NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The accuser in the Dominique Strauss-Kahn case stepped up her media blitz on Thursday, meeting publicly with supporters. It was part of an unusual campaign to pressure the Manhattan district attorney to not drop the case.
As CBS 2’s Tony Aiello reports, Nafissatou Diallo spoke quietly, and briefly out from behind the veil of anonymity usually accorded alleged victims of sex crimes.
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“I be crying. I say God, why me? Why me? But I just want to thank everybody. These past two months, like I said, I am going through a lot. I was crying; my daughter was crying, but one day my daughter tell me, ‘mom, please promise me you are going to stop crying.’
“What happened to me, I don’t want to happen to any other woman, because this is just too much for me, too much for me and my daughter.”
The 32-year-old African immigrant is the Sofitel hotel maid who has accused French politician Strauss-Kahn of trying to rape her.
Investigators said there was DNA evidence left behind in the hotel room, but Diallo’s credibility has come under fire. Investigators have said she’s told lies to the Internal Revenue Service and to immigration officials.
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Diallo is a Muslim woman from the Bronx. Her speaking out at a black church in Brooklyn sent an unmistakable message to the Manhattan district attorney. Many in the black community support Diallo and might withhold support at election time if DA Cyrus Vance drops the case.
“I think and hope that he’s intelligent enough to understand what has being implied here,” said Rev. Al Bernard, the pastor at the Christian Cultural Center.
Less than two years on the job, Cyrus Vance is facing a situation no Manhattan DA has ever been in: the accuser in a high-profile sex crime publicly lobbying the district attorney not to drop the case.
“If there’s credibility issues, let a jury determine if her account is accurate,” said Noel Leader of 100 Blacks In Law Enforcement Who Care.
Those in attendance were largely split on Diallo’s claims.
“I truly believe she is a victim. It’s a bit sad for her,” French immigrant Magallie Mirzeca said.
“I think she’s lying,” added Crystal Jones of East New York, adding when asked if she passes the smell test, “no, not at all.”
Diallo’s lawyer said no matter what the DA decides she’ll file a civil suit seeking damages from Strauss-Kahn. There was no comment Thursday from Vance or the defendant’s lawyers. A decision on whether to proceed is expected sometime next month.
Has your view of Diallo changed since she spoke out about the alleged sexual assault? Sound off in our comments section below…