Summer Sale Extended! Get unlimited digital access for 13 weeks for $13.
News Opinion

DSK case vindicates American system of justice

The Dominique Strauss-Kahn drama will no doubt give many in France immense pleasure that the American legal system has met its comeuppance with a case that has completely unraveled against their French lothario. It appears all charges against Mr. Strauss-Kahn will be dropped.

Even at its inception, this case was headed for the klieg lights with the pursuit of justice taking a back seat to the pursuit of publicity. It appeared that the prosecutor in the case, Cyrus Vance, seized this sordid occurrence as an opportunity to advance himself on the international stage. Not only did Mr. Vance claim, prematurely, that he had a solid case against Mr. Strauss Kahn, but he also argued with the judge assigned to the case that the head of the International Monetary Fund was a flight risk, similar to Roman Polanski, and should be incarcerated without bail.

Mr. Strauss-Kahn was jailed on Rikers Island, manacled, paraded before the public, his past dissected by pundits and his character impugned and assassinated by American commentators before he was placed under house arrest. He also had to make the heavy bail that was imposed on him. Residents of a posh apartment complex in the Upper East side of Manhattan where his wife had rented digs wouldn't have a sex offender in their midst, and the hysteria grew shrill as new quarters had to be hunted down.

But it didn't take long for the victim in this rape case to arrive at the same point as Mr. Strauss Kahn. The hotel maid, formerly fromGuinea, underwent a systematic raid on her closet of skeletons and stood accused of being an unreliable and lying witness. Apparently, she cheated the IRS, lied on various applications for government assistance, and changed her story about a gang rape she claimed happened to her in Guinea.

There are those who have taken up for the hotel maid most vigorously. These advocates for rape victims are appalled that Mr. Strauss-Kahn will not meet his Waterloo right here and rot in jail for what he did. Then there are those who have argued that the law should prevail and Mr. Strauss-Kahn is innocent until proven guilty.

Despite its many twists and turns and flaws, this case may be a vindication of the American justice system. The process took its course and evolved to show it cannot be taken for granted or abused. The presumptuous prosecutors in the case had to accede they had jumped to conclusions and further investigations did not support their initial certainties. The hotel maid now has to acknowledge that lying to investigators does not solidify her serious charge of rape. And Mr. Strauss-Kahn, the major player in this show, has to acknowledge that even the rich and the powerful had better not tempt the American legal system. He has paid dearly for his behavior.

Hopefully, Mr. Strauss Kahn's lesson will resonate with the many playboys who visit this country for whom every hotel maid is fair game.

Usha Nellore, Bel Air

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
  • Caution: Children on board

    Caution: Children on board

    Across Maryland, most students are back in school as of today, and here's a preliminary number that schools, parents and everyone else ought to contemplate for the next nine months — 83. As a test score, that might not sound threatening, but it's no "B" and it's definitely not something that anyone...

  • Open the primaries

    Open the primaries

    The fastest growing segment of Maryland's electorate is voters who decline to identify as Republicans or Democrats. As The Sun's John Fritze reported recently, their numbers are up by 57 percent in the last decade, and they continue to grow despite the likelihood that both major parties will have...

  • Liberal hypocrisy on the subject of constitutional tinkering

    Liberal hypocrisy on the subject of constitutional tinkering

    When is it outrageous to amend the Constitution?

  • Why does there have to be one black voice?

    Why does there have to be one black voice?

    A nonprofit booked me to speak to some young writers from Baltimore. "How does it feel to be the voice of the people?" a girl in square frames with a pumped fist asked. "I don't speak for all of Black America," I told her. "I'm not the voice of black Baltimore, or Down Da Hill, or Latrobe Projects...

  • The tragedy after Hurricane Katrina

    The tragedy after Hurricane Katrina

    After the storm waters of Hurricane Katrina subsided, devastation remained: unsafe and waterlogged structures, with moldy, crumbling walls; unsalvageable fridges and soggy couches; indoor rivulets of mud. Local economies collapsed. A million people were displaced. Thousands of residents lost everything...

  • Are the Olympics anti-democracy?

    Are the Olympics anti-democracy?

    Can the Olympics and democracy co-exist?