Reporting John Metaxas
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – Dominique Strauss-Kahn is a relatively free man after a judge released him on his own recognizance Friday.
The judge freed Strauss-Kahn from house arrest without bail following blockbuster revelations regarding the accuser’s credibility. Although he is no longer under house arrest, that does not mean that the case is over – or that he can leave the country.
Prosecutors said they are reassessing their case against Strauss-Kahn following an extensive background check of his accuser.
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“Today’s proceedings did not dismiss the indictment or any of the charges against the defendant,” Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr. said outside the court.
Vance said the original indictment was made against Strauss-Kahn based on evidence put before a Grand Jury. Vance said that the District Attorney’s office continued the investigation after the indictment.
“That investigation raised concerns about the [accuser's] credibility,” Vance said.
Strauss-Kahn’s passport is still being held, and his case is still under consideration. He is free to travel anywhere within the country.
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His release signifies that prosecutors are likely to drop the most serious charges in the case. His attorneys touted the change of circumstances.
“We believed from the beginning that this case was not what it appeared to be and we are absolutely convinced that while today is a first giant step in the right direction, the next step will lead to a complete dismissal of the charges,” Strauss-Kahn’s attorney Benjamin Brafman said.
“I want to remind all of you that at each appearance in the last six weeks we asked you and we asked the world not to rush to judgement in this case and now I think you can understand why,” Brafman said.
Strauss-Kahn resigned from the IMF in the wake of the scandal. However, from the beginning, his attorneys said their client was innocent and that his name would be cleared.
“How easy it is for people to be charged with serious crimes and for there to be a rush to judgement,” Attorney William Taylor said.
After Strauss-Kahn was freed, Kenneth Thompson, the accuser’s attorney, continued to maintain that a violent attack took place at the Sofitel Hotel.
Thompson also challenged the idea that she wasn’t raped in Africa, saying over and over again that she had been. He said his client came forward to prosecutors voluntarily to come clean about her asylum application.
Thompson said that his client told the district attorney that there were discrepancies in her asylum application. He said that his client was raped by soldiers in Guinea, but that the attack did not occur as it was written in the application.
Furthermore, Thompson also said the alleged victim was subject to female genital mutilation and had worries that her daughter would be a victim of it as well.
Thompson maintained that Strauss-Kahn was involved in a violent sexual attack on his client and even gave vivid details of the alleged attack when addressing reporters on Friday.
“Dominique Strauss-Kahn came running out of one of those rooms naked towards her and he grabbed her breasts first,” Thompson said.
Thompson also said the District Attorney had photos, which allegedly showed how hard he said Strauss-Kahn squeezed between her legs.
“When she went to the hospital later that day, the nurses who examined her saw the bruises on her vagina that were caused by Dominique Strauss’ hands,” Thompson said.
Thompson said he now plans on having his client speak publicly about the alleged incident, according to 1010 WINS’ Juliet Papa.
“She has never once changed a single thing about that account,” Thompson said.
“The only defense that Dominique Strauss-Kahn has is that this sexual encounter was consensual,” he said. “That is a lie.”
Strauss-Kahn, 62, had been under house arrest at a $50,000-per-month Tribeca townhouse where he’s been staying for the past month after posting a total of $6 million in cash bail and bond. As part of his release, his bail is being returned.
Sources told CBS 2 that the District Attorney’s investigators learned the alleged victim may have been laundering money for a drug ring, as well as a host of other credibility issues.
The New York Times reported that within a day of her alleged encounter with Strauss-Kahn, the Bronx woman met with a prisoner friend at Rikers Island and discussed how she could get money out of Strauss-Kahn by pursuing charges.
The conversation was apparently recorded.
The man she was talking with faced charges of possessing 400 pounds of marijuana, according to the Times report. The Times also reported the man is one of several who deposited up to $100,000 into the accuser’s bank account over the last two years.
The New York Times cites a law enforcement official as saying that the woman has repeatedly lied since making her initial allegation on May 14.
Another official told the Times the case is “a mess, a mess on both sides.”
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