The woman, a 32-year old Guinean immigrant who worked as a hotel housekeeper at Sofitel in Manhattan, said Strauss-Kahn had attacked and sexually assaulted her when she entered his room to clean it.
Prosecutors now believe there was little truth in anything the Guinean-born maid has told them since NYPD cops yanked the one-time contender for the French presidency off a plane at Kennedy Airport on May 14, the sources said.
The Bronx chambermaid’s credibility collapsed as investigators linked her to a network of crooks and found her to have to multiple bank accounts stuffed with a total of almost $100,000 in dirty cash, sources said Thursday night.
The investigators also learned that she was paying hundreds of dollars every month in phone charges to five companies. The woman had insisted she had only one phone and said she knew nothing about the deposits except that they were made by a man she described as her fiancé and his friends.
The man with whom she had the recorded phone conversation a day after accusing Strauss-Kahn had been arrested on charges of possessing 400 pounds of marijuana, the paper said. He was reportedly among a number of individuals who had made multiple deposits, totaling about $100,000, into the woman’s bank account over the past two years.
The official says prosecutors believe the hotel housekeeper lied about various details on her application for asylum in the U.S., including a claim that she had been earlier raped in her native Guinea.
Prosecutors from the office of the Manhattan district attorney, Cyrus R. Vance Jr., who initially were emphatic about the strength of the case and the account of the victim, plan to tell the judge on Friday that they “have problems with the case” based on what their investigators have discovered, and will disclose more of their findings to the defense.
The woman still maintains that she was attacked, the officials said. “It is a mess, a mess on both sides,” one official said.
“The proof against him is substantial. It is continuing to grow every day as the investigation continues,” Assistant District Attorney John “Artie” McConnell told the judge. “We have a man who, by his own conduct in this case, has shown a propensity for impulsive criminal conduct.”
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.
Mr. Strauss-Kahn resigned from his post as managing director of the International Monetary Fund in the wake of the housekeeper’s accusations and was required to post $1 million bail and a $5 million bond.
The woman told the authorities that she had gone to Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s suite to clean it and that he emerged naked from the bathroom and attacked her. The formal charges accused him of ripping her pantyhose, trying to rape her and forcing her to perform oral sex; his lawyers say there is no evidence of force and have suggested that any sex was consensual.
Strauss-Kahn, 62, was in New York on a personal trip. He left the hotel shortly after the alleged assault – to have lunch with a relative, his attorneys have said.
During his initial bail hearings, prosecutors noted that Strauss-Kahn was arrested on a Paris-bound plane at John F. Kennedy International Airport, and that they could not compel his return from France if he fled. His lawyers have underscored that it was a long-planned flight, and they’ve said he wants to return to court to clear his name.
Strauss-Kahn was held without bail for nearly a week after his May arrest. His lawyers ultimately persuaded a judge to release him by agreeing to extensive conditions, including an ankle monitor, surveillance cameras and armed guards.
He can leave for only for court, weekly religious services and visits to doctors and his lawyers, and prosecutors must be notified at least six hours before he goes anywhere.
The security measures were estimated to cost him about $200,000 a month, on top of the $50,000-a-month rent on a town house in trendy TriBeCa. He settled there after a hasty and fraught househunt: A plan to rent an apartment in a tony building on Manhattan’s Upper East
Side fell through after residents complained about the hubbub as reporters and police milled around the building. Some of Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s allies even contended that he had been set up by his political rivals, an assertion that law enforcement authorities said there was no evidence to support.
Socialist Party chief Martine Aubry announced her own presidential bid this week, after having long been expected to throw her weight behind a Strauss-Kahn candidacy. Strauss-Kahn’s wife, prominent television journalist Anne Sinclair, describes being “very worried” about the case. She calls him “a good, honest and reliable man” and says “I believe in him more than ever.” [via The New York Times, Huffpost and New York Daily News]