Prof. Bennett Gershman appeared on France 24 television to discuss the implications of the Dominique Strauss-Kahn sex assault case. He was asked about the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office’s handling of the case, and whether the DA’s ultimate request to drop the charges would deter other rape victims from coming forward in the future.
He said: “I think right from the beginning, [the District Attorney’s Office) felt they needed to put this case into a grand jury very quickly. And they did as a matter of law, because they elected to seek no bail for Mr. Strauss-Kahn. When a person is not at liberty, because he’s in jail without bail, the prosecutor has a very limited time frame to bring an indictment. Had they simply elected to have him under surveillance, electronic monitoring, as later happened, they could have taken much more time in developing their case, in interviewing the witness, before they put her on a grand jury. By rushing to get him incarcerated, they then boxed themselves in in having to rush this case to an indictment. I think that hurried activity on their part made it very difficult for them to scrutinize the case, scrutinize her credibility, very carefully. They may very well have concluded early on that she was not sufficiently credible and they would not have even put the case into a grand jury. It’s hard to say. But I think that request for no bail early on kind of was the critical beginning factor here that made this case so unusual, extraordinary, and I don’t think this case is going to deter women from claiming rape.”
Watch the entire interview here.