Breaking: DSK case to likely be dismissed; Rally in NYC today

New York prosecutors have scheduled a meeting with Nafissatou Diallo today on her sexual assault charges against Dominique Strauss-Kahn — but the outlook is not good:

Three months after authorizing Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s swift indictment after his arrest on sexual assault charges, the Manhattan district attorney, Cyrus R. Vance Jr., has decided to ask a judge to dismiss the case, a person briefed on the matter said on Sunday.

The case is sought to be dropped due to apparent credibility issues that arose after prosecutors received information about Diallo’s past which resulted in a media shitstorm of victim-blaming and blatant misinformation about her and the report itself.

Regardless of Diallo’s past and any changed versions of stories she may have made about what she did after the alleged assault, it does not mean she wasn’t raped. The fact that there is DNA evidence, the fact new medical reports state Diallo’s injuries were those of sexual assault, and the fact that Strauss-Kahn is currently being accused of attempted rape by his daughter’s friend, is a hell of a lot of evidence that this should not end here.

It’s no news to the feminist community that this case has turned into a trial against Diallo, and now she may not only not get justice, but will not even get a chance to fight for it.

It’s also not news that the outcome of this case is emblematic of deeply embedded sexist cultural norms and a judicial system that assumes that women are not to be trusted. And immigrant women of color? Pshh. But as bleak as things may be, these injustices must continue to be challenged, and those who come forward supported.

In response, Feministing has joined several other organizations and groups to rally downtown today and demand that Diallo receive a continuation of the case — people are gathering at NYC Criminal Court on 100 Centre St at 5 pm today. The Facebook invite is here with details.

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  • boxoatoc

    A semantic point:

    Victims of sexual assault cannot be “given” justice. Justice, which in my view would mean living in a world free of sexualized violence in the first place, has already been denied, most notably by the attacker but also by our whole society. While an attacker can and should be punished, this does not “reinstate” justice or un-assault the survivor. It also doesn’t necessarily change the patriarchial social conditions that allowed and encouraged the assault(s) in the first place. Prentending that survivors will “get justice” (as if the pain of assault can be undone or remedied) by legal action and legal action alone is a very narrow way of defining justice, and not one that recognizes that the search for justice is constantly evolving work, rather than a state that a judge can bestow upon a survivor.

    My take — and I don’t expect everyone will agree. But it makes me sick every time I read that people are given, or denied, justice by a court. We are both granted (when we are respected in our full humanity) and denied justice by our whole community. Those who have been assaulted, regardless of legal punishments for the attacker, have all been denied justice, and this cannot be undone by the bang of a gavel.

  • blueeyes90

    I HATE that I live in a society where sex assault victims are treated like criminals, while the attacker is treated like the victim and basically gets away with it! This makes me so mad.