NEW YORK (CBS 2) — The surprising implosion of the Dominique Strauss-Kahn case is just the latest embarrassment for the Manhattan District Attorney’s office. It’s the third high-profile case to fall apart in the last two months, CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer reported.

The lawyer for Strauss-Kahn’s alleged victim said publicly Friday that he believes that fear was holding Manhattan DA Cyrus R. Vance Jr. from moving forward with the case against the former IMF chief.

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“Our concern is that Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance is too afraid to try this case. We believe that he’s afraid that he’s going to lose,” Attorney Kenneth Thompson said.

Those comments come following Vance’s office losing two other high-profile cases recently.

Vance recently lost the case brought against the two city police officers — Kenneth Moreno, Franklin Mata — who were accused of raping a drunk woman as well as two cases this week involving the Deutsche Bank building fire.

While it’s unclear if fear of failure played any role in the DA’s decision to back off in the sexual assault case against the French political figure, new questions about whether the alleged victim told the truth are causing some uncomfortable moments for law enforcement.

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“Detectives investigating the case found the complainant to be credible,” Commissioner Ray Kelly said on May 18.

When asked if he still believes whether investigators believe the alleged victim to be credible, Kelly said “the investigators doing the investigation believe that she was credible.”

The fact that Vance raised questions about his main witness’ credibility was an startling development to some.

“It’s a surprising, even a shocking development,” former prosecutor Randy Mastro said.

Mastro, however, gives the Manhattan DA points for admitting the case has problems.

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“The measure of a great prosecutor is not simply the cases his office wins, it’s having the courage to bring the tough cases,” Mastro said. “And it’s having the courage to — in what’s hopefully that rare circumstance — to own up to your offices mistakes.”

Marcia Kramer