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Strauss-Kahn keeps low profile as case is dismissed

Dominique Strauss-Kahn kept a low profile Tuesday after charges of sexual assault against him were dismissed. In a written statement, the former IMF chief described the affair as a “nightmare” and thanked family and friends for support.


AFP - There was no gloating by Dominique Strauss-Kahn after he won dismissal of the sensational sex assault charges against him Tuesday.

With a pack of media awaiting him, the French politician and former IMF chief simply ducked into a waiting sport utility vehicle with his wife and left the lower Manhattan courthouse.

It was an anticlimactic conclusion to a three-month saga that captivated the media, especially in France where Strauss-Kahn was seen as a strong presidential contender.

Although he did not speak outside court, Strauss-Kahn issued a written statement thanking his supporters.

"These past two and a half months have been a nightmare for me and my family," the statement said.

"I want to thank all the friends in France and in the United States who have believed in my innocence, and to the thousands of people who sent us their support personally and in writing. I am most deeply grateful to my wife and family who have gone through this ordeal with me."

Questioned by reporters as he arrived at his Manhattan residence, he said in French, "I'm eager to return to my country."

Speaking in court earlier, Strauss-Kahn's lead lawyer Benjamin Brafman said his client was "very relieved."

"This is a horrific nightmare that he and his family have lived through," he said.

Strauss Kahn and his wife, millionaire Anne Sinclair "have maintained their dignity throughout these difficult days. They have handled this ordeal with extraordinary class," he said.

While Strauss-Kahn appeared to be regaining his freedom after a three-month ordeal that included a stint behind bars, he still faces a civil suit from Guinean immigrant Nafissatou Diallo, who claims he forced her to perform oral sex in his New York hotel suite.

The full dismissal of criminal charges will come only within a 30-day waiting period, pending an appeal by Diallo's lawyers on a petition to appoint a special prosecutor.

And the former high-flying world figure has seen his reputation permanently tarnished by the scandal.

Prosecutors said the credibility of Diallo made it impossible to pursue a criminal case, but they also painted a picture of a sordid, brief sexual encounter that cast the French politician in a highly unfavorable light.

What is sure is that a brief sexual encounter took place between Strauss-Kahn and Diallo, prosecutors said.

DNA testing "established that several stains located on the upper portion of the complainant's hotel uniform dress contained semen that yielded the defendant's DNA," the Manhattan District Attorney's Office said in the motion to dismiss the case.

Although prosecutors and police found Diallo's story entirely credible at first, she quickly undermined her case by lying to investigators and to the grand jury that indicted Strauss-Kahn, the motion said.

The case also sparked anger from advocates of sex assault victims who denounced the prosecution move to dismiss the case.

Yells of demonstrators in the street were audible over the calm in the courtroom on 13th floor.

Outside the court, some two dozen women protested the prosecutor's decision to seek a dismissal of sexual assault charges.

Carrying placards that read "DSK shame on you and the DA too!" and "Nafissatou, we believe you," a small group of women demonstrated for a second consecutive day.

And the maid's lawyer, Kenneth Thompson, said after the decision to dismiss, that the prosecution "abandoned an innocent women and denied the right to justice in a rape case."


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