NEW YORK – Prosecutors have serious questions about the credibility of a hotel housekeeper who has accused former International Monetary Fund leader Dominique Strauss-Kahn of raping her, and they are taking the extraordinary step of seeking a substantial reduction in his pricey bail, a person familiar with the case said Thursday.
The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss matters not yet made public in court, told the Associated Press that prosecutors have raised issues about the accuser’s credibility in the case against Strauss-Kahn, but would not elaborate on what those issues were.
A separate law enforcement official who is familiar with the case told the AP that the issue was not necessarily about the rape accusation itself, but about troubling questions surrounding the alleged victim’s background that could damage her credibility on the witness stand. The official refused to elaborate.
The New York Police Department, which investigated the case, declined to comment.
Strauss-Kahn, who faces a court hearing today, has been under armed guard in a Manhattan townhouse after posting a total of $6 million in cash bail and bond. He denies the allegations.
The New York Times first reported that investigators uncovered major inconsistences in the woman’s account of her background, citing two law enforcement officials. One of the officials told the Times that the woman has repeatedly lied since making the initial allegation May 14.
The discoveries include issues stemming from the asylum application of the 32-year-old woman, who is from Guinea, and possible links to criminal activities such as drug dealing and money laundering, one of the officials told the newspaper. The Times reported that senior prosecutors and Strauss-Kahn’s lawyers are discussing whether to dismiss the felony charges against him.