As you may recall, when the sexual assault case against Dominique Strauss-Kahn began to unravel, reports attributed to a "well-placed law enforcement official" were published in the New York Times. The source claimed that prosecutors no longer considered Nafissatou Diallo a credible witness because, among other concerns, she said in a phone call to an incarcerated friend, "Don't worry, this guy has a lot of money. I know what I'm doing."
The quote was used to paint Diallo as nothing but a sleazy criminal looking to make some money after a consensual encounter with a wealthy man. Now it turns out that's not what she said at all. Oops!
Today Diallo and her lawyer, Kenneth Thompson, spent eight hours with prosecutors in their first meeting since authorities publicly declared that they doubt her credibility. The Associated Press reports that during the meeting, they listened to two tapes of Diallo's conversations with her friend, which were conducted in the West African language Fulani. Thompson says the recordings prove that in the first conversation, Diallo describes the attack and makes no mention of Strauss-Kahn's wealth. In the second conversation she does mention that he's "powerful and rich," but only to convey that her attacker is influential. She says, "I know what to do" much earlier in the discussion, meaning that she'd gone to the authorities and hired a lawyer.
Now that it appears authorities fed the press incriminating lies about an alleged rape victim, they're feeling much less chatty. Today Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance told reporters they wouldn't discuss the case because:
"This is a pending criminal case. We will have no comment on evidence, or on any meetings between prosecutors and witnesses, civil attorneys, or defense counsel."
Diallo's next hearing date has been postponed from August 1 to August 23, and prosecutors may announce then whether or not they'll be going forward with the case. Thompson called prosecutors "gracious" for agreeing to Diallo's request to hear the recording, but that's just about the last word that comes to mind right now.