The lawyer for the hotel maid who accused former IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn of sexual assault says he believes prosecutors plan to dismiss some or all of the charges.
Attorney Kenneth Thompson told The New York Times on Saturday that he got a letter from an assistant district attorney offering to meet with his client, Nafissatou Diallo, on Monday, the day before Strauss-Kahn's next scheduled court appearance.
The letter said the purpose was to discuss what would happen in court the next day. It said prosecutors would only meet the woman at 3 p.m.
"Should she not be available or should she fail to attend, I will assume that she does not wish to take advantage of this opportunity," wrote the prosecutor, Assistant District Attorney Artie McConnell.
Thompson told the Times he thinks prosecutors wouldn't have asked to meet unless they planned to give her bad news.
"If they were not going to dismiss the charges," he told the Times, "there would be no need to meet with her. They would just go to court the next day to say, 'We're going to proceed with the case.'"
"My interpretation of that letter is that they’re going to announce that they’re dismissing the case entirely, or some of the charges,” he told the newspaper.
Thompson sent an email to The Associated Press saying he was on a plane and couldn't immediately discuss the issue.
A spokeswoman for the district attorney's office declined to comment.
Strauss-Kahn was arrested during a May visit to New York City after Diallo, a housekeeper at the Sofitel hotel in Manhattan, told police he attacked her when she arrived to clean his suite. Diallo told police that he forced her to perform oral sex and then left the hotel.
The arrest prompted Strauss-Kahn to resign from the International Monetary Fund, and disrupted his political career in France, where he was seen as a probable candidate for president.
But in July, prosecutors said publicly that Diallo had lied to them about her personal history, and about some critical details of the case. She also admitted lying to U.S. immigration officials about her life in Guinea, her native country, when she applied for political asylum in 2003. A law enforcement official also said prosecutors discovered that, a day after the alleged attack, Diallo had called a friend to talk about the incident, and that during that call she had mentioned Strauss-Kahn's wealth.
The district attorney's office then agreed to relax the conditions of Strauss-Kahn's bail, allowing him to be freed from house arrest.
The Associated Press generally doesn't name people who report being sexually assaulted unless they agree to be identified, as Diallo has done.
Diallo, 32, filed a civil claim against Strauss-Kahn last week in New York and The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that her lawyers had been exploring a deal to scuttle the criminal case in exchange for a monetary settlement in the civil lawsuit. Thompson strongly denied the report.