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Entries in Nafissatou Diallo (6)

Tuesday
May152012

Dominique Strauss-Kahn Files $1M Suit Against NYC Hotel Maid

Jim Spellman/Wire Image(WASHINGTON) -- On the day he may well have been sworn in as the new president of France, former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn filed a million dollar countersuit against the New York City hotel maid whose accusation of attempted rape cost him his job and derailed his political aspirations.

In court papers filed in the Bronx, Strauss-Kahn said he suffered “grievous harm” to his personal and professional reputation, “emotional distress” and financial hardship because of what he called Nafissatou Diallo’s “malicious and wanton false accusation.” 

It was a year ago Diallo accused Strauss-Kahn, once one of the world’s most prominent bankers, of trying to sexually assault her inside room 2806 at the Sofitel in Times Square.  Criminal charges were dismissed when prosecutors came to question Diallo’s credibility.

“Ms. Diallo’s conduct,” Strauss-Kahn’s lawsuit said, “was so outrageous in character, and so extreme in degree, as to go beyond all possible bounds of decency, and to be regarded as atrocious, and utterly intolerable in a civilized society.”

Diallo’s attorneys, Ken Thompson and Douglas Wigdor, called the countersuit a “desperate ploy” in a statement provided to ABC News.

“One year to the day of his brutal sexual assault of Ms. Diallo,” they wrote, “this is yet another example that personifies Strauss-Kahn’s misogynistic attitude.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio´╗┐

Tuesday
Aug232011

Prosecutors File Motion to Dismiss Strauss-Kahn Charges

Shannon Stapleton-Pool/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- New York prosecutors on Monday asked a judge to dismiss sexual assault charges against former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, citing questions about his accuser's truthfulness.

Strauss-Kahn had been accused of sexually assaulting Sofitel Hotel maid Nafissatou Diallo in May.

In a 25-page motion filed with Judge Michael Obus, prosecutors said "evidence gathered in our post indictment investigation severely undermined her reliability as a witness in this case."

During the investigation into the incident, prosecutors say, Diallo presented three different versions of the alleged assault and lied under oath.  Her credibility "cannot withstand the most basic evaluation," prosecutors said in the motion.

"If we do not believe her beyond a reasonable doubt, we cannot ask a jury to do so," Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzzi-Orbon said.

Obus is not expected to rule on the dismissal request until Tuesday, when Strauss-Kahn is scheduled to appear in court, possibly for the last time related to these charges.

Diallo's attorney says his client is "devastated" by the decision to abandon the criminal case.

Kenneth Thompson said he still believes there is sufficient physical evidence to overcome any doubts prosecutors have about the hotel maid's credibility.  He told ABC News that Monday's meeting involving three prosecutors from the office of Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance, Thompson and Diallo "was hostile."

"Joan Illuzzi basically told Ms. Diallo that they were dismissing the case, claiming because she lied to them," Thompson said.  "They totally disrespected Ms. Diallo by walking out on her while she was trying to ask them a question."

The district attorney's office by practice does not comment on meetings between lawyers.

Strauss-Kahn had long maintained he was innocent of the charges.

"We have maintained from the beginning of this case that our client is innocent," Strauss-Kahn's lawyers, William W. Taylor and Benjamin Brafman, said in a statement.  "We also maintained that there were many reasons to believe that Mr. Strauss-Kahn's accuser was not credible.  Mr. Strauss-Kahn and his family are grateful that the District Attorney's office took our concerns seriously and concluded on its own that this case cannot proceed further.  We look forward to attending the hearing on Tuesday."

In what may have been a last-ditch attempt to change the anticipated outcome of the crumbling case, lawyers for Diallo had earlier filed a motion to disqualify Vance from the case.

"The Manhattan District Attorney has denied the right of a woman to get justice in a rape case.  He has not only turned his back on this innocent victim but he has also turned his back on the forensic, medical and other physical evidence in this case," Thompson said in a statement Monday afternoon.

In the filing to disqualify Vance, Thompson said Vance "has sabotaged defendant Strauss-Kahn's prosecution."  He said Vance's handling of the case "has been inadequate and troubling."

Thompson accused Vance's office of treating his client "abusively."  He said the office failed to refute a New York Post article that called Diallo a hooker.

Thompson also claimed the DA's office was predisposed to dismissing a case it once called "strong."  He says an assistant district attorney told Diallo's counsel, "No one with half a brain would ever put her on the stand."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Aug212011

Strauss-Kahn Accuser Nafissatou Diallo to Meet With Prosecutors

Shannon Stapleton-Pool/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- New York City prosecutors are scheduled to meet Monday with the hotel maid who has accused former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn of attempted rape.

The meeting will occur one day before a scheduled court appearance fir Strauss-Kahn, at which prosecutors could announce whether they will go forward with criminal charges.

The accuser, Nafissatou Diallo, will attend the meeting Monday, according to her attorneys Kenneth Thompson and Douglas Wigdor, who say they believe Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance intends to drop all or part of the sexual assault case.

"While we remain hopeful that the District Attorney will decide to continue with the prosecution of Mr. Strauss-Kahn given the mountain of physical evidence demonstrating that he sexually assaulted Ms. Diallo on May 14, we are not confident that he will do so," Wingdor said.

Vance's spokeswoman has declined to comment.

Initially prosecutors said they believed Diallo's encounter with the former chief of the International Monetary Fund "strongly suggested something other than a consensual act."

But for the last several weeks they have been reassessing the "strength of the case," which they say has been affected by "substantial credibility issues" related to Diallo's background, personal information and conduct immediately after the encounter inside the Sofitel Hotel.

"The fact this case has been drenched in publicity could have affected its course," said Royal Oakes, an attorney in Los Angeles who is not involved in the case. "It's very possible that the accuser felt she had to fight back against all the accusations against her by filing a lawsuit for damages and yet ironically that step might have convinced prosecutors that her credibility is vulnerable."

Diallo has filed a civil lawsuit seeking damages of an unspecified amount for "severe mental anguish and emotional distress" she said she suffered at the hands of Strauss-Kahn.

The lawsuit opened the door to attacks by Strauss-Kahn's attorneys that Diallo is seeking financial gain.

Strauss-Kahn has denied all charges.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jul292011

Maid in Dominique Strauss-Kahn Case Holds Press Conference

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Nafissatou Diallo continued her recent campaign Thursday to defend her honor against allegations that she was lying about being sexually assaulted by former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn.

Since Diallo accused Strauss-Kahn of forcing her to perform oral sex last May in the luxury New York hotel where she worked as a maid, the 32-year-old immigrant from Guinea has faced allegations that she was trying to shake down her alleged attacker for money, and that she's led a shady past that included being a prostitute.

Prosecutors in the case, who re-interviewed Diallo extensively earlier this week, have also cast doubts about her story, leading Strauss-Kahn to be freed from house arrest while he awaits trial.

After giving interviews to ABC News and Newsweek magazine to dispel notions she was making the story up, Diallo appeared at a news conference Thursday with community and religious leaders to issue a short statement that suggested she had unfairly become the perpetrator rather than a victim.

Among other things, Diallo said, "I hear a lot of bad things that they're calling me.  That's why I have to be here and let people know that a lot of things they say about me is not true."

The maid also said that she's been through a lot and that she cries every day.

Meanwhile, Strauss-Kahn's next court date is scheduled for August 23.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jul282011

Attorney for Nafissatou Diallo Says Taped Conversation Was Misinterpreted

Shannon Stapleton-Pool/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The attorney for Nafissatou Diallo, the hotel maid who accused Dominique Strauss-Kahn of sexual assault, said a taped conversation between his client and a friend had been misinterpreted.

“The quote attributed to Nafi, "He has a lot of money.  And I know what to do" is NOT on the tape according to a Fulani interpreter retained by the District Attorney's Office,” Ken Thompson said.

That conversation is, in part, what led Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance to have “concerns” about Diallo’s credibility.  Prosecutors from his office spent almost eight hours with Diallo Wednesday as they consider whether to go forward with the case.  

Erin Duggan, a spokeswoman for Vance, declined to comment on the substance of the conversation, saying “This is a pending criminal case.  We will have no comment on evidence, or on any meetings between prosecutors and witnesses, civil attorneys, or defense counsel.”

Strauss-Kahn has denied all criminal wrongdoing and his attorneys have said all charges must be dismissed.

Diallo broke her public silence this week in an exclusive broadcast interview with ABC News during which she said she “wants justice” and wants Strauss-Kahn to go to jail.  Today she will appear in Brooklyn to thank her supporters.

The phone call that raised questions inside the district attorney’s office was between Diallo and an inmate at an Arizona immigration jail, someone Diallo describes as a “friend.”   

When prosecutors first heard the recordings they believed Diallo alluded to Strauss-Kahn’s money.  Thompson said after listening to the recordings on Wednesday he heard something different.

“Nafi Diallo was sexually assaulted and almost raped by one of the most powerful men on earth and that she told her friend, the person in jail, what he did to her the very first time they spoke. That is critical, because many of you are under the impression that the first time they spoke they were talking about how to get his money,” Thompson said.

The phone call is not the only reason prosecutors have said they have to reassess the strength of their case.  Diallo lied on her application for asylum and investigators believe she told them two different stories about what happened in the aftermath of her encounter with Strauss-Kahn.

In her interview with ABC News Diallo conceded she made “mistakes” but said they should not preclude the district attorney’s office from bringing Strauss-Kahn to trial.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Jul242011

Exclusive: Dominique Strauss-Kahn Accuser Tells Her Story to ABC News

In an exclusive interview ABC News' Robin Roberts speaks with the hotel employee who alleges she was sexually assaulted by former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn. (Heidi Gutman/ABC News)(NEW YORK) -- The hotel maid who has accused former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn of trying to sexually assault her in a New York City hotel room has broken her public silence in an exclusive broadcast interview with ABC News.

"I want justice. I want him to go to jail," Nafissatou Diallo told ABC's Robin Roberts in an interview to air Monday on Good Morning America, World News with Diane Sawyer, Nightline, and affiliates of ABC News Radio. "I want him to know that there is some places you cannot use your money, you cannot use your power when you do something like this."

Strauss-Kahn may not go to jail. Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance is considering whether to drop the charges amid "concerns" he has said he has about Diallo's credibility.

There were no restrictions on the interview, and Diallo was asked about the instances that caused prosecutors to "reassess the strength of the case." Diallo acknowledged "mistakes," but also said they should not preclude Vance's office from going forward.

"God is my witness I'm telling the truth. From my heart. God knows that. And he knows that," she said.

The woman whose accusations upended the politics of France and the workings of one of the world's most prominent banking institutions was unequivocal in her assertion that Strauss-Kahn attacked her inside room 2806 at the Sofitel Hotel.

She reenacted moments of the alleged assault, at one point kneeling on the floor to describe how she says Strauss-Kahn tried to force her to commit a sex act.

"I never want to be in public but I have no choice," Diallo told ABC News, adding, "Now, I have to be in public. I have to, for myself. I have to tell the truth."

Defense attorneys for Strauss-Kahn categorically deny any criminal wrongdoing occurred. They have said what happened inside the hotel suite was consensual and, in a statement, they called Diallo's interview an "unseemly circus."

"Its obvious purpose is to inflame public opinion against a defendant in a pending criminal case," William Taylor and Benjamin Brafman wrote in a statement.

The interview took place in the Manhattan office of Diallo's attorney, Kenneth Thompson. He told ABC News he plans to file a civil lawsuit against Strauss-Kahn on his client's behalf.´╗┐

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio