Hotel maid in Strauss-Kahn case offered sex to guests, reports claim
Published 04/07/2011 | 05:00
THE hotel maid who alleges that she was sexually attacked by Dominique Strauss-Kahn could face charges for perjury or be deported from the US following claims that she lied under oath.
The 32-year-old maid is under intense scrutiny after New York prosecutors were forced to tell a court on Friday that they had found holes in her story that may seriously damage her credibility as a witness.
Reports in New York tabloids alleged that she provided sex for hotel guests in return for money, and that Mr Strauss-Kahn may have misunderstood the situation on May 14.
Mr Strauss-Kahn, who at the weekend was enjoying freedom without bail, is charged with trying to rape her after she arrived to clean his Manhattan Sofitel suite and forcing her to give him oral sex.
But the case against him is hanging by a thread. Reports claim that soon after the incident, she was recorded telling a drug dealer in Arizona: "Don't worry, this guy has a lot of money. I know what I'm doing."
But what is certain is that the maid told detectives and prosecutors that afterwards "she fled to an area of the main hallway" and "waited there until she observed the defendant leave suite 2806".
A letter filed to court by Cyrus Vance Jr, the Manhattan district attorney, said: "The complainant testified to this version of events when questioned in the grand jury about her actions."
However, she "has since admitted that this account was false" and that she went on to clean another room, and returned to clean Mr Strauss-Kahn's suite, before reporting the incident to her supervisor.
Socialist politicians in France suggested that Sofitel may have been infiltrated by French secret services agents to set up the scandal ahead of next year's presidential election. An opinion poll published yesterday found that almost half of French voters would still welcome the former IMF chief's entry into the race.
Under New York state law, testifying falsely in a way that is material to the case being considered is perjury in the first degree, punishable with up to seven years in prison.
Kenneth Thompson, the maid's attorney, said she had continued cleaning because "she did not want to lose her job and she knew that her supervisor was going to be coming up the stairs imminently".
Mr Vance's letter also stated that the maid had admitted in interviews that information she gave on her 2004 application for asylum in the US -- including that she had been gang raped -- "was false".
She "certified under penalty of perjury" that the application was true. Arrivals to the US may also be deported if convicted of "fraudulently obtaining immigration benefits" through false statements.
Mr Thompson said the maid was "the victim of female genital mutilation", and didn't know this alone would be enough to claim asylum, so allowed a man help her exaggerate her application. But he insisted his client was indeed raped by a group of Guinean soldiers, even if the account she gave in her application was inaccurate.
Mr Thompson says that the maid stands by her original allegations. Mr Strauss-Kahn denies all the charges. (© Daily Telegraph, London)