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Accuser’s credibility in question

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Accuser’s credibility in question

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New York – One day after a stunning court revelation about an accuser’s lack of honesty in the Dominique Strauss-Kahn sexual assault case, media across New York descended on the freed financier with a renewed sense of vigor.
On Saturday, the former head of the International Monetary Fund was pursued by photographers and news teams across Manhattan. After emerging from his posh Tribecca townhouse, Strauss-Kahn and his security detail blazed through downtown city streets in a black Mercedes sedan, darting in and out of roadways in an attempt to outrun camera crews in pursuit.
Ten vehicles from an array of different news teams gave chase, including at least three photographers perched atop motorcycles, according to CNN producer Raelyn Johnson.
Interest surrounding the scandal reached a fever-pitch Friday when a New York judge released Strauss-Kahn from house arrest after prosecutors presented evidence questioning the credibility of his accuser.
Also, less than two days after the alleged victim said the attack occurred, she spoke over the phone with a boyfriend in an Arizona jail in a recorded conversation.
A source with knowledge of the investigation told CNN that she said that “she’s fine and this person is rich and there’s money to be made,” as originally reported by The New York Times.
The source also said the alleged victim had bank accounts in multiple states.
“She was getting deposits of several thousands of dollars at a time from people she knew, potentially involved in drug dealing,” the source told CNN.
The 32-year-old immigrant admitted to prosecutors that she lied about the specifics of her whereabouts following the alleged attack, the details of an asylum application and information she put on tax forms, according to documents filed in court Friday by prosecutors.
Meanwhile, in her native Guinea, residents in the nation’s capital expressed their support for the alleged victim, despite her tainted testimony.
“Really, you should have sympathy on her,” said Mabity Boungoura in the Guinean capital of Conakry. “When you do something bad to a woman, you need to recognize and accept it.”
While the case has taken a dramatic turn, it has not been dismissed, Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance said Friday.
The indictment and charges — including criminal sexual acts and sexual abuse – against Strauss-Kahn, 62, still stand, he said.
Strauss-Kahn’s lawyers said the alleged victim told “substantial lies about her own background and the facts of this case”.
The development is particularly stunning given prior statements by New York authorities, who spoke forcefully about the accuser’s credibility. It appears to leaves the felony case against Strauss-Kahn seriously undermined, despite DNA evidence of sexual contact recovered from the hotel suite.
The judge said authorities will continue to withhold the French financier’s passport, but that he is free to travel in the United States.
Prosecutors said Friday that the woman admitted to lying in her application for asylum in the United States, claiming she had been a victim of a gang rape. She cried when she first told prosecutors about the rape, but in a subsequent interview admitted it never occurred.
In angry remarks delivered outside the courthouse, the woman’s attorney, Kenneth Thompson, admitted problems with his client’s credibility, but the bottom line, he said, is that she was attacked.
“That was true the day it happened and it is true today,” he said, describing in chilling detail the account the woman gave of her attack and the bruising on her body.
“She has described that sexual assault many times to the prosecutors and to me. And she has never once changed a single thing about that account.” (CNN)