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John Solomon, thedailybeast.com / Aug 21, 2011 10:52 PM EDT.
The relationship between Diallo's lawyer and the D.A.'s office deteriorated into mutual distrust., Stan Honda / Getty Images.
As New York prosecutors neared a decision to drop charges against Dominique Strauss-Kahn, their relationship with the alleged victim devolved sharply. John Solomon gets an exclusive look at their letters.
In the final days before they decided whether to drop sexual-assault charges against Dominique Strauss-Kahn, New York City prosecutors and lawyers for the accuser engaged in an unusual exchange of letters that laid bare just how far their relationship deteriorated during the headline-grabbing case, The Daily Beast has learned.
Hotel maid Nafissatou Diallo, who accused the powerful Frenchman of attacking her May 14 when she went to clean his luxury suite, was treated by prosecutors more like a defendant than a victim and in a manner that would deter other sexual-assault victims from coming forward, her lawyer Kenneth Thompson wrote in a biting Aug. 8 letter to the Manhattan district attorney’s office that was obtained by the Beast.
“Through the use of intimidation tactics, unscrupulous and false leaks to the media and public attacks on the victim and her attorneys, your office has managed to turn back the clock to a time in which victims of sexual crimes rarely came forward for fear of exactly what has happened to Ms. Diallo in this case,” Thompson wrote.
Thompson’s broadside came three days after the prosecutors took the rare step of seeking attorney-client privileged communications outlining any effort the hotel maid’s legal team made to seek a civil settlement with Strauss-Kahn as the criminal case was still proceeding.
The exchange of letters was the final act in the surreal evolution of a sexual-assault case that landed Strauss-Kahn in jail for days, stripped him of his prestigious job as chief of the International Monetary Fund, and tarnished his chances of running for the French presidency, before falling apart.
Prosecutors are likely to argue in their court filing Tuesday that while there is no doubt a sexual encounter took place in the hotel room, they no longer believe they can prove beyond a reasonable doubt whether it was consensual or forced because of widespread credibility problems with the alleged victim that emerged in the weeks after the charges were filed.
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