Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

DSK is Guilty, But Not of Rape

When I was growing up, my parents consistently drove home the point that to avoid trouble, you don’t put yourself in risky situations. Vigilance and discipline will keep you clear of trouble. That has worked well for me thus far. This scandal of Dominique Strauss Kahn(DSK) is a prime example of what happens when you ignore such wise advice.

At this point, I believe DSK was set up. I believe this for a couple of reasons- all of them speculative on my part:
1) Sarkosy is scuzzy enough to sully a strong contender for his job.
2) Perhaps I am cynical, but I doubt the NYC police would take the accusations of a hotel maid so seriously as to rush over to JFK and pull DSK off an airplane unless they wanted him for some other reason. And I find it hard to believe that they are actually holding him at Rikers.I think the maid was a pretext really. There is something else going on.
3) The guy is wealthy enough, that if he wanted sex, he could hire a very high class prostitute.
4) I don’t know how a man can force an unwilling woman to do a blow job. Women have teeth, we can and will bite.
5) French news is reporting that DSK left the hotel well before the claimed time of the “attack” and that the reason the maid entered the room to begin with is because she believed it to be empty and ready for cleaning.
6) You don’t spend a life in politics without making enemies. He is part of what the French call the “caviar left”. His politics is left (i.e. French Socialist, former communist), but his lifestyle is much the opposite. He is part of a wealthy, intellectual elite in France. I’m gonna guess that there are plenty of people who would love to take the guy down a notch or two.

All of that said, if DSK was set up, it was because he was an easy target for just such a honey trap. He consistently put himself in situations where trouble was possible. He has a reputation worthy of Bill Clinton.

He was accused of rape in 2002 by a French journalist who did not press charges. Reports are that she is now reconsidering. Big surprise. Not sure what the statute of limitations for such crimes is in France.

In 2008 he was investigated for having an affair with a subordinate, married, IMF employee. She accused DSK of harassment, coercion, and abuse of power. She was fired but DSK found her a new job.

The man has been married 3 times and four daughters.

DSK’s sexual activity and love of the ladies has long been the stuff of tabloid in France.

DSK is guilty of something, but I don’t think it’s rape. I will be interested to follow this tale to see if there is a deeper truth here. It's yet another classic case where a successful person's weaknesses lead to a spectacular crash.

15 comments:

Raised By Republicans said...

With respect, US West, I think you are indulging in some conspiracy theorizing here. To believe that Dominque Strauss Kahn was set up, one has to buy into a long series of complicated assumptions about who is in cahoots with whom and that all these people conspiring to set him up are willing/able to keep secrets. The way to keep a secret is to not tell anyone. In order for this set up to have taken place, Sarkozy, some people on his staff, the woman, the NY District Attorney and at least several NYPD detectives would all have to be in on the scheme. A sympathetic New York judge wouldn't hurt either. The idea that all these people (many of whom would have no interest at all in what happens in France, and if they did probably would be more sympathetic to the Socialist Strauss Kahn than to the nationalist-conservative Sarkozy) could keep the set up secret just doesn't seem plausible to me. If anything I think DSK's position would make the police reluctant to pull him off the plane.

An alternative explanation is that a powerful man has long been abusing his position to keep his violent behavior limited to "deniable rumors." The Danish press is reporting that French journalists have been covering for DSK for years by doing things like censoring his name when accusations were made against him in public or just not running stories. Part of this is encouraged by France's rather strict privacy laws. I hear from friends of mine who are experts on French politics that DSK's attacks on women have been something of an open secret among the French political/media elite for some time.

The thing about France is that is very much an "old boys club" for graduates of the grand ecoles around Paris. I find it far more plausible that he's been attacking women for years and convincing "good old boys" in the press to not make a big deal about it.

Raised By Republicans said...

Another point... Men don't rape women because they are sexually aroused and need an outlet immediately and just can keep their pants zipped for another moment. Rape is an act of violence first and foremost.

USWest said...

I am indulging. No doubt. I said as much in my post. I did say the man had a reputation. But that doesn't make him guilty on this case.

And yes, rape is violent. If it wasn't, it probably wouldn't be a crime at all. But that is neither here nor there here.

In the case of the law, the type of violence is a factor that goes into the charges and the sentencing. But S&M is not a crime if its consensual. And we are not in a position to know what really happened in the DSK case.

As for a honey trap, you don't need that many people involved. You just set the events in motion and let natural momentum take over. That's the beauty of a honey trap.

Overall, I find the way this story is playing interesting on many levels. 1)the media coverage 2)how the justice system is responding

1) media: DSK goes from being relatively unknown by most Americans to a household name in less than 24 hours. It wasn't a news trickle that became a torrent. It just went straight to torrent. Is this how the new media is now? It just skips the intermittent steps, the trickles and goes straight to torrent?

2)Justice System: I am not convinced that DSK is being treated in a typical fashion by the justice system. I find it disturbing when the assistant DA draws comparisons between DSK and Roman Polanski.

He was referring to Polanski's fleeing the US. But there is a lot more to that story than that. And actually, I really hope that the carriage of justice in this case doesn't turn out like the Polanski case. When you get into that case, you can't blame the Polanski for fleeing, really. The judge was more concerned with how he would be perceived by the public that justice for Polanski or the victim.

It may already be to late for DSK and the alleged victim. The media circus has begun. He should be remanded on bail with electronic monitoring. He isn't really a flight risk. They've got his passport. And with a ankle cuff, he couldn't go far. But NO, they toss the guy in Rikers as if we was already proven guilty and as if they want to prove a point. Is that how they would typically treat an accused? It's a genuine question. I am sure what the normal procedure for such a situation would be.

It looks like it's up to DSK to prove his innocence. That's backwards justice. It is very easy to accuse someone of rape. I have a very good friend that this happened to. He had consensual sex and 2 years later, when the woman's job was in jeopardy, she threatened to call it rape unless she got what she wanted. In my friend's case, he reported the event ASAP and the situation never went any further. Had it done so, it would have been a mess.

To this alleged victim's credit, she wasted no time in making her accusations.

Timing is everything. If such things happened in the past and it was hushed-up, why not hush this one up? What makes this particular incident so special? It sparks my suspicion that there is more to this story than meets the eye. I could be wrong. But he is innocent until proven otherwise. And I have to be convinced. I'm not, yet.

I have to correct some information: the police in NYC are revising their time table. They are now saying that the crime was committed around noon instead of 1 pm.

Raised By Republicans said...

I see some very logical parallels between DSK's flight risk/bail and the Polanski case. It's not about what Polanski did mind you (i.e. drug, rape and sodomize a 13 year old girl in LA). It's about what Swiss and French authorities did - ignore a duly issued warrant for Polanski's arrest following his conviction in a US court. Why? Because French/Swiss stereotypes about Americans as prudes trumped their obligation to the law.

If I'm a US judge I would have every confidence that anyone, but especially a male celebrity, with French or Swiss citizenship who was accused of a sex crime in the US would be effectively immune to prosecution should he flee to France. And it's not about comparing what DSK did to what Polanski did it's about comparing what French authorities failed to do (arrest Polanski on a US warrant) and what Swiss Courts did (free Polanski following his arrest by Swiss police).

As for how many people need to be in on "honey trap:" Assuming the woman did not have a personal grudge against DSK, someone put her up to it. So someone paid her to set up DSK up. Who benefits? Obviously it's either Sarkozy or Le Pen and probably more Sarkozy than Le Pen. So Sarko would have to have someone fly to NYC and pay this woman to set up DSK. The accusation is that "he threw her down and tried to rape her." To be a little flippant, that'll leave a mark. So the NYPD would have bruises and other physical evidence to look at to corroborate the woman's story. I've heard some reports that this may include wounds on DSK's body that correspond to the woman fighting him off. So assuming all of this is made up and there really is no evidence, you may need to bribe the DA and the detectives to get this case to the point where you are pulling a world leader off a plane and hauling him off to jail.

The reason this one is not being hushed up like past attacks is that past attacks occurred in France not New York.

USWest said...

I've read both that there marks on DSK, and then yesterday I read that neither person had marks. So who knows with both the DA and DSK's lawyers playing PR games.

I don't think the NYC justice system is part of a grand plot as you describe. But I do think it's possible political opponents could be part of something. In any case, There is more here than meets the eye.

Look, I don't like anyone to be called guilty of anything until it's proven. It is entirely possible this woman, a veil wearing Muslim from French-speaking West Africa and single mother, was raped by somebody. However, it is equally possible that it wasn't DSK who did it. He's being painted as guilty with reams of mixed up media coverage promoting all sorts of ideas. And there hasn't been a trial. With an ankle bracelet, the guy could be released and closely monitored. His passport is with the court and be can be placed on no-fly lists. He doesn't need to be locked up. The technology wasn’t available in Polanski’s day.

But it may be a mute point. News this morning was that DSK is on suicide watch- so we can further justify locking him up. And apparently, French media reported that 2 weeks ago, DSK alleged that there was the possibility of a set up that he described as a "rape in a parking lot". Now, if he did indeed say this, it could be his own premeditation, or it could be a set up.

But let's not treat the guy as guilty based on unproven accusations.

Polanski: I think there are a lot of lessons we should take from Polanski's case- one of them being how justice can be miscarried in a celebrity case. I don't want to get into a debate about Polanski's guilt or innocence because the court never did. That case was about how the judge and the lawyers would look to the public- especially since they let TV cameras into the court room. Polanski tried to cooperate with the system, but was jerked around all over the place. Finally, he agreed to a plea deal. He agreed to serve 3 months in a prison hospital undergoing treatment for sexual deviance while awaiting official sentencing on condition that the judge sentence him to time served and let him go. Everyone agreed- the DA, the defense, and the judge. This way, the judge could say Polanski served time and didn't get off free and Polanski could be done with it all. Polanski served the time and did treatment, but when official sentencing came, the judge changed his mind because he was afraid of how the public would judge him. It was at that point Polanski fled- and this is why France and Switzerland let him be. He had held up his end of the bargain and the French and Swiss were not convinced that the US justice system would treat the guy fairly.

There is a lot more to that story than "he fled".

Whatever happens in this case, I hope justice will operate correctly and fairly. I don’t want this to be about a bunch of DAs and Judges looking for kudos on their resumes. That’s unfair to the accused and the alleged victim.

Raised By Republicans said...

The point, IMHO, of the Polanski case is not about whether he was treated unfairly in the original case or not. He was convicted by a US court. He felt that conviction was unfair so he left the country. Foreign courts agreed with his version of events and refused to comply with US judicial requests to have him sent back to serve his sentence. If Polanski had not been a celebrity the European authorities would almost certainly have extradited him back in the 70s. A US Court has an incentive to ensure that people accused of crimes stand trial to determine their guilt or innocence and that those convicted serve their sentences. Public opinion should not come into it once the judicial process has begun. The US Courts have a reasonable expectation that European courts have more tolerance for accused (even convicted) sexual criminals. In that context, I think denying Stauss Kahn bail is not only reasonable, it is probably necessary. The only way they let him out of jail before trial would be to confiscate his passport. But even then, US authorities could worry that he would be allowed to travel to France anyway because of his celebrity status.

The point is to put him on trial. Strauss Kahn has not been convicted yet and may be acquitted. If this was a set up he probably will be acquitted. But he can't be allowed to just skip town because half of French people think he was set up by the right wing back home.

USWest said...

"Public opinion should not come into it once the judicial process has begun." Your' right. But it always does. In this media saturated environment, high profile cases always involve public opinion. Consider OJ.

In Polanski's case, it was all about public opinion. And in that case, I don't blame the Europeans for refusing to extradite. They could not be sure he'd get a fair trial. Besides, when you make a plea bargain, basically agreeing to plead guilty to certain charges, and you even serve your time ahead of sentencing, and the Judge decides to change his mind, why should you yourself believe you will be treated fairly? In fact you won't be because you are famous. Fame cuts both ways.

In any case, we will have to agree to disagree. I see your point, but I don't think DSK is a flight risk, not with their ability to monitor him with today's technology. They could have held him in a minimum security. But they aren't. They are making a point. But I don't agree with their heavy handed tactics and I don't think it is part of the typical procedure. He is being treated differently not only because they inaccurately see him as a flight risk, but because he is famous . . . somewhere. Now initially, this may not have been the case. I heard the other day that the cops didn't even know who DSK was when he was accused. But a guy who is trying to escape is pretty stupid to call back to a hotel for his lost cell phone. If he wants out, he doesn't wait half a day to board a plane and then call back for a phone. I don't think this guy is that dumb, or so poor that he can't afford to leave a phone behind. So I question the contention that he was trying to "flee" to begin with. It seems circumstantial to me.

I wonder just how the US would react if it was one of theirs in a high security French prison?

Again, innocence until proven guilty. He's been treated as guilty no matter how you cut it. And the burden of proof, contrary to this wonderful justice system of ours, appears to be on him rather than on the accuser.

USWest said...

"Public opinion should not come into it once the judicial process has begun." Your' right. But it always does. In this media saturated environment, high profile cases always involve public opinion. Consider OJ.

In Polanski's case, it was all about public opinion. And in that case, I don't blame the Europeans for refusing to extradite. They could not be sure he'd get a fair trial. Besides, when you make a plea bargain, basically agreeing to plead guilty to certain charges, and you even serve your time ahead of sentencing, and the Judge decides to change his mind, why should you yourself believe you will be treated fairly? In fact you won't be because you are famous. Fame cuts both ways.

In any case, we will have to agree to disagree. I see your point, but I don't think DSK is a flight risk, not with their ability to monitor him with today's technology. They could have held him in a minimum security. But they aren't. They are making a point. But I don't agree with their heavy handed tactics and I don't think it is part of the typical procedure. He is being treated differently not only because they inaccurately see him as a flight risk, but because he is famous . . . somewhere. Now initially, this may not have been the case. I heard the other day that the cops didn't even know who DSK was when he was accused. But a guy who is trying to escape is pretty stupid to call back to a hotel for his lost cell phone. If he wants out, he doesn't wait half a day to board a plane and then call back for a phone. I don't think this guy is that dumb, or so poor that he can't afford to leave a phone behind. So I question the contention that he was trying to "flee" to begin with. It seems circumstantial to me.

I wonder just how the US would react if it was one of theirs in a high security French prison?

Again, innocence until proven guilty. He's been treated as guilty no matter how you cut it. And the burden of proof, contrary to this wonderful justice system of ours, appears to be on him rather than on the accuser.

Raised By Republicans said...

The point about Polanski is that he had already gotten a trial. He was convicted and only awaiting sentencing when he left the country to avoid serving that sentence. You could make an argument that the judge acted improperly but that is what the appeals process is for. Rather than avail himself of the due process rights in this country, Polanski took it upon himself to simply flee the country. Once he did that, it was up to the European authorities to return him to the US where he would presumably continue his participation in our legal system (albeit now with additional charges against him because of the choices he made). These European authorities took it upon themselves to declare US legal procedures void and let a convicted rapist walk around free because they disagreed with the ruling and refused to consider that the US appeals process could be trusted. At that point the "Polanski" case ceased to be about what Polanski did or didn't do and became all about whether or not European authorities cared more about the rule of law than about celebrity.

The French and Swiss courts decided against the rule of law. That's an absurd position for a democratic judiciary to take with regard to another democratic judicial system. Imagine if "Foxy Knoxy" had somehow got to the US to avoid prosecution and US public opinion swayed our judges to let her walk around without extraditing her because of our bigoted ideas about Italian judicial objectivity. Italians would be outraged.

The reason DSK is flight risk is not because he might hide out in a cave (or a villa in suburban Pakistan) but because French and Swiss courts have a recent record of taking it upon themselves to void US judicial decisions. The NY judge feared that DSK would post bail, get on a plane for France and simply refuse to return for trial. At which point the US courts would only be able to ask French authorities to please arrest him and send him back. The Polanski case makes it reasonable for US courts to seriously doubt the trustworthiness of their European counterparts.

Raised By Republicans said...

OK, I just heard on the news what DSK's lawyers are arguing about monitoring re: flight risk. If I were a judge I might be willing to let DSK live under de facto house arrest (with ankle bracelets with alarms or something) off jail grounds somewhere. But I would not let him have unrestricted movements and trust that he wouldn't use his considerable resources and contacts to flee prosecution.

The Law Talking Guy said...

I have no particular notion of whether DSK is guilty of rape or not. The fact that he contends that the encounter with a woman half his age, a housekeeper at a hotel, is consensual, strains credibility somewhat. The fact that the police are taking this so seriously suggests that they have physical evidence of rape, not just he-said/she-said. That's my take.

Anonymous said...

On reading DSK's wikipedia biography, I noted that in his capacity as head of the IMF, Strauss-Kahn has been strongly advocating the removal of the US dollar as the world's reserved currency. Instead, Strauss-Kahn suggests using SDR's (Special Drawing Rights)to establish the pricing of certain assets, such as oil and gold. For most countries, other than those using US dollars as their currency,this would be to their advantage. In other words a new world currency would be created that "would challenge the dominance of the dollar."
So, rather than this being a possible French-led political conspiracy, it could equally be viewed as one entirely initiated by forces within the US financial sector. And all it would take would be for one woman to initiate some sort of sexual encounter and then accusations to get the ball rolling. No need at all for the police or judges to be involved other than simply doing their jobs.

This is not to say that this scenario is plausible. By all accounts, Strauss-Kahn is a reckless womanizer and given to inappropriate and aggressive sexual advances.
However, it does offer another another option to the so-called French conspiracists.

USWest said...

Well, it's also very easy to discount such things with the argument that "Too many people would have to be quiet." This is RBR's argument against such theories.

But I know, having worked in government long enough, that it doesn't take much to keep people quiet. Much of the time, they won't even talk about keeping quiet. They will raise their objections internally, but go with the group decision and stick with it. All governments are, to a certain degree, fraternities and sororities. And many of us fail to see how the little decisions we take today matter much in the bigger scheme of things. There isn't a whistle blower behind every curtain. In fact, they are few or far in between. I know, because there have been many times when I've considered blowing the whistle on my organization, but done the calculation that it isn't worth it in the bigger scheme of things. And ultimately, that calculation has borne out. Much of the time, it isn't that the people are really plotting, it's how they choose to respond to unintended consequences. Rather than admit them, they hide them and move on.

You don't even have to incentivize people much to keep them quiet. Peer pressure is often sufficient. If people weren't able to keep secrets, then the CIA wouldn't hold up, nor would the FBI. People keep secrets all the time and for a long time.

So maybe a trial will bring out the "truth", maybe not. After all, we still don't know who killed Kennedy.

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