In an article published today, Salon writer Tracy Clark-Flory changed her mind publicly about whether the case against Dominique Strauss-Kahn should move forward despite prosecutors’ doubts over his alleged victim’s credibility. Clark-Flory credits Prof. Bennett Gershman’s argument, which he shared in the Wall Street Journal earlier this week when prosecutors decided to drop the charges against Strauss-Kahn, with influencing her decision.
Clark-Flory wrote: “The DNA evidence alone does not prove that a non-consensual sexual encounter took place. In order for there to be any hope of proving Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, a jury would have to put some trust in Nafissatou Diallo. However, as the D.A.’s office wrote in its brief, ‘the complainant’s credibility cannot withstand the most basic evaluation.’ […] Most importantly, it isn’t just that prosecutors no longer believed that they could win the case — they themselves no longer believed Diallo beyond a reasonable doubt. As Bennett Gershman, a former Manhattan prosecutor, told the Wall Street Journal, ‘A prosecutor can’t go ahead with a case where he doesn’t believe the complaining witness. He can’t ethically proceed with that case.’ This is a fundamental precept of our legal system. Rape is arguably a special crime — that’s why we have shield laws and the like — but there is no reason that prosecutors should be held to a lesser standard in such cases than in other criminal trials.”
Read the full article here.