(JTA) — Former International Monetary Fund director Dominique Strauss-Kahn was released from house arrest on his own recognizance on Friday after prosecutors said there were doubts about the credibility of the woman who accused him of sexual assault.
The accuser, a housekeeper at New York’s Sofitel hotel, on May 14 accused Strauss-Kahn of having violently assaulted her when she entered his room. Since then, the New York Times quoted officials as saying, she has repeatedly lied about her alleged links to drug-dealers and money launderers.
The 32-year-old woman, who is from Guinea, also misled police about her immigrant status, the report said, and spoke with a jailed accused drug lord after the alleged assault about the benefits of pursuing charges against Strauss-Kahn. Prosecutors also said she had lied about being raped in her statement requesting asylum in the United States.
Among the problems with her credibility, according to papers filed by prosecutors, is a discrepancy about her actions immediately following her encounter with Strauss-Kahn. She initially told investigators she hid from him until he left his room and then immediately called a supervisor who called police. She later said that she went to clean another room and only later called the supervisor.
A lawyer for the housekeeper, Kenneth Thompson, said she was initially afraid to report the attack and insisted there was medical and physical evidence that an attack took place.
Lawyers for Strauss-Kahn, 62, do not deny there was sexual encounter, as evidenced by DNA testing. As of Friday the charges have not been dropped.
Strauss-Kahn, who was forced to leave the IMF, had been considered a front-runner for the French presidency, the first Jew to hold such a position since World War II.