FaithWorld

Distraught family of DSK accuser looks to God

By Reuters Staff
May 24, 2011

(Former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn gestures during his bail hearing inside of the New York State Supreme Courthouse in New York May 19, 2011/Richard Drew)

In a living room bare but for a few family photos and Islamic texts, the African man who says he is the brother of Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s accuser says he has not slept or eaten properly for days.

“I heard the news on the radio and honestly I do not know what happened. I want to speak to my sister,” the man, called Mamoudou, told Reuters at a village in the Labe region of Guinea, a hard day’s drive north of the capital Conakry.

Mamoudou, whose family name and home village are withheld to protect the identity of the alleged assault victim, said he had not heard from his younger sister for several years. But he had no doubt that she was the 32-year-old Guinean widow who filed the complaint in New York. Her name has appeared in local media.

In the community of devout Muslims, religion provides solace for those with troubles far away, and for poverty at home.

A hamlet of 20 dwellings lost in the rural depths of this impoverished West African country, Mamoudou’s village is a world away from the luxury suite of the Times Square Sofitel where the now former chief of the International Monetary Fund and French presidential contender is accused of trying to rape the maid.

“In our family, we are above material things,” said Mamoudou, who is aged about 50. “Even if you are a billionaire, we don’t care. The most important thing for us is how you follow God’s path.”

Read the full story by Saliou Samb here.

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We need to have the identity of the accuser publicized so her reliability and credibility can be evaluated, just as the IMF chief’s past and reputation are being evaluated. It’s nonsense that we shield accuser’s (note that I say Accuser and not Victim) identity in the US but not the accused’s identity when a sex crime is involved. It is important to suppress the knee-jerk reflex to refer to an accuser as a “Victim”. We don’t know who the “Victim” is in this case, nor do we know who the “Victim” is in any such case without the facts and evidence being sorted out in court. It may be that the “accused” is the “victim”. Having said that, why are we shielding the identity of the “accuser” and not the accused? Information regarding the credibility of the accuser is also relevant. I believe being accused of rape these days is far more “humiliating” and “shameful” than accusing someone of rape, which makes someone an instant “victim-hero”. In the famous Duke false gang-rape accusation case, it turned out the accuser, whose name is Crystal Gail Magnum, had previously made false gang-rape allegations against police officers, which were thoroughly investigated and found to be false. This information was relevant and only came to light because of the intense media scrutiny of the case. In an ordinary rape accusation case, information like this would likely never come to light, because we “perp walk” the one who has has a finger pointed at them, and shield the identity of the accuser, so we’re starting out with a very unfair playing field as the case is investigated and facts are looked into.

Let’s quit shielding the identity of accusers in cases of sexual abuse accusations. Or, if we feel that it is necessary to do this, then we need to shield both the accused and the accuser’s identities, and keep the playing field even.

Many are questioning whether or not the accuser in this case, who worked in a French-owned hotel with connections to powerful business interests in France, may have been involved in a set up to take out the socialist who threatened to displace the right-wing government. It’s certainly possible. Let’s investigate and find out what connections the accuser may have had with such French interests. Oh wait, I forgot, we’re not allowed to even know who she is. Never mind. Let’s just presume he’s guity and “perp-walk” him, hold him without bail, and spread his picture around the internet with accusations of rape attached to it.

Posted by jackster22 | Report as abusive
 

The names of both the victim and the accused should be withheld until an indictment. The name of the vitim should never be publicized. We would be back in the dark ages when victims were afraid to report rapes, and rapists got away with it.

Posted by vermontchair | Report as abusive
 

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