is, however, understood that no waiver of immunity shall extend to any measure of execution.
posted by blargerz at 7:39 PM on May 14, 2011


No, leave it to Munch and Ice-T... (sorry)
posted by oneswellfoop at 7:42 PM on May 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


SECTION 16

Privileges and immunities are accorded to the representatives of members, not for the personal benefit of the individuals themselves, but in order to safeguard the independent exercise of their functions in connexion with the specialized agencies. Consequently, a member not only has the right but is under a duty to waive the immunity of its representatives in any case where, in the opinion of the member, the immunity would impede the course of justice, and where it can be waived without prejudice to the purpose for which the immunity is accorded.
posted by erniepan at 7:45 PM on May 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


SECTION 22

Privileges and immunities are granted to officials in the interests of the specialized agencies only and not for personal benefit of the individuals themselves. Each specialized agency shall have the right and the duty to waive immunity of any official in any case where, in its opinion, the immunity would impede the course of justice and can be waived without prejudice to the interests of the specialized agency.

The clause is so nice, they said it twice.
posted by erniepan at 7:47 PM on May 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


Not a lawyer, but he may have diplomatic immunity

The L&O:SVU Team got around that somehow.
posted by birdherder at 7:47 PM on May 14, 2011


How fortunate that there are no important issues for the IMF to be focused on at this moment in time.

I do wonder how many previous times he has gotten away with this thanks to his position.
posted by Forktine at 7:49 PM on May 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


In one way, the New York Post article linked in the original post is about 7-8 years out of date
posted by Bwithh at 7:50 PM on May 14, 2011


Wow. How frightening for her. I'm glad she was taken seriously by her management and by the police.
posted by the young rope-rider at 7:51 PM on May 14, 2011 [46 favorites]


Article V, Section 13 seems more relevant:
ARTICLE V: Representatives of Members
SECTION 13
Representatives of members at meetings convened by a specialized agency shall, while exercising their functions and during their journeys to and from the place of meeting, enjoy the following privileges and immunities:
(a) Immunity from personal arrest or detention and from seizure of their personal baggage, and in respect of words spoken or written and all acts done by them in their official capacity, immunity from legal process of every kind
As far as I can tell, though, his immunity from prosecution only extends to his work for the IMF. Seeing as he's already been taken in for questioning, I don't know how relevant it is. If he tried to skip back to France again, though, dunno if they'd be able to stop him...and if I was him I would. Although with Sarko still in power maybe they'd bounce him back.
posted by Diablevert at 7:51 PM on May 14, 2011


France can, of course, wave diplomatic immunity.

Sucks to be Strauss-Kahn, if the current gov't doesn't like you very much right now...
posted by IAmBroom at 7:51 PM on May 14, 2011


It's not clear to me whether France would be the one waiving diplomatic immunity, or whether it would be the IMF.

I think that if he successfully invokes diplomatic immunity, he'll probably be permanently expelled from the US, and I assume that's the end of his career as IMF head. I don't know if it means a thing for his chances of being elected president of France, though.
posted by craichead at 7:56 PM on May 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


There's also Porschegate hounding him. Though obviously this is much more serious.
posted by Omon Ra at 7:57 PM on May 14, 2011


Sucks to be Strauss-Kahn,
Isn't this backwards? I understand what you are saying, but the (potential) crime is of his making.
posted by a womble is an active kind of sloth at 7:57 PM on May 14, 2011 [4 favorites]


It's not clear to me whether France would be the one waiving diplomatic immunity, or whether it would be the IMF.

The IMF isn't a sovereign state; it has no basis upon which to claim diplomatic immunity of any sort.
posted by Justinian at 7:59 PM on May 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


Er, it sounds like I'm asserting that. I mean that's how it should be. I realize the United Nations may disagree.
posted by Justinian at 8:00 PM on May 14, 2011


Also, holy shit! It's like reality is copying Law and Order episodes.

This happens quite a bit...probably every other day at any major airport...its just that it doesn't get much attention because the involved just aren't THAT famous.

Connected, yes. Famous, rarely.
posted by hal_c_on at 8:01 PM on May 14, 2011


Wikipedia, which I realize isn't a great source on this stuff, says that officials of international organizations are granted diplomatic immunity in the US for official acts but not for other conduct. Dunno if that's true. I imagine we'll be hearing a lot about it in the coming days.
posted by craichead at 8:02 PM on May 14, 2011


I don't think he has diplomatic immunity. Typically, people with diplomatic immunity are traveling on diplomatic passports and are official representatives of the countries they are in. I don't think being the director of the IMF would get you diplomatic immunity. Although, I could be wrong.

Interesting story. I had actually heard of this guy before.
posted by delmoi at 8:03 PM on May 14, 2011


My guess is that this will result in a payoff for the victim.
posted by delmoi at 8:13 PM on May 14, 2011


Although, I could be wrong.
It looks like this is a crazy complicated gray area.

So the wikipedia entry cites this State Department chart. It has a row for "international organizations staff" and a column for "may be prosecuted." The box for whether international organizations staff may be prosecuted says "No--for official acts. Otherwise, yes." But there's a footnote, and that says "A small number of senior officers are entitled to be treated identically to 'diplomatic agents.'" So I think the question is whether the managing director of the IMF is one of those small number of senior officials. I assume not, because diplomatic agents can't be arrested, and he appears to have been arrested.

Also, that chart is archived but appears not to be on the State Department webpage anymore, so maybe this has changed.
posted by craichead at 8:20 PM on May 14, 2011


This should, of course, make him the front-running Presidential candidate in France.
posted by spock at 8:25 PM on May 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


"My guess is that this will result in a payoff for the victim."

I hope so. I would hate to hear that she was under financial strain due to being violently attacked in her workplace. Time off of work and therapy are not cheap and I imagine that as a housekeeper in a hotel she's not handsomely compensated. She might be qualified for other work, but if she's not, it might be extremely difficult for her to go back to a job that is so closely linked with a traumatic experience.
posted by the young rope-rider at 8:26 PM on May 14, 2011 [20 favorites]


Bong Bong....
posted by etherist at 8:32 PM on May 14, 2011


We live in insane times.

Because a rich powerful guy sexually assaulted a maid? The times, unfortunately, have always been like this.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 8:48 PM on May 14, 2011 [20 favorites]


Bong Bong....


dun dun dun dunn duunnnnn, dunnnnn

(womp womp womp womp-paaah)
posted by entropone at 8:51 PM on May 14, 2011


I often wonder how newspapers choose which generic photo of a world figure to use for any given story.

I used to work for a government communications department and media monitoring was part of my job. Generally speaking, newspapers would always use the dumbest, wackiest photos they could find of politicians.
posted by KokuRyu at 8:54 PM on May 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


I love NY police. They don't give a fuck for status.
posted by uni verse at 9:14 PM on May 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


The point of the IMF's immunity provisions are to protect officials from being prosecuted for various "crimes" like interfering with the host country's economic system, or being agents of a foreign power, or challenging the power of the state (something that could easily happen in countries where questioning the ruling junta's official policy can get one arrested).

Unlike diplomats of states, the IMF's agents aren't covered by any form of diplomatic immunity under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, and are only protected by the Annex mentioned above. Attempting to rape a hotel maid cannot be an action taken in his official capacity. There is no immunity, but if there were immunity then it belongs to the IMF, and not to the official.
posted by 1adam12 at 10:12 PM on May 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's unsurprising to learn that one who aspires to a position of 'master of the universe' doesn't care to be told "no."
posted by relooreloo at 10:18 PM on May 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wouldn't the point of the IMF's immunity also include protecting officials against, say, made up charges of sexual impropriety? It's not immediately obvious to me that the IMF doesn't need to waive Strauss-Kahn's immunity here. Which it clearly should, if indeed needed for a prosecution to take place.
posted by delegeferenda at 10:22 PM on May 14, 2011


Oh man this is going to be Big News around here, the Greeks have a special place in their hearts for Strauss-Kahn.
posted by Dr Dracator at 10:25 PM on May 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


Dr Dracator: "Oh man this is going to be Big News around here, the Greeks have a special place in their hearts for Strauss-Kahn"

First person to post the story to their FB feed in my contact base was a guy I know from high school who has lived and worked in Athens since he finished college.
posted by mwhybark at 10:28 PM on May 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


This story was so fast-tracked to Law and Order that it's already gone into reruns on TBS.
posted by mecran01 at 10:53 PM on May 14, 2011 [13 favorites]


Brave woman who must be feeling sick at the thought of tomorrow's media attention. Love that Le Monde's second headline is the breathless "TÉLÉPHONE OUBLIÉ DANS LA CHAMBRE D'HÔTEL" (phone forgot in hotel room).
posted by acidic at 11:16 PM on May 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


delegeferenda writes "Wouldn't the point of the IMF's immunity also include protecting officials against, say, made up charges of sexual impropriety? It's not immediately obvious to me that the IMF doesn't need to waive Strauss-Kahn's immunity here. Which it clearly should, if indeed needed for a prosecution to take place."

This was my thought. If immunity is required but only applies to "official" acts then there is a pretty good sized loophole for any government with a grievance to persecute anyone with this sort of protection.
posted by Mitheral at 11:27 PM on May 14, 2011


If immunity is required but only applies to "official" acts then there is a pretty good sized loophole for any government with a grievance to persecute anyone with this sort of protection.

Well, that's pretty unlikely. I mean it would be a huge international incident if someone tried to prosecute one of these guys on obviously trumped up charges.
posted by delmoi at 11:52 PM on May 14, 2011


Sarko will be grinning like an idiot.
posted by rodgerd at 12:20 AM on May 15, 2011


Sarko will be grinning like an idiot.

Not quite as much as Marine Le Pen, I'm afraid.

Also, the French are quite blasé about sexual shenanigans involving consenting adults. But rape? Not so much. He's toast, especially as, in the short time I've been in Paris, I had already heard serious rumours about Strauss-Kahn's wandering hands syndrome. Now the skeletons will tumble out of the closet, I guess.
posted by Skeptic at 12:40 AM on May 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


I'm glad her management took her seriously and the police did its job - had it happened in France, it don't believe it would have developed this way.

I think he's toast: attempted rape and caught trying to flee - I can't see how he'll recover, considering the competing political landscape, even in his own party.
I wonder if he was drunk or under drugs I mean what an irrational behavior

I aslo think Le Pen is going to have a field day with this.
posted by motdiem2 at 12:47 AM on May 15, 2011


The Greek timeline on twitter is overflowing with mirth.
Alas, 'tis only temporary glee - the IMF of course issued a statement saying it “... remains fully functioning and operational”, as expected.
posted by helion at 12:50 AM on May 15, 2011


More people get diplomatic immunity than most people here think. A friend interviewed for a high-level position with an NGO (one you've probably heard of), and diplomatic immunity came with the job. One of the fringe benefits is even a duty-free shop for the large number of such people living in Geneva.
posted by Goofyy at 1:46 AM on May 15, 2011


Oh, I should have added: When I worked at the OAS (Organization of American States) all our people that travelled to the member countries carried diplomatic passports as a matter of course.
posted by Goofyy at 1:47 AM on May 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


taking Strauss-Kahn off the plane is like going from the frying pan into the fire. if the plane left with him on it. the scenoario would not have been repeated, lucky, escaping that one!
posted by taxpayer at 2:51 AM on May 15, 2011


Bail out takes on an entirely different meaning now
posted by infini at 4:09 AM on May 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Now that I've had coffee and the fog of last night's beers has lifted, let me expand a bit on my intemperate comment.

Obviously it's fine to talk about how Strauss-Kahn being charged might have an impact on the IMF and the situation in the many countries where the IMF is operating. I understand completely, I'm an Icelander after all. But could we avoid getting into an argument about it in a thread about a topic as sensitive as sexual assault. There are plenty of threads to talk about Greek fiscal policy and the effects of its crash on the country and the wider world, this doesn't need to be one of them.
posted by Kattullus at 6:50 AM on May 15, 2011


Straus-Kahn can use the "Rene Magritte defense": Ce n'était pas une pipe!
posted by Kabanos at 7:01 AM on May 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


> There are plenty of threads to talk about Greek fiscal policy and the effects of its crash on the country and the wider world, this doesn't need to be one of them.

But Mefi doesn't really talk that much about the IMF compared with, say, Lady Gaga(*) and this is certainly a reasonable excuse to do so. Certainly my opinion of the IMF was already pretty low and this only diminishes it....

(* - note: actually, looking back I see that the rest of you have realized that I was right :-P and have stopped posting about her mostly...)
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 7:44 AM on May 15, 2011


Sadly, I didn't get to this news until after sitting through 20 minutes of videos from the corpsing post - finishing with Tim Conway telling an elephant story.

So when I saw that photo....

I'm sorry, go on without me....
posted by Twang at 7:48 AM on May 15, 2011


I'm inclined to believe this is just retaliation for all the shit Strauss-Kahn and the IMF have been talking lately. I'm not even saying he didn't do it, or that at least some element of the story isn't true, but normally it wouldn't matter.
posted by Plemer at 8:31 AM on May 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


WTF? American hotel maids and port authority cops don't know Mr. Strauss-Kahn from any other rich asshole in a suit. They didn't go after him because of IMF politics.
posted by ryanrs at 8:54 AM on May 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm not even saying he didn't do it, or that at least some element of the story isn't true, but normally it wouldn't matter.

Really? Normally sexual assault and/or attempted rape wouldn't matter?
posted by stagewhisper at 8:58 AM on May 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


For everyone here whose first reaction is that this is some kind of setup, do you care to expand on this theory past the first gut-level, disbelieve the victim, conspiracy scenario?

In order for this to have been a setup I can only think of couple halfway plausible situations:

1. That someone knew Strauss-Khan would be staying at this hotel far in advance, and the maid was a recent hire who just happened to not only be a secret operative but who was also able get this particular job at this particular hotel in what is a very tight job market for unskilled labor.

or

1.a People out to get Strauss-Khan were able to pay off/blackmail this particular maid into making false allegations. Also remember, she would conveniently have to have been the employee assigned to clean Strauss-Khan's room.

2. That Strauss-Khan was known to have hired prostitutes to come to his hotel rooms, and someone posing on the phone as an escort service told him that they would be sending over a prostitute dressed in a maid's uniform, and as part of some rape fantasy play, she'd try to fight him off.

Neither of these options sound particularly plausible, and I'm a little perturbed by the number of people in this metafilter who are express disbelief at the alleged victim's claim without backing that disbelief up concrete reasons why they feel this way. It verges into victim-blaming territory.
posted by stagewhisper at 9:28 AM on May 15, 2011 [5 favorites]


Not that I believe this but if it is a set up the most likely motivation is personal vendetta.
posted by Mitheral at 9:37 AM on May 15, 2011


Not that I believe this but if it is a set up the most likely motivation is personal vendetta.

I wish I was cool enough to have a personal macroeconomic vendetta.
posted by acidic at 9:50 AM on May 15, 2011


Because a rich powerful guy sexually assaulted a maid? The times, unfortunately, have always been like this.

When I was a chambermaid at the Holiday Inn Cambridge (UK) we were instructed to only enter the room of a certain rich regular in twos or threes because of his history of sexual harassment/attempted assault.
posted by Summer at 10:57 AM on May 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


That Strauss-Khan was known to have hired prostitutes to come to his hotel rooms, and someone posing on the phone as an escort service told him that they would be sending over a prostitute dressed in a maid's uniform, and as part of some rape fantasy play, she'd try to fight him off.

This was the first thing that came to my mind when I heard the news.

Implausable? Perhaps, yet far worse things have been planned and executed over the course of history.

However - it's not because I don't believe the victim, because in the case above she would be every part a victim - she was certainly not colluding.

I am however, fairly certain that one does not get to these higher levels of power and influence by lacking in self-control. He can buy all the "rape fantasies" he wants - hell, he has the finances to travel anywhere worldwide and probably get the actual "real deal" for a price and be pretty-much-untouchable.
posted by jkaczor at 11:05 AM on May 15, 2011


Attempting to rape a hotel maid whole country cannot be is customarily an action taken in his the IMF's official capacity.

FTFY
posted by dhartung at 11:11 AM on May 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


I am however, fairly certain that one does not get to these higher levels of power and influence by lacking in self-control

As a counterexample, I submit all of human history.
posted by strangely stunted trees at 11:22 AM on May 15, 2011 [32 favorites]


"He can buy all the "rape fantasies" he wants"

What if he actually wants to rape people? Because I'm pretty sure that's what rapists do. The whole "rich people don't have to rape" thing is wrong. Of course rich people don't have to rape people. No one has to rape people.

Someone who doesn't have a whole lot of power is a convenient target for him, why should he fly elsewhere and pay a lot of money? She was right there, and he felt entitled to attack her. He probably thought he could get away with it because this kind of behavior is constantly excused and tolerated. Or, in this case, disbelieved because he's too rich or powerful or whatever to actually rape people.
posted by the young rope-rider at 11:33 AM on May 15, 2011 [15 favorites]


I am however, fairly certain that one does not get to these higher levels of power and influence by lacking in self-control.

See Clinton, Bill
posted by Omon Ra at 11:45 AM on May 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Also, the French are quite blasé about sexual shenanigans involving consenting adults. But rape? Not so much.

Somebody better warn Polanski.
posted by kmz at 11:50 AM on May 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


The bail hearing is going to be interesting. DSK has many friends in very high places, apart from the Elysee Palace of course. Will the Polanski example be used to prohibit bail?
posted by quarsan at 12:09 PM on May 15, 2011


I'm pretty big on benefit of the doubt in rape cases. I could see a lot of grey areas and doubt in the Assange case that made some sort of set-up plausible.

In this case? Woman goes right to cops, man runs for the airport so fast he leaves his personal belongings behind? Probably not a set-up.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:32 PM on May 15, 2011


Gah. I never proofread before pressing "post comment" and this needs to stop.
posted by stagewhisper at 12:42 PM on May 15, 2011


Justinian:
"The IMF isn't a sovereign state; it has no basis upon which to claim diplomatic immunity of any sort. Er, it sounds like I'm asserting that. I mean that's how it should be. I realize the United Nations may disagree."
The officials of the various UN institutions are granted diplomatic immunity by Article 105 of the United Nations charter, which the USA are a co-signatory of.
posted by brokkr at 1:13 PM on May 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


I wish I was cool enough to have a personal macroeconomic vendetta.

I believe you can hire that out on Craigslist.
posted by rough ashlar at 1:17 PM on May 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Brokkr: As I said, I know the UN may disagree. I don't think it is appropriate to give representatives of something besides a sovereign state diplomatic immunity. Too many potential problems. If he were acting as a representative of France, sure. But the IMF? No way.
posted by Justinian at 1:22 PM on May 15, 2011


There's no immunity and Sarkozy's pushing him off the cliff
posted by quarsan at 1:28 PM on May 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


No immunity and being pushed off a cliff?
Good; let the fucker fall.
posted by artof.mulata at 2:30 PM on May 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Somebody better warn Polanski.

The average Frenchman (never mind Frenchwoman) is about as unsympathetic to Polanski as the average American. Only some in the notoriously self-absorbed French cultural and media elite have sprung to his defence. But Polanski will never win a popularity contest, never mind a presidential election, in France or anywhere else.

Could this have been a setup? Strauss-Kahn's notorious obsession with sex was a matter of public record. Certainly, if somebody planned a dirty tricks campaign against him, that was an obvious angle. And outrageous plots aren't a novel feature in the runup to a French presidential election (see the Clearstream Affair). However, the timing is odd. If Sarkozy was behind this, it would have made more sense for him to wait until Strauss-Kahn had won the Socialist primaries and deal a decapitation blow to the opposition. As for Strauss-Kahn's challengers in the Socialist primaries, I frankly doubt that any one of them has the resources and wits to pull off such a coup.
If this was a setup (which nevertheless seems unlikely), the motive could be financial, rather than political. With the bond markets increasingly jittery and interested parties spreading rumours of a Greek default, this is just the kind of event that may trigger a massive sell-off. Whoever has been shorting Greek debt, or buying Credit Default Swaps, stands to make a killing on Monday.
posted by Skeptic at 2:38 PM on May 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


This will be a political earthquake. This guy must know things, he's intimately connected to the all the crooked investment bankers and economic hitmen. What will he trade to stay out of jail.
posted by humanfont at 2:43 PM on May 15, 2011


I don't Sarkozy's going to be of any help.

From Dominique Strauss-Kahn: timeline of controversies:

2010: Release of The Secret of a Presidential Contender, written by a woman hidden under the pseudonym Cassandre, who was said to be one of his female aides. It cites "rumours of multiple extramarital liaisons beyond the one he confessed to with an IMF employee in 2008." In her book, the author writes: "Like all great political animals, he has trouble controlling himself." The French press quote President Nicolas Sarkozy as warning DSK before his Washington appointment, saying: "You know, over there they don't joke about this sort of thing. Your life will be passed under a magnifying glass. Avoid taking the lift alone with interns. France cannot permit a scandal."
posted by nooneyouknow at 2:48 PM on May 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


This will be a political earthquake. This guy must know things, he's intimately connected to the all the crooked investment bankers and economic hitmen. What will he trade to stay out of jail.

I'd be surprised. This is entirely a matter for the local NYC police. The DA might care about city or state wide corruption, but they're not going to go after charges on a federal or international level because then they lose jurisdiction and the prosecution.

The good people of New York City will remember this DA as the guy who demonstrated that even the powerful can't flee from justice. But if the DA hands him over to the Feds, he's just the guy who let a rapist go so that guys in Washington could make some abstract case about people the citizens of NY have never heard of. DSK has nothing even remotely as valuable to offer in trade.
posted by sbutler at 3:05 PM on May 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


The good people of New York City will remember this DA

Cyrus Vance (Jr.), by the way. His dad, of course, was Secretary of State^. I don't think he's going to be easily cowed by supposedly powerful forces.
posted by dhartung at 3:19 PM on May 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


a womble is an active kind of sloth: [ME:] Sucks to be Strauss-Kahn,
Isn't this backwards? I understand what you are saying, but the (potential) crime is of his making.


My unsympathetic sarcasm didn't carry over the 'nets.
posted by IAmBroom at 4:06 PM on May 15, 2011


I'm a little perturbed by the number of people in this metafilter who are express disbelief at the alleged victim's claim without backing that disbelief up concrete reasons why they feel this way. It verges into victim-blaming territory.

I don't see how treating the accused as innocent until proven guilty entails victim-blaming.

I agree that it is extremely important that accusations of rape are taken seriously. I know that this often doesn't happen, and I'm glad that the maid was able to make this accusation, despite the pressure society puts on rape victims to keep quiet. And as most of the thread has pointed out, it does look likely that Strauss-Kahn is guilty here (really, he ran to the airport and left all his stuff at the hotel?). But by drawing our own conclusions about what happened before a trial has taken place, we play into the hands of those who stand to benefit from this story: the French right-wing and the media.

Once Strauss-Kahn is proven guilty, I think comments in this thread like ("a rich powerful guy sexually assaulted a maid", "let the fucker fall" and "She was right there, and he felt entitled to attack her" will be absolutely justified. But until that happens, I think those comments are out of line.
posted by creeky at 1:42 AM on May 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


But until that happens, I think those comments are out of line.

Why? This isn't a court of law. I have gotten a lot of flak in previous threads here for refusing to compromise the principle of innocent until proven guilty before a court of law for men accused of rape. But the flip side of that principle is that we're free to draw whatever conclusions we like about the situation including that someone accused of rape probably did it whether or not they are convicted or even charged. We just can't imprison them.

If I were on a jury trying this case I would be out of line stating that this dude is a rapist scumbag and I would grant him every benefit of the doubt up to and including finding him not guilty if I only thought he was likely a rapist scumbag. But as luck would have it I'm not on such a jury so I feel okay with saying this guy is a rapist scumbag.
posted by Justinian at 2:11 AM on May 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Justinian:
" I don't think it is appropriate to give representatives of something besides a sovereign state diplomatic immunity. Too many potential problems. If he were acting as a representative of France, sure. But the IMF? No way."
Fair cop, although I fail to see why 192 sovereign states shouldn't be able to get together and agree that the people working for all of them should enjoy certain immunities. The United Nations and their associated institutions do not exist in parallel to sovereign states, but as supranational entities endowed with certain mandates by their constituent states.

Also note that beginning at director level, officials of UN institutions must have the backing of their home country to be considered for a post. So you can say that France implicitly has granted diplomatic immunity (for carrying out his duties, not for everything) to Strauss-Kahn by proxy through the IMF.

Curious: Would you say the same if (hypothetically) a random African dictatorship were detaining the head of UNHCR for aiding and abetting opponents of the regime, or would it be better to have him have diplomatic immunity for purposes of visiting said country and inspecting refugee camps? He would derive his immunity through the same mechanism as Strauss-Kahn.
posted by brokkr at 3:06 AM on May 16, 2011


Curious: Would you say the same if (hypothetically) a random African dictatorship were detaining the head of UNHCR for aiding and abetting opponents of the regime, or would it be better to have him have diplomatic immunity for purposes of visiting said country and inspecting refugee camps? He would derive his immunity through the same mechanism as Strauss-Kahn.

Or even simpler, detaining the head of the IMF on trumped up charges because the IMF refused a loan.
posted by jaduncan at 4:29 AM on May 16, 2011




What I find sad about this news (in addition to the assault, of course) is that many are suspicious of the story because the victim was brave enough to go immediately to her employer, the employer went straight to the police and the police reacted quickly appropriately in the matter.
posted by Loto at 10:36 AM on May 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


What I find sad about this news (in addition to the assault, of course) is that many are suspicious of the story because the victim was brave enough to go immediately to her employer, the employer went straight to the police and the police reacted quickly appropriately in the matter.

Yes, I think that's what's so surprising to a lot of us; we all tend to assume that the cops will demand proof/a lawyer gets involved before someone gets taken in. Maybe him rushing out the door was enough of an alarm to make the cops work fast.

Kudos to hotel management, for sure.
posted by emjaybee at 11:02 AM on May 16, 2011


Judge Denies Bail to I.M.F. Chief in Sexual Assault Case

Welcome to the meat grinder, Mr. Strauss-Kahn. Your nuts go in first.
posted by metaplectic at 12:29 PM on May 16, 2011


I am however, fairly certain that one does not get to these higher levels of power and influence by lacking in self-control. He can buy all the "rape fantasies" he wants - hell, he has the finances to travel anywhere worldwide and probably get the actual "real deal" for a price and be pretty-much-untouchable.

Seriously? Were you born after the end of the Clinton Administration?
posted by Slap Factory at 1:07 PM on May 16, 2011


There's an interesting piece on ProPublica today about Strauss-Kahn's diplomatic immunity. One unsurprising point mentioned: his defense is hinting that he'll say it was consensual sex.
posted by immlass at 2:55 PM on May 16, 2011


> But could we avoid getting into an argument about it in a thread about a topic as sensitive as sexual assault.

It might be easier to focus on the charges and the whole sexual assault story from an Icelandic perspective. The Greeks, Irish, and Portuguese have all taken a huge hit here. DSK was important in focussing the IMF on Eurozone issues. The call now seems to be for a non-European to take over, and the EU powers are put in a weak position to argue otherwise.
posted by stonepharisee at 11:42 PM on May 16, 2011


Bernard-Henri Levy weighs in, makes me want to punch something.
posted by naoko at 12:28 AM on May 17, 2011


Bernard-Henri Levy makes me want to punch Bernard-Henri Levy. As usual.
posted by Skeptic at 1:10 AM on May 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


How critical was the timing of this assault/arrest vis a vis the gentleman's influence and impact on the Eurozone monetary crisis conversation and current decisions that need to be made?
posted by infini at 1:36 AM on May 17, 2011


From naoko's bernard henry levi link, (and I'm guessing this isn't a subjective opinion alone?)

On one side, there were the hardline ultraliberals, partisans of rigorous plans, without modulation or nuance, and on the other, those who, Dominique Strauss-Kahn at their head, had begun to implement rules of the game that were less lenient toward the powerful, more favorable to proletarian nations and, among the latter, to the most fragile and vulnerable.

He was arrested just hours before the meeting during which he would face a more orthodox German chancellor to plead the cause of a country, Greece, that he believed could be brought back to order without being brought to its knees. His defeat would also be that of this great cause. It would be a disaster for this entire part of Europe and of the world, because the IMF, under his leadership and for the first time in its history, did not intend to sell out to the superior interests of Finance. And that would really be a dreadful sign.

posted by infini at 1:41 AM on May 17, 2011


stonepharisee: It might be easier to focus on the charges and the whole sexual assault story from an Icelandic perspective. The Greeks, Irish, and Portuguese have all taken a huge hit here.

Yeah, my previous comment is now a bit strange. There were some other comments that were deleted were people were starting to get into an ill-tempered pooslinging match. That is what I was referring to, and not people talking about the effect of Strauss-Kahn's arrest on IMF discussions with various countries.
posted by Kattullus at 5:25 AM on May 17, 2011


Bernard-Henri Levy weighs in, makes me want to punch something.

Ben Stein weighs in...
posted by homunculus at 4:57 PM on May 17, 2011


Oh, Ben Stein. Is there nothing you can't bring the crazy to? You certainly do get the red out.
posted by hippybear at 5:03 PM on May 17, 2011


Bernard-Henri Levy weighs in, makes me want to punch something.
Do french people tend to use more french-derived english words when they write? The use of dossier here
I hold it against all those who complacently accept the account of this other young woman, this one French, who pretends to have been the victim of the same kind of attempted rape, who has shut up for eight years but, sensing the golden opportunity, whips out her old dossier and comes to flog it on television.
He's talking about that woman who accused him of trying to rape her. And anyway, apparently she actually tried to talk about it before but was basically censored (literally censored in one case, when she named him and his name was bleeped out) So you can't really blame her for that.
posted by delmoi at 3:18 AM on May 18, 2011


Why French media published the accuser's name

The article in Paris Match which names the accuser (in French)

My French is just so-so, but the article starts off with various news reports of the details of her identity, including her age and the age of her child. They describe her apartment building, for fuck's sake. It's really distasteful. It goes on to quote her manager at the hotel and her neighbors (she's a good worker and afraid of dogs).

One sentence in particular bothered me, but perhaps some nuance was lost in translation.

«Je pense qu’elle ne méritait vraiment pas ça», déplore Rosa.

"I think that she really didn't deserve it," ___ Rosa. (Google translate gives both "says" and "deplores" for déplore.) What, if she weren't such a nice, shy person she would have deserved it?

It gets worse - later in the article we're told how pretty and buxom she is and what she usually wore to work. I really hope my French is worse than I thought, because that article is sickening.
posted by desjardins at 9:43 AM on May 18, 2011


The Ben Stein article homunculus links to is jaw-dropping in its naivety and malice. Some of the viler highlights:

If he is such a womanizer and violent guy with women, why didn't he ever get charged until now?

Can anyone tell me of any heads of nonprofit international economic entities who have ever been charged and convicted of violent sexual crimes? Is it likely that just by chance this hotel maid found the only one in this category?

The prosecutors say that Mr. Strauss-Kahn "forced" the complainant to have oral and other sex with him. How? Did he have a gun? Did he have a knife?

And if he was so intimidating, why did she immediately feel un-intimidated enough to alert the authorities as to her story?

People accuse other people of crimes all of the time. What do we know about the complainant besides that she is a hotel maid?

Putting a man in Riker's is serious business. Maybe more than a few minutes of investigation is merited before it's done.


I checked and, by comparison with Stein's piece, even the guys on /r/MensRights/ are having a cogent and balanced discussion of the issue.
posted by Busy Old Fool at 2:24 AM on May 19, 2011


I checked and, by comparison with Stein's piece, even the guys on /r/MensRights/ are having a cogent and balanced discussion of the issue.
Well, this is the kind of rape that everyone sort of imagines when they say rape. Someone you don't know jumps on you, violently tries to remove your clothes, etc. Even someone who doesn't believe in 'date rape' would have to convinced that this was rape or else completely deny the entire concept.
posted by delmoi at 8:37 AM on May 19, 2011


Oh, and this just in: he officially resigned as head of the IMF. Heh.
posted by delmoi at 8:38 AM on May 19, 2011


So DSK's lawyers are now claiming this was consensual. I would think that would be pretty easy to determine. Did she leave the door propped open? The key card records or hallway CC TV will tell us. If yes, then in order to believe it was consensual, you have to believe that she's an exhibitionist who would risk her livelihood over some much older stranger she's never met before, despite the fact that she's been described as a quiet, shy, devout Muslim who's never been in trouble at work. That's quite a mental contortion.
posted by desjardins at 8:52 AM on May 19, 2011


Strauss-Kahn's indictment just came back from the grand jury. No word on bail.
posted by Justinian at 11:52 AM on May 19, 2011


Sounds like he is getting home confinement (with his wife in NYC) for the trial.
posted by Justinian at 12:05 PM on May 19, 2011


From an ABC news article about the indictment:
The grand jury, which heard testimony Wednesday from his accuser, a 32-year-old chamber maid, gave the go ahead for Strauss-Kahn to be tried for allegedly forcing the women to submit to oral and anal sex. He is accused of attempted rape.
Women?? There are more than one in this case?
posted by desjardins at 12:23 PM on May 19, 2011


That's not the only part that I find unclear. Did he (allegedly) force her/them to submit or did he try to force her/them? Because how is it attempted rape if he actually succeeded?
posted by Justinian at 1:22 PM on May 19, 2011


James Urbaniak responds to Bein Stein's contention that "in life, events tend to follow patterns. People who commit crimes tend to be criminals, for example. Can anyone tell me any economists who have been convicted of violent sex crimes? Can anyone tell me of any heads of nonprofit international economic entities who have ever been charged and convicted of violent sexual crimes? Is it likely that just by chance this hotel maid found the only one in this category? Maybe Mr. Strauss-Kahn is guilty but if so, he is one of a kind, and criminals are not usually one of a kind."
posted by Kattullus at 1:41 PM on May 19, 2011


From a NYT article here:

The charges included several first-degree felony counts, including committing a criminal sex act, attempted rape and sexual abuse; the most serious charges carry 25-year prison terms.


I think that "rape" in NY law might require vaginal penetration, hence the other (still very serious) charges. Not entirely sure.
posted by the young rope-rider at 1:41 PM on May 19, 2011


Ah, I see. That makes a sort of sense.
posted by Justinian at 2:18 PM on May 19, 2011


Wow, the French attitudes, at least as reflected in the French press, towards this are really something else. Publish a bunch of info on the victim and even her daughter? Thumbs up! Publish a picture of DSK in handcuffs? Qué horror!
posted by 6550 at 1:33 AM on May 20, 2011


6550 Paris Match is in a class of its own when it comes to brownnosing the mighty and powerful. It even (in)famously photoshopped away the French president's love handles. Other segments of the French press have reacted more decently. In particular the lefty daily "Libération", after a rather weird first day (it even summoned a psychanalist who improbably declared DSK's alleged act an "acte manqué", that is, a "Freudian slip"), has achieved quite a respectable balance between inquisitiveness and restraint, with a lot of respect for the victim.
posted by Skeptic at 2:01 AM on May 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Publish a picture of DSK in handcuffs? Qué horror!

Sure, it's awful. But I'm not a fan of the American method either which is to protect the alleged victim's identity while splashing the accused in a perp walk all over the papers. It destroys lives just as surely, including innocent ones.
posted by Justinian at 9:11 AM on May 20, 2011 [1 favorite]




" It destroys lives just as surely, including innocent ones."

Really? Kobe Bryant's life is ruined?
posted by the young rope-rider at 8:53 AM on May 21, 2011


Clearly the typical case.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:23 AM on May 21, 2011


Really? Kobe Bryant's life is ruined?

This doesn't even make any sense. You believe that if you can come up with examples of some people whose lives weren't ruined that means that nobody's lives were ruined?

How are the McMartins doing these days?
posted by Justinian at 9:35 AM on May 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


Being falsely accused of a serious crime stinks and can totally ruin your life. But it does seem to me that this issue comes up every time we discuss rape and very rarely when we discuss crimes other than rape. Did anyone object to Bernie Madoff being named before he was convicted? How about OJ Simpson with the sports memorabilia? Lindsey Lohan when she was accused of stealing that necklace? Scooter Libby? Martha Stewart? (Looks like that's a no on Martha Stewart.)

So yeah. Any thoughts about why that is?
posted by craichead at 10:16 AM on May 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


And nobody complains when we name the bank that was robbed but everybody wants to protect rape victims, what the heck is with that?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 10:26 AM on May 21, 2011


Banks get fewer death threats.
posted by the young rope-rider at 10:43 AM on May 21, 2011



And nobody complains when we name the bank that was robbed but everybody wants to protect rape victims, what the heck is with that?
I'm not sure who you mean by "everybody", since French media outlets have published her name, her address, her photo, and the name of her fifteen-year-old daughter. Among the French media outlets that published this stuff is French Slate, so anyone with an internet connection can find it out. She's not protected at all.
posted by craichead at 10:56 AM on May 21, 2011


Justinian, that's not what I said. You're saying that naming accused rapists destroys lives just as surely as naming victims. Considering the low rate of false accusations and the difficulty faced by prominent victims vs the prominent accused, I think you're overstating it quite a bit.
posted by the young rope-rider at 10:56 AM on May 21, 2011


Since the point sailed over your head, my point is that sexual crimes carry a unique social stigma for accuser and accused and many people treat them differently from other crimes because of it.

Prominence changes the conversation significantly, but examples like the McMartin's can't be ignored just based on, "Well, it doesn't happen that often."
posted by furiousxgeorge at 11:00 AM on May 21, 2011


And nobody complains when we name the bank that was robbed but everybody wants to protect rape victims, what the heck is with that?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:26 PM on May 21 [+] [!]

Because most people think it is a good thing for people who have been raped to report the crime so that there is a chance to catch them and stop them from raping other people. It seems to me it is more about protecting society and not about protecting the victim. If every rape victim knew that his/her name would be in the paper and everyone s/he knew would know what happened to them, I think very, very few people would report the crime, specifically in the immediate aftermath of the assault. I am a rape survivor and I reported it and he was convicted and went to jail. The whole thing was a difficult ordeal. Deciding who among my friends and family I should tell and how to tell them was a very hard thing. If I had known at the time that my name would have been in the paper, I never would have reported it. I was dealing with too much as it was. Yeah, things should be different. Society's reaction to "X was raped." should be no different than its' reaction to "X was mugged." But, it is what it is and this is a small step to encourage victims reporting crimes.

My heart goes out to this brave, strong woman.
posted by colt45 at 11:07 AM on May 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Since it still isn't clear, that was not a serious question, I was attempting to illustrate that it is silly to compare rape with other crimes in that manner due to the unique issues surrounding it.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 11:12 AM on May 21, 2011


You're saying that naming accused rapists destroys lives just as surely as naming victims. Considering the low rate of false accusations and the difficulty faced by prominent victims vs the prominent accused, I think you're overstating it quite a bit.

I was talking about parading defendants of any crime (not just rape) in front of the media. Richard Jewel? How'd that go? Secondly, "low rate" is a controversial assertion. We've had some pretty hefty go-rounds about it here in the past which probably don't have to be re-hashed. But it's safe to call the assertion controversial. Lastly, where did the word "prominent" come from? Richard Jewel wasn't prominent before he was accused of being a terrorist. You shifted to "prominent men accused of rape" which appeared nowhere in my comment.

Do you really find so odd the idea that crucifying people in the media before they are tried, regardless of what they are accused of, might have negative repercussions? It seems obvious and inarguable to me. It doesn't seem that much of a further step to suggest it might be better to avoid perp walks before conviction than to suggest it is good not to name alleged victims. Both are equally innocent before the court until conviction.
posted by Justinian at 1:58 PM on May 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Here's an NYT article about the culture of harassment at the IMF.
Being falsely accused of a serious crime stinks and can totally ruin your life. But it does seem to me that this issue comes up every time we discuss rape and very rarely when we discuss crimes other than rape. Did anyone object to Bernie Madoff being named before he was convicted? How about OJ Simpson with the sports memorabilia? Lindsey Lohan when she was accused of stealing that necklace? Scooter Libby? Martha Stewart? (Looks like that's a no on Martha Stewart.)

So yeah. Any thoughts about why that is?
Well, a big part of that is the nature of the evidence. If someone is busted for stealing a necklace, it's pretty obvious that they have it. With rape it's always a he-said/she-said situation. The evidence against Madoff was that he confessed to his kids, and later plead guilty, it would have been obvious. Same thing with OJ's theft charge (for a counter example, just look at his murder charge)

Also, with Lindsay Lohan, I, personally found her defense plausible. Celebrities are lent/given designer stuff to wear to wear all the time as a form of advertising, so it's possible that she thought she had some deal to wear it and the owner forgot, or something.

Justinian mentioned Richard Jewel, I remember there was some speculation in the media that he didn't do it, because he didn't and the logistics about how he could have done it didn't really work out. Same with the guy who was (falsely) accused of kidnapping Elizabeth Smart. If you remember, his neighbors said they heard him digging in his garden late at night. Except, they dug up the whole area and didn't find anything. So obviously there was no real evidence linking him to the crime. The cops pretty much just gave up, putting him in jail on trumped up parole violations and hoping he would eventually confess. Then he died in jail, and Smart turned up alive and well a couple months later.
posted by delmoi at 10:58 AM on May 22, 2011


I knew before I had the chance to look it up that the McMartens were accused of molesting children, not grown women.

Not comparable.

Justinian, sure accusing people of rape is not all sunshine and rainbows, but you're really reinforcing the idea that being accused of rape (mostly correctly) is in the same category of badness as being raped and then having your name and information publicized. I think that's bullshit and it's one more reason that people are discouraged from reporting rapes. Think of what it will do to his life!
posted by the young rope-rider at 12:28 PM on May 22, 2011


You're free to believe that's what I'm arguing. I prefer to say that I'm maintaining a consistent position with regard to wielding the power of the state. The state should not use its power to damage the lives of its citizens before trial, which is exactly what these staged perp walks do.

It disturbs me a little that you think perp-walking pre-conviction defendants in front of cameras in shackles and handcuffs is necessary and arguing against it is discouraging rape victims. That seems disingenuous at best and lynch-mobby at worst. Somehow we're harming rape victims if we don't parade defendants in front of the camera, regardless of what they are accused of? Also: "mostly correctly" is irrelevant. It could be 100% correctly and it would still be wrong.

Not comparable.

Why not? Are you saying we shouldn't publish the names of and perp walk accused child molesters but we should do so for people accused of rape? Or what? It doesn't matter if the crime is the same, we're talking about the state's treatment of the defendants.
posted by Justinian at 4:20 PM on May 22, 2011


It disturbs me a little that you think perp-walking pre-conviction defendants in front of cameras in shackles and handcuffs is necessary and arguing against it is discouraging rape victims.
I'm confused. Are you opposed to this in all cases or only in cases of alleged rape. Because what I'm opposed to is treating people accused of rape as if they're more likely to be falsely-accused than people accused of any other crime. When I look at old MetaFilter comments about people accused of other crimes in the US, I don't find any complaining about this, and I do find some gloating about perpetrators being humiliated, as in the comments I linked about Martha Stewart. It's fine by me if we do away with perp walks and whatnot altogether. It's not fine with me that people only seem bothered by this when the crime in question is rape.
Also, with Lindsay Lohan, I, personally found her defense plausible. Celebrities are lent/given designer stuff to wear to wear all the time as a form of advertising, so it's possible that she thought she had some deal to wear it and the owner forgot, or something.
Right. Lindsay Lohan's case was a she-said/ she-said. Lohan said that she was loaned the necklace, and the store owner says that Lohan stole it. Yet nobody has complained about the fact that Lohan was named in the media before she was convicted. As far as I know, nobody sought out personal details about the shop owner in order to discredit her. So what makes you think that the issue here is "he-said/ she-said"?
posted by craichead at 4:27 PM on May 22, 2011


All cases. The state should not be in the business of causing extra-judicial punishment to people not yet convicted of crimes while possibly tainting the jury pool in the process.
posted by Justinian at 4:34 PM on May 22, 2011


Note that this is really only an issue for high-proile or sexual crimes, though. It's not like the state makes a habit of parading some dude who stole $50 from the 7-11 in front of the cameras.
posted by Justinian at 4:36 PM on May 22, 2011


It's not like the state makes a habit of parading some dude who stole $50 from the 7-11 in front of the cameras.
Not true. Hell, the Chicago Tribune has a regular Mugs in the News feature that shows mugshots of anyone whose arrest made the newspaper. The crimes are mostly pretty serious, but some of them are relatively minor. Here's a woman who hit another woman in the face with a glass in a bar fight. This guy is charged with leaving the scene of an accident.

It's worse in my smallish city. A guy I know had his mugshot published in the paper recently when he was arrested for public intox.

Like I said, it's fine if people have a problem with that. I don't much like it, and I don't see any good reason for the police to release mug shots to the media. But it is suspicious to me that people only seem to raise those concerns in rape cases.
posted by craichead at 4:49 PM on May 22, 2011


Be suspicious all you want, I already said I think it should be true for all cases.
posted by Justinian at 4:58 PM on May 22, 2011


Like I said, it's fine if people have a problem with that. I don't much like it, and I don't see any good reason for the police to release mug shots to the media. But it is suspicious to me that people only seem to raise those concerns in rape cases.
Maybe because rape is a far greater transgression because it involves sexual mores. Stealing a necklace or punching someone in a bar doesn't make you a disgusting creep. You would still be friends with someone who stole a necklace or got into a bar fight? Would you still be friends with a rapist?
posted by delmoi at 2:58 AM on May 23, 2011


I wouldn't be friends with someone who tortured, either, and yet the discussions here of Jon Burge didn't quickly become about how horrible it was to name him before he was convicted.

I get that people here are always going to come up with excuses about why every discussion of rape here centers around tender, gentle concern for the poor alleged rapists, while discussions of no other crime go that way. But I'm not buying them.
posted by craichead at 5:00 AM on May 23, 2011


One of us hasn't been reading Metafilter very closely. I'm not sure it is me.
posted by Justinian at 5:08 AM on May 23, 2011


New Prosecution Team as Strauss-Kahn Moves
Mr. Strauss-Kahn, the former managing director of the International Monetary Fund, was also on the move on Wednesday; he had found a new place to live in Manhattan, at 153 Franklin Street, and he moved there early Wednesday evening.
...
His new home is a free-standing three-floor town house in TriBeCa that was recently renovated by Leopoldo Rosati, and had been on the market for nearly $14 million. The town house features a rooftop deck, a fitness center, a custom theater, a steam spa bath, two Italian limestone baths, two Duravit jet tubs, a waterfall shower and a dual rainfall steam shower.
...
Mr. Strauss-Kahn left 71 Broadway about 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, accompanied by two plainclothes police officers and led by the police chief, Joseph J. Esposito. Mr. Strauss-Kahn was smiling. He entered the back seat of a Lexus S.U.V., which was trailed by an unmarked car and led by a police car. A few moments later, he arrived at 153 Franklin. Cameras from the assembled news media went off, and in a matter of seconds he was inside his new home.
They should have kept him in Rikers.
posted by metaplectic at 10:18 PM on May 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


They should have kept him in Rikers.

There's an actual right to reasonable bail in this country.
posted by dhartung at 2:07 PM on May 26, 2011


There's an actual right to reasonable bail in this country.

Not if he presents an ongoing threat. The guys is accuses of violently assaulting a fellow human being in some kind of sexual psychotic break. There appears to have been no motive and there is some evidence that he has done this in a serial fashion. We shouldn't let him out because he represents an ongoing threat to the community.
posted by humanfont at 4:08 PM on May 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Awkward...
posted by delmoi at 4:11 PM on May 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


Oh dear.
posted by homunculus at 5:42 PM on May 26, 2011


humanfont, the way this works is you present the evidence of that threat at the arraignment and the judge determines whether it is sufficient in light of the Eighth Amendment.

While there has been a lot of stuff in the media about affairs and groping and sexual harassment, he does not have a criminal history or any prior rape conviction, so the case for presenting a threat would be weaker than you imagine.
posted by dhartung at 1:40 PM on May 27, 2011


But being a flight risk is also a factor you can consider. Given he was trying to leave the country at the time of his arrest and that we do not have an extradition treaty with France, it seems to me you can make a pretty compelling case that he is a flight risk.
posted by Justinian at 5:08 PM on May 27, 2011


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