Is there enough evidence to convict Dominique Strauss-Kahn in court? I can't tell. Maybe on Friday at the Grand Jury hearing more will be revealed. I expected there to be more by now, though.
From the outside, we have what looks like a He Said She Said case. The accuser is being kept anonymous, while the accused is the head of the International Monetary Fund. So, this being 2011, we naturally believe the accuser on the grounds that an anonymous person is likely more reliable than a famous international financial expert.
In the case of this particular international financial expert, moreover, we have a long chain of rumors about him abusing women under his influence. DSK is an expert at misusing influence. On the other hand, a maid with a vacuum cleaner isn't somebody who thinks that maybe if she gives in to his advances, she'll get put in charge of the Portugal bailout.
What facts have been revealed might be consistent with a variety of scenarios, none of which would reflect well on DSK. But not all of them would be consistent with outright stranger rape. For example, say he lays a few Benjamin Franklins on the table. Needing cash, the maid accepts them. A few minutes later, out in the corridor, she runs into her boss, who asks why her lipstick is a mess. Panicking about losing her job, she makes up a story about a naked presidential candidate jumping her and forcing her to make a mess of her lipstick.
Well, maybe. And, keep in mind, that's probably the scenario that makes DSK look best (short of a gigantic movie-style conspiracy), which isn't very good. It's easy to make up scenarios more plausible than the official one where DSK is still criminally guilty of some version of rape. But, I'll skip the graphic details of those scenarios.
Yet, what strikes me as most telling against DSK is that the management of the Sofitel, a French-owned hotel, apparently spent some time thinking about what to do before deciding to call the cops. Hotel managers generally don't like having potential presidents arrested for scandalous events inside their hotels. That they eventually decided to trust their poorly paid employee over their VIP guest suggests they had good reasons (hallway video?) to believe her.
But, despite the millions of words published on this story, I don't exactly know what those reasons were.
P.S. There's also the weirdness about the maid living in a charitable complex for AIDS sufferers. She was given "asylum" in the U.S. 7 years ago, according to the Daily Telegraph.
Can foreigners get asylum in the U.S. for having AIDS? Of course theyÂ can.
Political Asylum for People with HIV
By Rosa Bramble Weed, L.C.S.W.
From AIDS Community Research Initiative of America
There are significant numbers of immigrants living with HIV in New York, receiving medical treatment and other services important to a healthy quality of life. Some arrived as refugees seeking asylum. Others, however, are not aware that in their native countries they lived under circumstances that make them eligible for political asylum.
So, what's the story with this?