NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Lawyers for Dominique Strauss-Kahn spent more than two hours on Wednesday trying to convince prosecutors to drop the sexual assault charges against him.
However, according to CBS 2’s Pablo Guzman, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office seems to be trying to hold on to a case that appears to be slipping away.
District Attorney Cyrus Vance spent part of Wednesday at the Police Athletic League’s annual summer kickoff, a tradition enjoyed for many years by his predecessor, Robert Morgenthau. In a way, it marked a break from pressures of the office.
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While the attorneys for Strauss-Kahn were on their way in to the DA’s office to negotiate the dropping of charges, Vance was uptown and wanted only to talk about the PAL.
“And that’s what I’m making my comments on today. And I hope you’ll respect that I’m here to support PAL,” Vance told Guzman.
Reporters wanted to talk about the Strauss-Kahn negotiations. Sources told Guzman the DA is holding out for a deal that would include Strauss-Kahn pleading to a misdemeanor. His attorneys, Benjamin Brafman and William Taylor III, are believed to be holding out for a complete dismissal of all charges.
While his lawyers were finishing their negotiations with the DA, Strauss-Kahn and his wife left their Tribeca brownstone. Outside the DA’s office, 100 Black Men in Law Enforcement blasted Vance, saying he was abandoning the woman accusing Strauss-Kahn.
“We have a cooperating victim. We have injuries to this victim that is consistent with her accusation. We have forensic evidence in the form of DNA. And there’s no reason for this district attorney not to prosecute this case,” Noel Leader said.
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Just before 2 p.m., Brafman left the meeting but offered little to the media.
“I said we had a constructive meeting, and that’s all we’re going to say,” Brafman said. “We had … we’re really not going to take any questions. And I’d like to be able to get to the car, thank you.”
Prosecutors have been rethinking the case against the former International Monetary Fund chief after Strauss-Kahn’s accuser wasn’t truthful about her background and the aftermath of the alleged attack.
She said a naked Strauss-Kahn came out of the bathroom and attacked her, forcing her to perform oral sex.
The details sketch out a legal conundrum: prosecutors who may still have faith in the accusation but not in the accuser’s prospects of helping them prove it.
Later Wednesday night, the woman’s lawyer asked Vance to appoint a special prosecutor to take over the matter, citing questions about the way prosecutors have treated the accuser.
In a letter, Kenneth Thompson said he believes the DA’s office is behind media reports that the woman referred to Strauss-Kahn’s wealth in a recorded telephone call to an incarcerated friend. Thompson said he wants to ensure her rights “are not further prejudiced by deliberate acts seeking to undermine her credibility.”
A Vance spokeswoman said the request was baseless and mischaracterized the work of prosecutors.
Strauss-Kahn was recently released from house arrest and is free to travel anywhere within the country. However, his passport is still being held by authorities. He is due back in court in two weeks.
Meanwhile, Strauss-Kahn’s accuser has filed a lawsuit against the New York Post for libel, claiming the Post ran stories labeling her a “hooker,” “prostitute” and saying she “traded sex for money.”
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