While the media is reporting ad nauseum on the Dominique Strauss Kahn (DSK) case, they are neglecting to report on the future impact of this case. After the media has heaped criticism on Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr, prosecutors will be reluctant to bring rape cases. Rape victims will be reluctant to bring cases because they do not want to see their reputations trashed.
I do not know the woman but I can explain some of her behavior. I have dealt with law enforcement. Even when they are on side, they give you the creeps. I can understand that she freaked out at their relentless scrutiny. No one expects when they report a rape that their life will be under a microscope.
Prosecutors will only bring cases where there is a perfect victim. Unfortunately for most of use, life is a little messy. Future rape victims will hesitate to report if they realize by reporting a rape they are submitting to a proctologist's exam by law enforcement authorities. In a sense, it is a second rape, possibly more painful than the first.
The victim apparently changed her story about what she did after the attack. One of the current problems with our current prosecutions of rape is that the public and therefore juries believe that the only way that a rape happened is if it is reported immediately not five minutes later. Prosecutors do not want to take cases where the rape victim, stunned and not thinking straight, went back to work instead of immediately reporting the rape. This victim feared losing her job so she went on to clean the room.
This does not seem strange to me. As I can tell you from personal experience, the first instinct of a rape victim is to pretend that the rape did not occur. It takes time to gather your wits and come forward to report the rape.
The most damning evidence against the victim was the phone call in an obscure African dialect to a boyfriend in an Arizona prison. As someone who knows a second language, I can tell you that slang expressions are often misinterpreted. I would want more assurance that the translation is correct.
The press is also making much of the fact that her boyfriend is in an Arizona prison for alleging dealing 400 pounds of marijuana. Poor vulnerable women do not usually have a plethora of boyfriends that won the Nobel Prize to choose from. The only people who should throw stones at her for this are people that have never fallen in love with the wrong person or love has not made them do crazy things.I expect that will leave no stone throwers.
Several immigration lawyers that work at HIAS have told me that the first instinct of most applicants for asylum is to embellish their experiences because no one likes to think what they actually experienced is horrible enough to qualify for asylum.
This case should be used to reexamine the standards by which we judge rape victims. If we do not adjust to reflect the life and morals of the twenty first century, predators will have free reign.