A Manhattan judge has formally dismissed rape charges against former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn at the request of New York prosecutors, who said his accuser could not be trusted.
Strauss-Kahn (DSK), 62, arrested in May after Nafissatou Diallo, 32, told police he attacked her when she came to clean his suite at the Sofitel in midtown Manhattan, may now be able to return home to France, Bloomberg reports.
Investigators there are investigating claims that he tried to rape a Frenchwoman Tristane Banon eight years ago.
The lawyer for Diallo, who has filed a civil suit in New York state court seeking unspecified damages from DSK, had hours earlier lashed out at the New York prosecutors' office for moving to dismiss the case.
DSK, in a statement issued after the hearing, said the past two and a half months had been "a nightmare for me and my family"and looks forward to"returning to our home and resuming something of a more normal life," The New York Times reports.
The former IMF chief said that he was "obviously gratified" that the district attorney agreed with his lawyers that the case should be dismissed and added "[we] appreciate his professionalism and that of the people who were involved in that decision."
The 25-page motion filed by prosecutors Monday requesting that the case be dismissed made clear that prosecutors, who once considered Diallo a reliable witness, could no longer believe her because of lies told to investigators since the alleged crime May 14, the LA Times reports.
(GlobalPost reports: Prosecutor asks court to drop charges against Dominique Strauss-Kahn)
The motion, signed by assistant district attorneys Joan Illuzzi-Orbon and John (Artie) McConnell and a copy published by the LA Times, read:
"That an individual has lied in the past or committed criminal acts does not necessarily render them unbelievable to us as prosecutors, or keep us from putting them on the witness stand at trial.
"But the nature and number of the complainant's falsehoods leave us unable to credit her version of events beyond a reasonable doubt, whatever the truth may be about the encounter between the complainant and the defendant. If we do not believe her beyond a reasonable doubt, we cannot ask a jury to do so."
The motion said Diallo "engaged in a hurried sexual encounter with the complainant, but it does not independently establish her claim of a forcible, nonconsensual encounter," and points out that there are no other eyewitnesses to the incident.
"We do not make this recommendation lightly," it said.
Dozens of TV and video cameras and scores of reporters awaited the court's decision outside a courthouse in Lower Manhattan.