The stunning implosion of the sexual assault case against Dominique Strauss-Kahn stemmed from a need for police to move quickly and a victim who was "the most convincing" person many investigators have "ever interviewed,” an experienced New York prosecutor tells the New York Times. The tide turned as the housekeeper lied about her past, but even more importantly, changed her account, said the prosecutor. In cases like this, the accuser's credibility is vital, and “she is the single person responsible for compromising that credibility."
Key to a "rush to judgment" in the case was the fact that Strauss-Kahn was on his way out of America. “In a perfect world, they would not have had to arrest him right away,” said one official. “They could have checked the evidence and everything. They figured they had to get him off the plane. It changed the circumstances quite a bit.” Other experts think the case is more damning of the American legal system in general, exposing it as a “punish first, figure out what happened later” system, especially for “ordinary schnooks,” as one police scholar said.