Strauss-Kahn Leans Toward Risky 'Consent' Defense

His legal team says evidence will not prove a forcible encounter
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 25, 2011 6:12 PM CDT
Dominique Strauss-Kahn leaves court and returns to jail after his bail hearing in New York state Supreme Court, Thursday, May 19, 2011.   (AP Photo/Richard Drew, Pool)
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(Newser) – Former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn has shed little public light on his account of what happened between him and the hotel housekeeper who accused him of sexually attacking her, but his legal team appears intent on making the case that it was not a forcible encounter. That's a common but dicey strategy that can pose challenges for defense lawyers and prosecutors alike, legal experts say.

"They're really difficult cases because, by their very nature, nobody else is there," says one law professor. DNA might establish sexual contact but still not prove an attack, "so it really is the credibility of the complainant and the defendant, and also the facts and information that each side can marshal to support their version of what occurred." In other high-profile cases, the strategy worked for William Kennedy Smith but not for Mike Tyson. (Click to read background on Strauss-Kahn's friends possibly buying off the victim's poor family, how he hit on the hotel receptionist before the attack, what his wife thinks happened, and more.)

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