French prosecutors have dropped the investigation into Tristane Banon’s claim that former IFM chief, Dominique Strauss-Kahn attempted to rape her through a lack of proof.
According to prosecution, DSK admitted to sexual aggression against journalist and writer Tristane Banon, but that it was too late to prosecute for that charge because the incident happened in 2003.
Tristane Banon, 32, claims DSK attempted to rape her during an interview for a book, but he called the claim imaginary.
According to prosecution, DSK admitted to sexual aggression against journalist and writer Tristane Banon, but that it was too late to prosecute for that charge because the incident happened in 2003
The prosecution decision comes after journalist Tristane Banon finished a fictional account of her ordeal, in which she referred to her alleged attacker as “the pig”.
“Eight years ago, the pig stole my life,” she wrote at the beginning of “Le Bal des Hypocrites” (“The Hypocrites’ Ball”).
The 62-year-old former IMF chief quit his job earlier this year after a New York hotel maid accused him of attempted rape. Prosecutors later dropped that case.
According to France law, the statute of limitations for attempted rape is 10 years and only three years for sexual assault.
French judges confirmed that the “sex acts” exchanged between DSK and Tristane Banon had taken place, and that Dominique Strauss-Kahn had been unnecessarily violent.
“There is not enough evidence to pursue the attempted rape case after 10 years, but sexual aggression was recognized,” said a spokesman for the Paris prosecutors’ office.
Tristane Banon now intends to pursue her case against DSK through the civil courts, rather than the criminal courts.
She refers continually to the alleged crime in her 126-page book, but leaves out the name of DSK.
Tristane Banon, 32, claims DSK attempted to rape her during an interview for a book
The tactic she used is a common one among French authors as they try to avoid libel charges relating to what they have written.
Despite this, publicity for the book makes it perfectly clear that the book is auto-biographical.
“With a dignity and sincerity that earns our full admiration, Tristane Banon tells the story of the six weeks that changed her life,” said a spokesman for publishers Diable Vauvert.
Tristane Banon first spoke out after DSK was arrested on charges of attempting to rape a maid at Sofitel Hotel in New York.
Dominique Strauss-Kahn has always denied Tristane Banon’s allegations and is suing her for defamation, although he does admit kissing her and making a pass at her.
Referring to her lawyer, David Koubbi, in her book, Tristane Banon writes:
“I was offered lots of money to go on American TV to say I was making a complaint. I told David to tell them to get lost.”
The journalist claimed she was attacked while interviewing DSK in 2003, describing him as a “rutting chimpanzee”.
After four years, Tristane Banon said during a Paris TV talk show:
“We ended up fighting. It finished really violently. We fought on the floor.”
Dominique Strauss-Kahn could have received a prison sentence of up to 15 years if found guilty of attempted rape in France.
DSK spent more than three hours in a police interview as a “witness” just over a week after charges of sexually assaulting a hotel chambermaid in New York were dropped.
Journalist Tristane Banon, 32, filed a complaint this summer alleging that Dominique Strauss-Kahn sexually assaulted her in a Paris apartment in 2003 where he had invited her to interview him for a book she was writing.
Tristane Banon said the fomer IMF chief lunged at her like a “rutting chimpanzee” and she had to fend him off with kicks and punches as he ignored her cries of “rape”.
DSK is suing Tristane Banon for defamation, alleging she made up the "imaginary" assault as a publicity stunt
DSK is suing Tristane Banon for defamation, alleging she made up the “imaginary” assault as a publicity stunt.
Police are now conducting a preliminary investigation into Tristane Banon’s allegations to see if there is enough evidence to press charges.
Police has already interviewed friends, family members and other politicians in the investigation, including Tristane Banon’s mother – once DSK‘s lover – and François Hollande, polled as most likely to be the Socialists’ presidential candidate.
Tristane Banon, 32, filed a complaint this summer alleging that Dominique Strauss-Kahn sexually assaulted her in a Paris apartment in 2003
DSK‘s lawyers Frédérique Baulieu and Henri Leclerc said on Monday:
“At the request of Mr Strauss-Kahn, this interview is taking place as early as possible in the timetable of the investigation.”
Meanwhile, Tristane Banon said over the weekend she was “sickened” by the “hero’s welcome” he received on DSK return to France from the US.
“What has been happening over the past six days makes me feel sick,” she wrote.
“I cannot believe that my country gives a hero’s welcome to a man who has not been cleared.
“I hear people telling me of their disgust, I feed off their support to remain upright, yet I am the one who bows my head and hugs the walls while others laugh at the cameras.”
She has called for a demonstration on September 24 in front of Paris’s criminal court to demand a trial.
Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s return has embarrassed the opposition French Socialist party, about to launch presidential primaries. Party’s former leader Martine Aubry, a presidential hopeful, said DSK “must explain himself” to party colleagues.
Before DSK arrest in New York in May, he had been the Socialist party’s favourite to challenge Nicolas Sarkozy next April, with polls predicting he would win comfortably.
Attempted rape charges were dropped in New York after prosecutors ruled that chambermaid Nafissatou Diallo had later lied to police and was “unreliable”. DSK had always insisted sex was consensual.
DSK still faces a civil lawsuit filed by Nafissatou Diallo in the US.
Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former IMF chief has arrived in Paris from New York.
Dominique Strauss-Kahn and his wife Anne Sinclair landed at Charles de Gaulle airport at 07:05, Paris time, on board an Air France flight.
DSK has been in New York since his arrest in May on sex assault charges, which were dropped at the end of August.
DSK, 62, once seen as a possible French presidential contender, denied the allegations.
DSK, who resigned from IFM position in the days after his arrest, had his passport returned last month.
Hotel maid Nafissatou Diallo, who accused Dominique Strauss-Kahn of trying to rape her in his hotel room, is pressing her claims in a civil lawsuit.
DSK and his wife, Anne Sinclair, arrived at Charles de Gaulle airport. (Reuters)
DSK and his wife, Anne Sinclair, smiled and waved as they arrived at Charles de Gaulle airport, but made no comment to waiting journalists and passed rapidly through the terminal to a waiting car.
Couple had boarded the same scheduled Saturday night Air France flight for Paris that he was about to take when he was arrested on 14 May.
The charges against DSK were dropped on August 23 at the request of prosecutors who had concerns about Nafissatou Diallo’s credibility.
Having DNA evidence indicating a sexual encounter did occur between the two in a suite at the Sofitel Hotel in May, DSK’s lawyers maintain it was consensual and prosecutors were unable to determine whether force had been used.
According to BBC, friends of Dominique Strauss-Kahn said he does, at some point, intend to explain to the French people what happened.
DSK had been considered the Socialist Party’s front-runner to take on French President Nicolas Sarkozy in presidential elections next year.
At this moment, although DSK is legally innocent, he has been hugely damaged in the eyes of the French voters and, in the same time, it is not clear if the other candidates for the Socialist nomination for next year’s presidential election even want his endorsement.
DSK also faces another sexual assault allegation in France, after journalist Tristane Banon accused him of trying to rape her during an interview in 2003.
Tristane Banon made the allegation after DSK was arrested in the Diallo case, saying that she feared no-one would have believed her beforehand.
Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s reputation has been further damaged by stories about his womanising and vast wealth.
Dominique Strauss-Kahn allegations:
• 2006: Publication of Sexus Politicus, book by Christophe Deloire and Christophe Dubois, with chapter on DSK and his tendency of “seduction to the point of obsession”
• 2008: Dominique Strauss-Kahn admits an affair with IMF colleague, calling it an “error of judgement”
• 2011: Dominique Strauss-Kahn arrested on 14 May in New York, accused of sexually assaulting Sofitel hotel maid, Nafissatou Diallo,
• 16 May: Writer Tristane Banon comes forward to say Dominique Strauss-Kahn tried to assault her in an interview nearly a decade before
• 1 July: Dominique Strauss-Kahn freed from New York house arrest
• 23 August: A New York judge dismissed the Diallo case